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Level 1

Subcontractors expense is totaling to a negative amount.

How and why is it doing this? It is set up as cost of goods sold but is totaling to a negative number. It makes me want to cry.. help! I have new wrinkles. 

4 Comments 4
Kristine Mae

Subcontractors expense is totaling to a negative amount.

You've got me, BookkeepingMakesMeWantToCry.


I'd like to know more about this so we can isolate the issue. When you create a bill, did you use the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) account?


COGS is also referred as the cost of sales or cost of services. This includes direct material and direct labor expenses that go into the production of each good or service that is sold. This only gets affected once an inventory item is sold. You can check this article for more information: Understand Inventory Assets and COGS tracking.


Is the Cost of Good sold in negative amount? Or, the subcontractor's balance?


If the subcontractor's balance is negative, it's a possible overpayment. Here's how you can check:

  1. Click Reports.
  2. Go to Vendors & Payables.
  3. Choose Vendor Balance Detail.

You can always get back to this thread with more information. Thanks! 

Level 15

Subcontractors expense is totaling to a negative amount.

Seeing Negatives in COGS will come from Sales, for an item that is not set up as something you both Incur and Charge to customers. Edit your Service item and make sure the Box on the left is Checkmarked. The left is COGS; the right is Income. When you try to Save this change, QB offers to move existing data for you. Let it Move your data.


Please see my attachment.

Level 1

Subcontractors expense is totaling to a negative amount.

I have the same issue all of my subcontractor billing  and materials charges are coming up as COGS and is showing as a negative in my P and L.  IS there a way to re map this?  So all subcontractor expenses and COGS are mapped as Construction Income?

Level 1

Subcontractors expense is totaling to a negative amount.

I'm having a similar problem. I have quite a bit of subcontractor billing that I've coded as subcontractor - COS in QB desktop 2019 and included on my invoices to clients. Plus there are other COS elements (shipping, supplies, travel) that I've also billed clients for. These sums all seem fine on the P&L. What's odd is that a similar (but not exactly the same) amount as subcontractor, supplies, travel, etc is showing up as a negative expense.


I think the net probably ends up the same, but when I run a P&L, the actual income at the top doesn't include the money that I ultimately received from clients, some of which was paid out to subs. All my subs show a zero balance because I've been paid by clients and paid all my bills. I believe I owe B&O taxes on the gross income (including subs), which is why I mark up the subcontractor bills a little bit to cover that tax. But the P&L doesn't show that total amount received.


Am I coding something wrong here?

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