Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Level 1

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

I am working with a for-profit company in the research industry and they currently receive grant funding from several sources.  The funding is based on reimbursement of expenses.  I have set up each of the grant funding sources as a project and have established estimates noting the total amount of grants awarded. 

As for the reimbursable expenses, when the expense is created currently, it is created as a bill and marked as a billable expense.  When it's time to "invoice" the grant agency for the amount to be refunded, I have gone into the estimate and chosen create an invoice.  It opens the screen to give me three choices (all, 50%, or custom amount) of which I chose custom as this will be a progress billing over multiple years.  When the invoice screen pops up, I can enter an amount on the top line or I can select from the billable expenses window to the right which would clear out the billable expense items of which needs to be done.  However, the billable expense lines do not reflect as being invoiced against the estimate (grant awarded) and therefore does not properly reflect progress invoicing.  I've been working with this for hours.  Is there something I'm not doing correctly?  It's very important that we track the progress billing.  I welcome the feedback.

QuickBooks Team

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

Thank you for posting, @loganbd


Progress invoicing is only available for estimates and invoices. It will let you split an estimate into as many invoice. However, if you’d like record an expense and then the reimbursement, then you’ll have to record the amount you’ve spent as a billable expense, then link this expense to the client’s invoice to record the reimbursement.


After creating the billable expense, you’ll just have to link the billable expense that you’ve created to your client’s invoice to reimburse the cost.


Check this article for more information about this: How to Record Expenses: Billable & Reimbursable.


I’m always here if you need further help or assistance about this by leaving a comment below. Take care and have a great rest of the day!

Level 1

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

How would you enter the line item in the estimate that the billable expense deducts from?

QuickBooks Team

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

Hi controlcx,


You can only add billable expenses to your customers when they receive their invoices. You'll want to convert an estimate into an invoice.


Here's how:

  1. Go to the Sales menu and select All Sales.
  2. Find and open the estimate.
  3. Select Create invoice.
  4. Add more details to the invoice as necessary, then select Save and close.

Then, turn on the feature billable feature before entering a billable expense. Here's an article for more information and detailed steps: Enter billable expenses.


In case you want to invoice customers for a specific project, you can set up Projects in QuickBooks Online: Invoice Customers For Project Expenses.


If you have any other concerns, fill me in so I can get back to you.

Level 1

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

I know how to add the billable expense to the invoice.  I am looking to include the anticipated amount of the expense to the estimate prior to incurring the expense.


for example: create an estimate with 8 hours labor and a maximum of $1,000 billable expenses.  Then create the invoice, but have the actual expense amount deduct from the $1,000 in the estimate.  That way I would know how much is left that I can invoice expenses against.

Content Leader

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

Hey there, controlcx.


Thanks for following up with those additional details. I'd be glad to provide some info.


Estimates are generally used when you'd like to send your customer a quote or proposal for work you plan to do. Since this is a non-posting item, the exact scenario you described wouldn't be an option within the system. You may want to try adding a memo with the billable expense amounts, rather than having them physically deduct from one another when the forms are sent to your customer.


I recommend checking out the following articles for additional details on using estimates and progress invoicing in QuickBooks Online:

Please feel free to reach back out if you have any other questions. Take care.

Level 1

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses


I have the exact same question.  How does progress invoicing to work with billable expenses?  I also am trying to do this for a non-profit with specific multi-year grants.  Has anyone else figured out how to do this?

QuickBooks Team

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

Hi there, LakesideRipple.


I'll share some information about how progress invoicing works in QuickBooks Online.


Progress invoicing is only available for estimates. This feature allows you to create an invoice against the estimate in increments until the job or contract is complete. Currently, we're unable to link a billable expense to progress invoicing. For now, we'll have to manually edit the amount of the billable expense upon creating the invoice. I'll guide you how:


  1. Click the + New icon.
  2. Select Invoice.
  3. In the Customer drop-down menu, select the customer you created a billable expense for. 
  4. From the  Add to invoice window, select Add on the billable expense you want to charge to your customer.
  5. In the AMOUNT column, edit the amount.
  6. Click Save and close.

You can refer to this article to be guided in recording billable expenses in QuickBooks Online: Enter billable expenses.


I've also included an article that will help you remove a billable expense charge.


If there's anything else that I can help you with, please don't hesitate to add a comment below. Feel free to tag my name.

Level 1

Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

This is the message that popped up when the problem occurred:



Progress Invoicing & Billable Expenses

Thanks for joining in on the thread, bunzai1.


This error usually occurs if there's a damaged component or data in QuickBooks. Based on your screenshot, you're using QuickBooks for Mac.


To get rid of the error, here are the things that we're going to do:

  1. Update the QuickBooks release.
  2. Do the Verify and Rebuild process.
  3. Close and reopen QuickBooks. You can restart the system if necessary.

Let us know how this goes so we can further assist you. Have a great day!

Need to get in touch?

Contact us
Sign in for the best experience
Ask questions, get answers, and join our large community of QuickBooks users.
Sign In / Sign Up