cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Anonymous
Not applicable

Classes vs Projects

In QBO Plus, what is the difference between using classes and using projects? I have an arts organization that wants to track revenue and income for particulars shows. How do we best do that?

18 Comments
Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

I think you're best to use Projects here.

I use Classes like departments, so I can separate expenses on financial statements to see the different departments in separate columns.

I use Projects as jobs, so I can see the income and expenses related to each, or a particular job, at any time.  Projects have stat and end dates.

Content Leader

Re: Classes vs Projects

Hey there, jdwatson7611.

 

Thanks for taking the time to contact the Community for support. I'm here to offer some perspective on the differences between Classes and Projects in QuickBooks Online.

 

Classes are typically used as departments or segments of your business. This is beneficial for reporting purposes to see how one division of a company is doing compared to others. This article offers an overview of setting up and working with Classes: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/community/Help-Articles/Set-up-and-work-with-class-and-location-tracki....

 

The Projects feature is comparable to job costing. Using Projects allows you to include transactions, time, and running reports so you always know how your project (or art show) is doing. I have a write-up for you that covers the ins-and-outs of using this component of QBO: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/community/Inventory-and-projects/QuickBooks-Online-Projects/m-p/186112.

 

With this information, you'll be able to showcase revenue and income for your shows in QuickBooks. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions. Take care. 

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

Hi Morgan, or Anyone else,

Looking through the discussions, including this one, I didn't find a solution for my situation:

I have 1 LLC that owns 2 dbas, which I want to manage through 1 Quickbooks account.

But I want sales orders, quotes, (and maybe purchase orders) to display the 2 different dbas as needed, depending on the production I'm selling.

I doesn't see like projects or classes would solve this?

If yes, how?

Thanks! 

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

I also work for a non-profit arts group using QBO.  Our most frequent activity that I need to track is classes or workshops.  We have been using the Class field on both expenses and income to see all the items associated with a particular workshop.  But with the new data limits coming (limit of 40 classes), this isn't going to work any longer.  Projects seem like the logical tool, but I don't see how I can create a project for the workshop, and then associate both expenses and income from multiple customers (persons paying for the workshop) for that one project.

(We're hitting this limit because we recently migrated from desktop to online QB.)

Highlighted
Level 10

Re: Classes vs Projects


@gaclay wrote:

I also work for a non-profit arts group using QBO.  Our most frequent activity that I need to track is classes or workshops.  We have been using the Class field on both expenses and income to see all the items associated with a particular workshop.  But with the new data limits coming (limit of 40 classes), this isn't going to work any longer.  Projects seem like the logical tool, but I don't see how I can create a project for the workshop, and then associate both expenses and income from multiple customers (persons paying for the workshop) for that one project.

(We're hitting this limit because we recently migrated from desktop to online QB.)


Projects won't work because a project is for one customer.

You can only have 40 active classes at any time, so  you can deactivate Classes no longer being used.  The data associated with the class is still there and you can still run reports. You just can't use the class in a new transaction.  If you have more 40 active classes at any time, then you have a problem.

Another option is to create a new Customer for each workshop, and have the attendees as sub-customers. This will work best if you have new attendees at every workshop, and they don't repeat a lot

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

This was super helpful.

 

To confirm, you are saying Projects can only be used with a single customer? So I could not use this to track expenses for different programs? I use classes for departments, and I am very unclear on the distinctions between classes, projects, and locations. But I know that I need to be able to do the department tracking, and also need to break out expenses by a specific program. I can't imagine that list of programs ever climbing above 20 or so.

 

Thanks,

Jesse

QuickBooks Team

Re: Classes vs Projects

It’s nice to see you in the Community, @jb-cfj.


I’m here to share some information about Projects, Class and Location Tracking.


Projects help track income, expenses, profitability and organize all job-related information in the account in one place. You can create projects for multiple customers and add certain transactions such as estimates, invoices, expenses, bills, purchase orders, or time.


On the other hand, class and location tracking monitors income, expenses, and reports for different segments or locations of the business. 


For more information about these features, check out the following articles:

That should answer your concern for today.


Leave a comment below if you need anything else, I’m always ready to help. Have a good one!

Level 10

Re: Classes vs Projects


@KhimG wrote:

 

You can create projects for multiple customers

 


That sounds like one project can have multiple customers, which is not the case.

Each project is for one customer.

 

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

Thank you for clarifying.

:manhappy:

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

Do QBO journal entries have both a class and a projects field or can I only use one or the other?

QuickBooks Team

Re: Classes vs Projects

Hi there, BenB90.

 

You can only assign a Class when creating journal entry in QuickBooks Online. Adding a Project field is currently unavailable. 

 

 Although, you can associate it to a customer or sub-customer. Just make sure your Class Tracking feature is turned on for the Class column to show up.

 

Please see these support articles for more details:

 

Please click the Reply button below if you have follow-up questions.

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

There is a standard use of classes for non-profits.  They are admin, program and fundraising.  Under program, you can have a sub-class for each program, and you can run a P&L by each program.

 

Use customer: job or customer: subcustomer (in QBO) for each funder: grant.   The customer would be the funder, and the job or subcustomer would be the grant.  

 

I'm new to Projects but as it has already been said, you can only link a project to one customer:sub-customer.  I think Projects is a good way to track income and expenses for fundraising/events.

 

 

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

Hello @gaclay, I am wondering what you ended up doing here? I'm having the same problem and was upgraded to Quickbooks Advanced but don't need it and don't want to pay the additional $100/month. From this helpful thread it seems I can deactivate classes. That seems entirely too easy to solve this problem. No agent on the phone has told me it is that easy. I operate tours and each tour has 14 people, each with their own invoice. And then I associated all "tour specific" expenses to each trip by class so I can see the income and profit for each tour. 

Sorry for the ramble, essentially just wondering if deactivating classes is really the solution.. as easy as it sounds.

Level 2

Re: Classes vs Projects

While it is true that a QBO Project is used for job costing, it is highly constrain by enforcing a mapping requirement to a single customer. I have a similar challenges in a different field of endeavor, but the semantics are similar. Namely, I need to track the profitability of events, where an event typically services many people. Obviously, with QBO's severe limitation, I am unable to associate an event (QBO Project) with its multiple attendees. It would be highly useful to disassociate an event with a 'customer' in order to collect and aggregate all the income & expenses associated with an event. The single-customer mapping forces a Project "view" to be customer-centric, which is fine if your building a kitchen for a client but not if your business involves tracking the profitability across a Project that is actually project-based and not customer-based.

 

I've been grinding my teeth, looking for a workaround, but none appears to exist in QBO, which I find highly disturbing, since this need is very commonplace. After reading some articles and receiving some feedback from other QBO users in this forum and others, I considered hacking my requirement using QBO Classes. Clearly Class semantics are designed to connote facets of one's business that enable meaningful income/expense breakdowns. A QBO Class reflects "types" and not "instances", which is why I considered my approach a hack. My intent was to create a type-specific QBO Class and then sub-class it with "instances" of that type. For example, suppose I was a car dealership and was interested in tracking income/expenses based upon the types of vehicles I sold (e.g., truck, car, car > SUV, car > compact, car > convertible, etc.). Now, I want to track my sales/costs for specific car models, so I create yet another subclass. Examples:

 

car > SUV > Mazda CX-30, car > SUV > Chevrolet Equinox, car > SUV > Nissan Rogue

 

In this context, without getting into a deep-dive on Ontology and terminological semantics, the Mazda, Chevrolet and Nissan SUV models can be considered "instances" of the SUV "type". Clearly, this is not the intended use for QBO Class. However, barring another workaround, this is the only option I could find to me my needs. I was about to implement this approach until I discovered the QBO Plus version allows a maximum of forty Classes. Bummer. In the car dealership scenario, I bet one can dig up at least forty SUV "instances", let alone "instances" of the other vehicle types. Another dead end.

 

I have to say I am truly disappointed at this egregious oversight on Intuit's part.

Moderator

Re: Classes vs Projects

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, @aspsa.

 

We know that there are customers that are outgrowing QBO today, and our goal is to make sure that those customers are in a fully-featured product.

 

Our developers are continually working on improving the software and make it work the way your business needs.

 

As we assess the preferences that we gather from our users, I encourage you to visit our QuickBooks Online Blog. This way, you'll stay current with our new updates.

 

Please know that our doors are always to help you with any QuickBooks concern. 

Level 2

Re: Classes vs Projects

I appreciate the reply, but Intuit has been in this game a long time. Frankly, I find it baffling that QB in its many forms over the years STILL does not account for (no pun intended) this very basic need that is usable across a wide spectrum of businesses, particularly those businesses that are heavily serviced-based.

 

I've visited your blog, FAQs and knowledge base on several occasions, as well as many QB-related forums, only to realize I am far from the only person who has pointed out this severe deficiency, and one for which a workaround seems improbable with QB alone. Naturally, being no expert in QBO, I remain open to the possibility that someone with more experience can point me in the right direction. As such I posted questions about this topic in the past, namely, that a QBO Project requires a single Customer association. Those with far more knowledge and experience in QBO than me acknowledge the limitation I described. Therefore, I must conclude this is a real serious deficiency in the application, lacking a key feature from which many of Intuit's QB customers, including me, would surely benefit.

Level 1

Re: Classes vs Projects

Are you able to run Balance Sheet, P&L, and Cash Flow reports by Project? I couldn't find this feature online. Seems like it could be a limitation. If I have a legal entity (Acme LLC) that manages five projects, I'd like to see the B/S and I/S for each project as well. Not just Acme LLC. Any way to do this?

QuickBooks Team

Re: Classes vs Projects

Hi knievel124,

 

It's nice to see you here in the Community.

 

Currently, you can only run the Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss report by class. To get started, turn on the class tracking and set up your class list. Let me guide you through the steps.

 

To turn on the feature:

  1. Click the Gear icon, then select Account and Settings
  2. Select Advanced. Then click Edit in the Categories section.
  3. Select Track classes.


     
  4. Select Warn me when a transaction isn’t assigned a class. This is optional, but it's good to turn on so when you look at reports, you know everything got classified.
  5. Select the Assign classes drop-down, then select One to entire transaction or One to each row in transaction.
  6. Click Save, then Done.

Then, set up your class list so you can track your transactions. Once done, you can run the Balance Sheet or Profit and Loss by Class. 

 

Here's how:

  1. Go to the Reports tab on the left pane.
  2. Type the Profit and Loss by Class on the search field.
  3. Click Customize, select Filter.
  4. Select the correct date under Report period.
  5. Tick the Class box.
  6. Click Run report.

I have attached screenshots for detailed steps. Although this is specific to only one report but customizing is mostly like the same.

 













I'll also pass this along to our product team to let them know of your business needs.

To know more about customizing your report, you can click this link for visual steps and more information: Customize Reports.

 

As always, feel free to let me know if you have other questions about QuickBooks Online. I'd be happy to help.

Need to get in touch?

Contact us