We are a diesel repair shop and we use billable expenses so we can apply a markup % when we receive parts, and so QBO reminds us to add all the parts to the invoices. We'd really like to start using estimates, as some invoices take over a month to complete, which causes a problem with running sales tax reports (there's no way to differentiate completed invoices from invoices that are not yet complete). So...we'd like to start using ESTIMATES, then when it's complete convert it into an INVOICE.
It looks like billable expenses can't be added to estimates, only invoices. Is that correct? Any suggestions on how we can fix this?
I appreciate the complete details you've shared, @kaycee1.
Yes, you're correct the ability to link your billable expenses with estimates is currently not available. You need not worry, you can make use of the Project feature. I can guide you on how it works.
Projects allow you to track time, billable expenses, and payroll for each individual project. Here's how to enable it:
Once completed, you can now start creating a project. You can refer to this article to learn more about the complete process: Set up and create projects in QuickBooks Online.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have other questions about tracking your income and expenses in QuickBooks.
The estimate needs to look similar to an invoice....
In our case, it would start with a labor item and description of what work was performed...such as OIL CHANGE or R&R RADIATOR. Then...under each labor item, all the parts related to that particular task would be listed. There could be several labor items on one invoice, each one having various parts added to it. They need to be listed in a particular order for the invoice to make sense. Once all the tasks are completed, then the invoice is ready. I'm wishing there was a way to make the invoice non-posting until all work has been completed.
Is there a way to do that with PROJECTS?
Hello again, @kaycee1. I appreciate your prompt response and providing additional information.
Allow me to join this thread and share how the Billable expense works.
An estimate is a non-posting sales transaction that you plan to bill to a customer while the invoice is not. Thus, you're right that you can't enter billable expenses to an estimate as you’ll have to link the billable expense created to your customer invoice to reimburse the cost. In which you need to convert the estimate to an invoice.
As suggested by my colleague @IamjuViel, you can use the Project feature. It will help you organize all the moving pieces of your project, so you know where you stand with all your jobs. In your case, if you charge for a fixed fee, you can send customers an estimate for the entire project instead of sending an invoice for specific project expense. Then, convert the estimate into an invoice when the work begins.
To know more about this process, take a look at this great resource: Invoice customers for project expenses.
Additionally, to learn more about the Project feature, see below links which you may find helpful:
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to reach back out. We're here to further assist you. Have a nice day.
I am having a similar issue. We are an IT company. Say we do an estimate for a project, for example a wiring project where we provide the hardware and the labor to complete the wiring. I want to track the billable expense of purchasing the hardware to match to our company credit card, but the charge for the hardware is already attached to the estimate, which I can convert to an invoice. So I cannot create a separate billable expense, as that would charge the customer twice. How do I track expenses for a project that are billed from the estimate in order to match our expenses for reconciliation? Thanks for the information.
Yes, what you've read in this thread is correct, alange538.
Billable expenses cannot be added to the estimates. I can think of a way so the billable expense and estimate are linked to the customer invoice.
Let's assume that you already have the estimate and the billable expense. When create invoice, here's what we can do:
The estimate will remain as Pending since we did not include the 'charge for the hardware" line item when we create the invoice earlier. We just need to close the estimate manually. Here's how to do it:
With this process, it will not cause any duplicate charge on your customer. Note that estimates are non-posting transactions. Hence, it won't affect your accounts that you want to reconcile.
Here are some links that you can use for reference:
You can always get back to us if you need further assistance in managing your projects and other transactions.