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Level 1

Setting up COS for a Staffing Company



A client of mine is a staffing company (temp agency) that uses QB Online Plus to record their financial transactions and Avionte (integrated, CRM and ATS system, payroll & billing platform) to invoice clients for the temps and pay temps payroll, withholding taxes, and employer taxes and contributions associated with their temps.  Billing and payroll is run weekly and summaries by client are imported (some manually entered) into QB Online.


Payroll costs (gross pay and employer taxes and obligations) are a Cost Of Sales for a staffing business, impacting the gross margin.  Gross margin percent is the most relevant financial metric for a staffing business.


Currently their books post temp payroll costs as expenses, such as how you'd do it for internal staff (sales, CRM, recruiters, finance, HR, etc.).


I am new to QuickBooks and would appreciate some direction of how to:


a) Setup QB to post Temp Payroll, Taxes + Employer Taxes/Obligations as COS.

b) reclassify history (i.e.: move booked payroll++ from expenses to COS).





Setting up COS for a Staffing Company

Welcome to the QuickBooks Community, @JulioNic.


In QuickBooks Online (QBO), we have this Project feature that helps you to be organized and track all moving parts. 


If you want to post that cost to Payroll as COS, then you can use the Project feature. Then, link it to your payroll. Here's a video tutorial for more visual guidance on how this works: How to Use QuickBooks Projects to Track Project Income & Costs (w/ QuickBooks Online Payroll)


As for your other concern, in QuickBooks Online Accountant, we have the reclassify tool which gives the option to batch edit transactions. Like you can reclassify accounts, classes, and sales tax code in bulk. 


However, there are also accounts that you can't move. Some of these are:

  • You can change the class for invoicessales receiptschecks, or bills with items (products or services) on them. However, you can’t change the accounts.
  • You can’t change the payment account (bank or credit card) for expenses.
  • You can’t change the account or class for inventory adjustments since they’re connected to your inventory shrinkage and asset accounts.
  • You can change the expense account for billable expenses, but not the income account for the related income transactions.
  • You can manage your payroll transactions in the Payroll menu.

To know more about how this process works, here's a great resource that you can read: Reclassify or move multiple transactions at once.


As always, you can get back to me if you have further questions. I'm always around to help. Have a great day!

Level 1

Setting up COS for a Staffing Company

Hi Mirriam,


Thank for your quick response.  I will definitely look into the "project" link and update this post.


Thanks also for your citing on the "reclassify". I've been using that to reclassify 2019 and 2020 into the classes and departments (Locations) that I created to track performance.



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