QuickBooks contractor help - Getting started
support, customizing, fine tuning or revamping your company QuickBooks file,
learn how to use the QuickBooks contractor reports to get the
information you need..
The success of contractors hinge on two simple things—the
quality of work, and ability to manage job costs. The
latter—tracking and understanding job costs—is why many of contractors
are now using the new QuickBooks Premier: Contractor Edition. But are
- Invoicing for every expense on a job?
- Tracking every change order?
- Really understanding which jobs are making money—and which are not?
If you are starting a new business or have
recently hired an administrative person to do your bookkeeping, the
IRS has published an "accounting
basics for contractors" guide (click to download) to
help you understand what records you need and what regulations you
should be aware of
As a contractor or bookkeeper/accountant for a construction company,
get the inside scoop on what the
IRS will look for if they ever take a look at your books. This
download "Market segment specialization publication - Contractors" (Download
Contractor PDF now) is written for the newbie IRS
auditor who has a basic understanding of accounting and tax but needs
to understand the audit issues surrounding a contractor tax audit.
Written without all the "legal ease", you will find the information
understandable and very helpful in setting up an accounting system. It
is a dated publication (2004) and therefore consult with your tax
advisor as to all changes that might have taken effect since that
Useful QuickBooks Tips for
|To help get the most out of the Contractor Edition
- Assign ALL your expenses to a
Customer:Job. To get more accurate
job costing information, assign all your expenses to a
Customer:Job. Simply choose the appropriate job in the
Customer:Job field on Bill, Timesheet,
or Check form; QuickBooks will build job cost
- Enter all your estimates and expenses into QuickBooks.
Comparing estimated costs to actual costs is one of the most
important benefits of job costing. To compare costs, you need to
enter at least a summary of each of your estimates into QuickBooks.
Many contractors create estimates outside of QuickBooks and then
enter invoice in QuickBooks. If you choose to create invoices
outside of QuickBooks, you can save time by entering this
information in QuickBooks as an estimate instead of an invoice.
Then, you can automatically create an invoice (even a progress
invoice) from the estimate by clicking the Create Invoice
button on the Estimate form. Using this method,
QuickBooks will have estimated cost and revenue amounts to compare
your actual costs and revenues on job costing reports.
When entering expenses, use the
item tab with service items to
categorize all your costs.
Many contractors use parts of the
Construction Institute Specification List
(be sure to click on each major category number for a detailed list
of cost codes falling under that category) as their service items in
In addition to items, using class tracking to
categorize your Labor, Materials, Equipment Rental, Supplies,
Subcontractors for tax purposes will give you reports for presenting
to your tax preparer. Assigning labor costs to a job
works best when you are using QuickBooks to prepare your payroll.
There are several levels of payroll services:
Enhanced payroll includes tax tables, federal and
state forms and W2
- Assisted payroll with QuickBooks (Intuit) -
you print the paychecks, Intuit takes care of all the tax payments
Call us here 800-216-0763 to get your questions answered. If
you decide to purchase this service, we will help you get this
Need training? We have it! For one on
one training, call us 800-216-0763 or come to one of our seminars.
We offer training for the new user or for people who have
worked with QuickBooks for over 3 months.
- Using the Job Costing Reports.
If you have set up your QuickBooks job cost data as described above,
you can use the new job costing and profitability reports in the
Contractor Edition. Choose Reports and then
Contractor from the menu bar to view these reports. You can
view additional job costing reports by choosing Reports
and then Jobs & Time from the menu bar.
- Explore the Contractor Navigator and
Contractor Menu. Contractor Edition
includes a Contractor Navigator and
Contractor Menu that provide access to the activities that
contractors use most so you can find them quickly and easily.
- Keep on top of your workers compensation
costs- You do have control over "being overcharged" on your
annual premiums and audits. Using the workers compensation accrual
tool in QuickBooks is a first step.
Learn more about what you can do to control your Workers
Compensation Costs using QuickBooks
- Track change orders. To get
paid promptly and maintain a good relationship with your customers,
you must clearly document all of your existing change orders. Create
a new job as a sub-job of the parent to track your costs which will
help you determine the charge for the additional service
- Check out the other new Contractor
reports. Contractor Edition provides
a set of new reports designed specifically for contractors. For
example, the Job Status report gives you a simple
snapshot of where you stand on all your jobs. Choose Reports
and then Contractor from the menu bar to browse the
- Read the Help Menu and Info for
Contractors. Contractor Edition includes many new help
topics written specifically for contractors by a contracting
What Documents Should You Use?
All notices of project changes, including scope of work, costs, and
Includes letters, memos, and other electronic or paper documents.
Daily Field Reports
Includes employee time, equipment usage, subcontractor performance,
meetings, incidents, and other pertinent project-related data; filled out
by project manager.
Includes original documents of cost estimates; used for cost-to-complete
and project profitability analysis.
Project Hot List
A listing of time-sensitive and other deadline-driven items and documents
that must be completed or otherwise acted upon.
Proposals and Prime Contracts
Includes pricing, terms, and scope of work; crucial for avoiding
The "to do" list, with relevant dates for completion and
approval, of all activities needed to complete a project
Requests for Information (RFI)
Includes attachments and text; used to notify architects, engineers, and
general contractors of information requirements and clarifications.
Requests for Proposal (RFP)
Formal requests for pricing from vendors based upon project specifications
and scope of work.
Specifies scope of work, timing, standards of performance, and terms of
The cover sheet listing all the documents being sent (mailed, faxed, sent
via e-mail, etc.) and the individual to whom the documents were sent, with
a signature required as proof that all items were received.
Sample Chart of Accounts for Contractors
Set up tips
Invoicing Time and Material Jobs
Performing on government contracts?
Determine your indirect cost rates based upon a commonly used (and DCAA accepted) rate structure.
Call 800-216-0763 for a free demonstration of our
QuickBooks Support & Training services for Contractors, Spec
Home Builders, Engineering Firms, and Architects for QuickBooks.
Save money! QuickBooks Supplies
Save over 33% on
$71.95 for 250
$89.95 for 500
$119.95 for 1000
Contractors Guide to QuickBooks Pro
Contractor's Guide to
Comes with an estimating program with a job cost
database that will import the estimates to
QuickBooks and many useful forms to run your
business more efficiently.
This user friendly manual
walks you through QuickBooks Pro's detailed setup
procedures and explains step-by-step without accounting
jargon, how to create a system that will track your job
expenses, profit and loss, estimate vs actual expenses
plus much more.
Shorten your learning curve by using the predefined
company file, just enter your vendor, customer names and
you are ready to go.