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Tracking project costs


By Nadine Chetty

Do you or your clients find it hard to track profitability on your projects? Do you feel like you never truly know which projects or jobs are profitable? Well, the QuickBooks Projects Feature is the perfect tool to answer that question.

This is one of my favourite QuickBooks Online features by far and I think it targets our South African market perfectly.

The Projects Feature is only available on QuickBooks Online Plus.

With the Projects Feature, you are able to manage your income, expenses and labour per project. And with this you can build budgets per project to see how you are comparing with your actual figures.

This is a great way to help you stay on track and prevent you from overspending. This all lends to a better cash-flow. Creating a budget versus actuals is also a great way to manage your costing. If there is a clear trend that you are constantly overspending and making a loss on each project, then it is clear that your quotation and pricing is off from the beginning.

Tracking your Income:

  • You can add income to projects by choosing your specific projects in your quotes and invoices.
  • If you have created a quotation, when changing that quote to an invoice, the income will be automatically added to your project.
  • Your Customers in QuickBooks Online can be linked to several Projects.

Tracking your Expenses:

  • Expenses can be categorised to Projects directly from the Bank Feeds.
  • If you are categorising transactions from Bank Feeds, you would simply categorise your expense and choose which project the expense belongs to.
  • If you are creating a Bill, you would simply select the relevant project in each line item of the item or category.

Tracking Labour Costs:

  • Labour costs can be included in two ways, by a single time entry or by a weekly timesheet.
  • The weekly timesheet is very similar; however, you can track different projects for different times and days of the week for one labourer at a time.

The Projects feature provides an overview of how each project is performing and it profitability. This tool makes it really easy to identify, total income, expenses and profit margin for each project.  

It is even possible to drill down in any of project, to see a breakdown of income, expenses as well as labour costs. This information is valuable and will allow you to make more informed decisions.

The projects feature in QuickBooks Online is great. It can help small business owners really get a grasp of their business and understand where their finances lie. In our firm, our clients love this feature because we provide them with training and the knowledge on how to run this section and their business so that they feel in control.

About the author

Nadine Chetty is an Accountant and Cloud Accounting Specialist. She is also a QuickBooks Certified Advisor and a member of the QuickBooks Trainer/Writer Network. Nadine is based in Johannesburg and the co-founder of Ecomm Accounting Solutions – www.ecommaccountants.co.za. The practice provides clients with Accounting, Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation, Training, Payroll, Invoice Processing and Business Consulting Services.