Helpful, Under-Used Job Cost Reports

Now that the weather is warm, projects are gearing up and keeping up with job costs is important. While QuickBooks has several good job cost reports, here are Job Cost reports that often go under or un-used.

  • Estimated vs Actual – I’m a big proponent of some version of your estimate being in QuickBooks because the rest of your data is there.  Why not be able to look at your reporting in one place?  Found in the Jobs, Time & Mileage reports
  • Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs – When I was doing the books for a landscaper, bills would come in and I wouldn’t know which jobs they were for so I had to wait to ask someone. But what if I forgot to ask?? This report helps ensure that all costs that are to be costed to a job, are.  (Not all expenses are job related, like rent and advertising.) The last thing you want is to find out after you invoiced your customer that some billable costs were missed. This report is found in the contractor reports in Premier and Enterprise.
  • Billed/Unbilled Once the work is done, you want to get those invoices out the door!  Here are a few reports to help you review.
    • By Person and Job (found in the contractor reports in Premier and Enterprise) –This helps you monitor your billable labor costs.
  • Unbilled Costs (found in Jobs, Time & Mileage reports) helps you track your unbilled costs – important for Time & Material invoicing!
  • Job Progress Invoices vs Estimates (found in Jobs, Time & Mileage reports)- When you do contract pricing, this lets you see if you are up to date for invoicing on the project.
  • Open Work Orders (Work Orders are Sales Orders in QuickBooks, found in the Sales reports in Premier and Enterprise) – Just as you can invoice off an Estimate, you can invoice off a work order.  Open Work Orders means you haven’t invoiced your customer yet.
  • Cost to Complete – for your larger projects, this report helps you see if you will still come in at or under your original costs.  YOU decide how far you are on the project – 10%, 50%, etc.  Then based on your estimate, your actual costs to date and the percentages you enter for the different tasks, this report calculates your cost to complete the job and whether you are over or under your estimate. This is a report where negatives numbers can be a good thing!
  • Committed Costs – An Enterprise report found in Jobs, Time and Mileage, this will pull in your open Purchase orders, Item receipts and unpaid wages (if you use Basic, Enhanced or Assisted Payroll), which are costs that don’t show in the Cost to Complete report. Very helpful for monitoring large projects.


  • Job Profitability
    • Profit & Loss by Job
  • Job Profitability Detail – I prefer this to the P & L by Job because I like to keep the Chart of Accounts simple and have the detail in the Items list, which is the basis for this report.


If you have to rely on spreadsheets, it could be because you either don’t know about some of these reports or something in your setup isn’t right and therefore the reports aren’t providing useful information.  Our Common Costly Mistakes report covers the main mistakes people make in setup.  Let us know if you don’t have that report.

So what report(s) have you missed out on that would be beneficial?

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