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Level 1

Correct Process for Jobs that are Bid.

I work for a Painting Company. We bid jobs. Currently we put an invoice in QB for the bid amount when we start the job. As I assign costs to the job such as paint or labor it increases the amount QB thinks is due.  Is there a way to have it subtract those costs from the original invoice amount since we had them figured into the bid? We need it to be accurately tracking actual expenses and labor just wondering if we are doing it the hard way having to go manually adjust the amount due.  

Level 10

Correct Process for Jobs that are Bid.

If you had costs figured into the bid, then of course you should not be adding them to the invoice. You can assign Expenses, Checks or Bills to the job, without billing them to the job, by entering the customer in the Customer column, and NOT clicking the Billable box.  Assigning labor is tricky; you can only do that with a Journal Entry. it's probably easier to use a spreadsheet.  (edit: I see that the question is for Desktop where you can assign labor )

Level 1

Correct Process for Jobs that are Bid.

I will try that. Thank you!

QuickBooks Team

Correct Process for Jobs that are Bid.

Hello there, @Nisly.


Let me share an additional information to ensure you’re able to track the actual expenses and cost of labor for a job performed by your company.


For starters, QuickBooks Desktop uses estimates to create a bid or proposal.


Here’s how:

  1. Go to Customers.
  2. Choose Create an Estimate.
  3. On the Customer: Job drop-down, choose the name of the clients  or job you’re about to bid.
  4. To track job, click the drop-down arrow under Class.
  5. Choose the correct job (i.e. Painting A).
  6. Enter all the necessary data.
  7. Click on Save & Close.



Once the project or job is approved, you can start with creating a sales order. This will help you track the materials you need to complete the job.


Here’s how:


  1. Open the Estimate you’ve created for the customer.
  2. Click Create a Sales Order.
  3. On the Customer: Job drop-down, choose the name of the clients  or job you’re about to work on.
  4. To track job, click the drop-down arrow under Class.
  5. Choose the correct job (i.e. Painting A).
  6. All the rest of the information are coming from the estimate you’ve created.
  7. Click on Save & Close.


As the job progress, you can now create an invoice which contains the actual cost of labor and total amount of the materials used for it.


Here’s how:

  1. Open the Sales Order you’ve created.
  2. Click on Create an Invoice.
  3. You’ll then see a pop-out window to specify what information you’d like to include on the invoice.
    • If not all the materials listed on the Sales Order are used on the project, choose Create invoice for selected items.
    • If the project or job is complete, select Create invoice for all of the sales order (s).
  4. All the items you’ve selected will be copied on the create invoice page.
  5. Review the data listed  on the invoice. It should show the actual cost of labor and the actual materials use for the project.
  6. Click Save & Close.


That should do it! By following the proper workflow in recording account receivables in QuickBooks Desktop, you’ll not miss any transactions.


If you’re having difficulty tracking your actual expenses and cost of labor, I’d recommend reaching out to our Technical Support Team. A specialist will be able to further assist you via secured remote access.


Here’s how you can reach them:

  1. Click this link
  2. Choose the QuickBooks Product.
  3. Select your QuickBooks Desktop version.
  4. On the Contact Us page, select a topic.
  5. Click on Get Phone Number button to see the support number.

Don’t hesitate to leave a comment below if you have follow-up questions about tracking the actual cost of expenses and labor for a job or project. I’m always here to help.

Level 15

Correct Process for Jobs that are Bid.

You do not use Invoice to document the contract. That is the Dated Sale. You use Estimate, to list the Scope of Work and your contract or price agreement. This is Nonposting, and you use two sided items here, if you incur these and charge them to the customer. Examples:

Subcontractor services and Noninventory Materials and even Other Charge Type items. Items are linked to your one income account; but each is linked to the appropriate Expense account. Subcontractor service items, such as Electrician and Drywall Hanger are linked to one Subcontractor Expense account; Noninventory items such as Drywall, Plaster, Paint, Floor Stain, etc, are linked to one Job Materials expense account and to sales income. Other Charge item, such as Permit or Mileage, are also linked to expense, and to sales income.


You list the item on the purchase details, such as the Check to pay for the building permit and the Check or Credit Card Charge to buy materials, you job track it as direct for that job. This is Not Billable, if you are working under a Bid Contract. They are Billable, in status, if you are working under a Time & Costs + markup agreement.


When you Invoice, that is the Date of sale. That is Gross Revenue. You would charge a Flat Fee Service Item, if the bid was Fixed. You would use Add Time & Costs, from the top of the invoice, if this is T&C+Markup, to select the Billable entries.


And the Job reporting shows the Gross Revenue and Gross Costs. One never deducts from the other. What you are asking about is Estimates Vs Actuals reports, so that you can see that you Expected to spend $x in Paint, and so far, you spent $y for Paint. The Profitability reporting and the P&L shows the Net = the difference from Gross Revenue and Gross Expense.


Please see my attachment.

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