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Invoice customers for project expenses

Learn how to create invoices from project expenses in QuickBooks Online.

Once you set up Projects, you can invoice customers for specific project-related expenses (including timesheets). You can use these steps whether you’re charging customers for time and materials, or a fixed fee.

Step 1: Decide how you’ll charge for projects

If you charge for time and materials, you usually invoice customers for specific project expenses and hours worked. You’ll need to make your project expenses and timesheets billable so you can add them to invoices.

If you charge for a fixed fee, you typically don't invoice for specific project expenses. Instead, you send customers an estimate for the entire project. You can convert the estimate into an invoice when the work begins.

However, there may be times when you need to charge for specific project expenses. A common example is when customers ask for extra work outside the original project plan.

Step 2: Turn on billable expenses

If you haven’t already, turn on billable expenses.

  1. Select Settings ⚙, then Company Settings.
  2. Select the Expenses tab.
  3. Scroll to the Bills and Expenses section and select it to expand it.
  4. Check the Make expenses and items billable box.
  5. Select Save and close your settings.

You can now make any expense or timesheet in QuickBooks billable.

Step 3: Make project expenses billable

Go to the Projects tab and open your project.

Project expenses

  1. Select the Add to project button, then select Expense.
  2. Add expenses to the form.
  3. Check the Billable box next to each item.
  4. Select the project from the Customer/Project drop-down menu (this is different from the payee for the expense).

Project timesheets

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select Weekly Timesheet.
  3. Select your worker and the dates from the drop-down menus.
  4. Select the project from the Choose a customer or project drop-down menu. This will connect the timesheet to the project.
  5. Fill out the timesheet.
  6. Check the Billable (/hr) box next to each activity.
  7. Enter the billable rate as needed (the price you’re charging the customer).

Step 4: Invoice your customer for billable expenses

Now that you’ve made all of your project expenses and timesheets billable, go back to the project's Overview tab.

  1. Select the Add to Project button, then select Invoice.
  2. Select the customer you want to invoice from the Customer drop-down menu.
  3. Your billable expenses and timesheets will appear in the Add to Invoice panel. Add all the billable expenses or time you want to add to the invoice.
  4. Complete the invoice and send it to your customer.

If you want to send individual expenses or timesheets as an invoice:

  1. Go to your project.
  2. Go to the Transactions tab.
  3. Find the billable expense or timesheet on the list.
  4. Select Create invoice from the Action column.
  5. Complete the invoice and send it to your customer.

By following these steps, QuickBooks automatically connects the billable expense and invoice to your project.

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