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Level 1

New to quickbooks online-need small business help!

I have just purchased quickbooks for my BIL's business (metal building contractor). Basically, he writes an estimate, completes the job, then finalizes his paperwork with a sheet that shows his estimate, then he lists expenses (contractors, rentals, fuel, etc.) and deducts from his estimate to show profit-I don't even know where to start. I've checked the reports, but then it says to enter data. I have high hopes for this, I'm not stupid, but I feel like this should be easy. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!

2 Comments 2
Level 1

New to quickbooks online-need small business help!

It surely is easy to use after you have your process and procedures down. You should start with setup, industry-standard chart of accounts and watch the videos that come along with the software. 


Your steps for job costing are very much the same: create estimates, enter expenses, create an invoice, receive a payment And then view few reports:

- estimate vs actual expenses

- Profit & Loss by Job

Level 6

New to quickbooks online-need small business help!

Hi @buffym,

It sounds like you are looking for a way to track the profitability by project, which absolutely can be done!  First thing you need to do is have QuickBooks Online Plus or above to be able to turn on the projects feature.  To truly answer this question it would require a really long message or a Zoom meeting, however, I have made a couple videos on how to use Projects that should help you get started.  When you have more questions, reach out and I will be happy to try to answer them!

This video will help you go through:


Create an Estimate

Turn Estimate into a Purchase Order

Receive a partial Purchase Order

Create a Bill

Make a Bill Payment

Check the Profit and Loss

Add in Time Activity

Create a Billable Expense



Create an Estimate

Turn an Estimate into an Invoice with Progress Billing

Receive a Payment on the Invoice

Review the Profit and Loss

Turn the Billable Expense into an Invoice

I have also created another video on Using TSheets for time tracking and job costing:

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