Learn how to use Projects to track project income, expenses, and profitability. This is available for QuickBooks Online Plus, Advanced, and Accountant.
The Projects feature helps you stay organized and track all the moving parts. You can add project income and expenses, tag old transactions to new projects, and run project-specific reports from a single dashboard. This makes it easy to manage your work and see your progress.
Here’s how to set up Projects. Once you’re set up, learn how to use the project cost and profitability tools to do job costing.
If you're a payroll user, you can also set up Projects.
Step 1: Turn on projects
If you haven’t already, turn on the Projects feature:
- Select Settings ⚙, then select Account and settings.
- Go to the Advanced tab.
- Find the Projects section and select Edit ✎ to expand it.
- Turn on Organize all job-related activity in one place.
- Select Save and close your settings.
Step 2: Create a project
- Select the Projects menu.
- Select New Project.
- Give your project a memorable name.
- Select the customer you’re working for from the drop-down menu.
- Add any notes or details about the project.
- Select Save.
You’ll see your list of projects grow as your business takes on more work.
Step 3: Add project income and expenses
Start adding income and expenses to your project. Adding transactions to projects won’t change how they’re categorized or affect your books. You’re simply tagging them to the project:
- Open your project.
- Select the Add to project to create a brand new transaction.
- Select Invoice, Receive payment, Expense, Estimate, Purchase order, Bill or Time.
You’ll automatically tag new items to projects when you select Add to project.
|Note: The Time option lets you record a single day of work by one of your workers. If you want to add weekly timesheets to a project, there are a few extra steps. Start from Step 5 of “Track income, costs, and profitability by project” to calculate your hourly time costs. Then add your timesheets.
If you use QuickBooks Time to track your employees’ time, you can import tracked time directly into weekly timesheets.
|Tip: Are you working from an existing project estimate? Add them to projects before you converting them to invoices for customers.
You can also use progress invoicing to create multiple invoices from a single estimate. That way, instead of asking for full payment at the beginning, you can invoice for partial payments throughout the project.
Step 4: Add existing expenses and timesheets to projects
You can also tag expenses and timesheets (billable or nonbillable) you’ve created outside of the Projects menu.
Add existing expenses
- Go to the Expenses menu.
- Find and open the transaction.
- Select the project from the Customer/Project drop-down menu. Do this for each expense item you want to tag. This isn’t the same as the payee for the expense.
- Select Save and close.
Add existing timesheets (billable or nonbillable)
- Go to the Sales menu.
- Select the Type column to sort the list.
- Find and open the timesheet.
- Select the project from the Customer/Project drop-down menu. Do this for each employee’s time you want to tag.
- Select Save and close.
Step 5: Add existing invoices and estimates
You can easily create new invoices to project, but take care with existing invoices.
The best time to add existing invoices to projects is before they’re paid. If you add a paid invoice to a project, the invoice will disconnect from the attached payment. This will also change the invoice’s status to unpaid. You’ll need to follow the steps to reconnect the payment to avoid accidentally charging customers twice.
We don’t recommend adding invoices linked to more than one other transaction, billable expense, or timesheet. If you add a linked invoice to a project, only the invoice is added. You’ll need to add the linked transactions to the project and reconnect them to the invoice.
You can add existing estimates to projects as long as you haven’t converted them to invoices.
Step 6: Track profitability
You’ll see important cost and profitability info (“job costing”) on each project page.