QBO and Job Costing

I’ve been nagging the great crew over at QuickBooks Online (QBO) about job costing. And by nagging, I mean relentless nagging, just ask them. If they heard from me one more time I swear they were going to consider yanking my certification and kicking me out of the Pro Advisor program. Well I am happy to say, they will not be listing to me harp on this topic any more.

QuickBooks Online is an intuitive, robust, cloud based accounting program. I love using it and so do my clients who have made the move to it. But I wasn’t putting my own business on it because I job cost. I have a marketing collateral side to my business, and we job cost for it since there are many suppliers and freelancers on each project, or job if you will. There can also be quite a few invoices going out to my clients. So I faithfully tracked all the income and expenses and knew to the penny what my margins were on each job. QuickBooks Desktop does an awesome job (get it) of this. So awesome I was scared to move my business completely over to QBO.

I have 3 of my businesses fully on QBO as well as using it for invoicing my Calmwaters Business Consulting company. It’s a great program and I really wanted to do away with the double entry of my invoices into QBD, and I wanted the “pay invoice online” feature & Hubdoc integration (those are two happy whole new topics).  Plus, I can work on my 27″ iMac, which at my age, with my eyesight. So I took the plunge last week and migrated my file over to QBO (which is super easy to do, but again that’s a whole other topic).

QBO has a feature that accomodates sub customer levels, a great description of using it can be found on the Sleeter.com website, which means essentially you can job cost, but it’s not nearly as efficient or robust a feature as in QBD.  And you have to really watch what winds up on the customer line of the invoice. What shows up is dependant on how you name the “job” so you need to be vigilant about double checking your address lines before you hit send. In addition, you have to search around and customize reports to get the information you really need; but it works, and I’ve been happy with. It’s not seamless, it’s awkward, but the cost-benefit ratio is in favour of adopting it for Calmwaters.


I’m not migrating my job costing clients whose businesses live and breathe this way of managing their companies. QBD has done such a great job of this feature that I can’t bring myself to subject them – and me – to the pain points involved with sub-customers-as-job-costing. Ironically, these are precisely the same customers who I would love to integrate with Hubdoc, because we’re drowning in paperwork and data entry!  Luckily I only have a few of these and I’m happily nattering away at the balance of my desktop (or other program) to “get with the program”, the cloud program that is.

So I’m done nagging the QBO gang about this. I know it’s on their list of features that they are adding, but they have bigger feature-fish to fry right now, so I’ll wait quietly while they get to it.


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