QuickBooks handles billable expenses capably, but it's critical that you understand the process thoroughly before proceeding.
Billing for inventory parts is easy. Pick the items from a list and specify a quantity. Poof. Done. Billing for costs, time or mileage is a little more complex. QuickBooks has built-in tools to help you do this, but it's a bit of a process.
To simplify your workflow, do this groundwork first:
Go to Edit | Preferences | Time & Expenses | Company Preferences. Click the Yes button under Time tracking and indicate your choices under Invoicing options. If you plan to mark up some costs and want a default number, enter a percentage and account (these can be changed on individual invoices).
Figure 1: As you do with other QuickBooks processes, make sure that your Preferences are set correctly.
Add any billing items necessary by clicking Lists | Item List and then Item | New in the lower left corner.
If you plan to bill for mileage, go to Lists | Customer & Vendor Profile List | Vehicle
List and enter information about every business vehicle.
Invoicing for Services
If you're a service-oriented company, you bill for time frequently. This is easy. You're probably already familiar with the Enter Time entry in the Employees menu. Whether you make individual time entries or complete a timesheet, it's critical that you make the correct selections for each Customer: Job, Service Item and Payroll Item field, and check the Billable box.
When you create invoices, this box will open after you select a customer:
You can let QuickBooks enter the time totals now, or add them later by clicking the Add Time/Costs button. Either way, the Choose Billable Time and Costs window opens.
Add a checkmark next to each entry that should be billed, and click Options . . . to indicate whether you want one line for each time entry or would rather combine all similar service item types.
Figure 3: QuickBooks wants to know which entries should be invoiced.