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Level 1

Quickbooks Online - Cost Codes for Vendor Bills

I'm a contractor using cost codes. If I receive a bill from my painter, I would like to label that bill as a "Paint" Expense and as a "Subcontractor Expense."

"Subcontractor Expense" is in my Chart of Accounts so that's covered, but I don't know how to label each bill as a specific task, such as paint, drywall, windows, etc.

I was told this can be done through Products & Services, but I'm not seeing how.



QuickBooks Team

Quickbooks Online - Cost Codes for Vendor Bills

Hi @ReynoldsH,


You can create those tasks (paint, drywall, and windows) as a sub-account for your Subcontractor Expense. This way, you can assign specific tasks to your bills, and have them all show up under the Subcontractor Expense account.


Here's how to create sub-accounts:

  1. Highlight the Accounting tab, then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Click the New button.
  3. Create a new expense account. Ensure that you tick the Is sub-account checkbox, then select Subcontractor Expense.
  4. Tap Save and Close when done.

As for what you mentioned about the Products and Services page, I'm thinking this is related to the expense account assigned to your products. These are limited to inventory types though, so it won't be applied to services or non-inventory types. 


Additional insights regarding sub-accounts can be found in this article: Create sub-accounts in your chart of accounts in QuickBooks Online.


Have other questions in mind? Don't hesitate to post them below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 

Level 15

Quickbooks Online - Cost Codes for Vendor Bills

It is unnecessary to create a whole bunch of sub accounts, it just confuses things and makes the P&L sloppy


Create items, non inventory items, and each item links to the subcontractor expense account, ie



Electrical rough in

electrical finish. etc

use those items in the item detail part of the expense payment or bill

Level 1

Quickbooks Online - Cost Codes for Vendor Bills

Thanks for the info!

So I can import my whole list of 150 +/- items, specify them to "subcontractor" or "material," or whatever expense account. Then, when I run my P&L statement, like you mentioned, I don't have 150 lines of sub-accounts, I just have the few expense accounts I use. 

Am I understanding that right?

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