The first step to automatically invoice customers or clients for reimbursable expenses is to set a QuickBooks preference.
For more information on handling reimbursable expenses, see our related articles on what distinguishes a reimbursable expense from other expenses, invoicing a customer for reimbursable expenses, removing expenses from the list of billable expenses to be invoiced to a customer, and finding out which reimbursable expenses haven’t been billed to a customer.
Click on the Edit->Preferences menu selection to open the Preferences window. On the Company tab, click on the Time & Expenses sub menu. Be sure that under the Invoicing options block, the preference to Create invoices from a list of time and expenses is checked. This preference must be set before entering vendor bills for which you plan to seek reimbursement from a customer or client by issuing an invoice.
If you select the preference Track reimbursed expenses as income, then the income – but not the markup – associated with billing a customer for each reimbursable expense can be sent to a specific income account as discussed below.
If you don’t specify an income account for each expense account, the income associated with invoicing a customer for a reimbursed expense will be sent to the expense account itself. The Default Markup Percentage is the percentage that the reimbursed expenses will be marked up. If your markup is a positive percentage – that is, you’re charging your customer more than the actual expense to account for administrative or handling charges – the markup is sent to the Default Markup Account. The amount charged to a customer excluding the markup is either sent to an income account you specify or to the expense account.
If you specify a positive Default Markup Percentage, QuickBooks will automatically create a new Item in your Item List – a Group named Reimb Group. With a positive markup, QuickBooks will automatically subtotal reimbursable expenses on an invoice and display the markup and the total of the markup and the reimbursable expenses themselves.
For each General Ledger Expense account that you’d like to match to a corresponding Income account, edit the General Ledger account by clicking on the Company->Chart of Accounts menu selection or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A. Select the Expense account you’d like to match to an Income account and edit the account by clicking on the Account button at the bottom of the Chart of Accounts window or using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + E. Click the checkbox for the Track reimbursed expenses in Income Acct. setting and specify the Income account in the pulldown list.
You must assign a different Income account to each Expense account. Otherwise, you’ll receive this warning:
Enabling the preference and setting the relationships between income and expense accounts for reimbursable expenses is just the first step in automatically invoicing customers or clients for these types of expenses. Other steps include marking expenses as reimbursable, finding uninvoiced reimbursable expenses, and removing an expense from the list of those to be billed to a customer.