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Set up job costing and item tracking

SOLVEDby QuickBooksQuickBooks Desktop Payroll7Updated May 26, 2021

Learn how to set up job costing and item tracking so you can track payroll expenses by job.

You can easily set up job costing and item tracking for payroll expenses in QuickBooks Desktop. We'll show you how.

Set up preferences

When you follow these steps to set up your preferences, QuickBooks Desktop will automatically track expenses by job for company payroll expenses. 
set up job costing preferences in QuickBooks

  1. From the main menu, select Edit, then Preferences.
  2. From the left menu, select Accounting.
  3. Select the Company Preferences tab.
  4. Make sure there is a checkmark in the Use class tracking box. (Note: If this is not marked then the options to Assign one class per Entire paycheck or Earnings item won't be available.
  5. Select the OK button.
  6. From the top menu bar, select Edit, then Preferences.
  7. From the list in the left pane select Payroll and Employees.
  8. Select the Company Preferences tab.
  9. Put a checkmark in the Job Costing, Class and Item tracking for paycheck expenses box and select whether to track by Entire Paycheck or Earnings Item.

Track expenses by job

When you create or edit payroll items that are additions, deductions or company contributions, QuickBooks Desktop displays a checkbox. The checkbox called Track Expenses by Job in the Name is in the Paychecks and Payroll Reports window of the Payroll Item Setup wizard. If you select this box, Quickbooks Desktop prorates the items on employee paychecks the same way it does company-paid taxes. See the steps below for additional instructions.

  1. Select Lists, then Payroll Item List.
  2. Right-click the Payroll Item, then select Edit Payroll Item.
  3. Select Track Expenses by Job. (It's important to follow the above steps to set up job costing preferences. If job costing isn't set up in QuickBooks Desktop you won't see the option to Track Expenses by Job when you edit the payroll item.)
  4. Select Next until you can select Finish.
  5. Repeat for each payroll item that you want to track.

Marking Track Expenses By Job won't add a Customer: Job column to the payroll items listed under Other Payroll Items on a paycheck. Instead, in reports, these items are divided based on the division of the earnings items on the paycheck.

Turning on Track Expenses by Job doesn't affect existing transactions.

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