How to Account for Shipping Costs in Quickbooks


Bookkeeping may seem daunting, but Intuit's Quickbooks software makes it simple for small businesses to keep track of their shipping costs and income. So long as you make sure you enter all of the bills as they come in, and you account for all of the shipping costs you charge your customers, you can be sure to keep all shipping costs accounted in your books. The two areas you need to address is what you charge your customers for shipping and what you pay your shipping company.

Charge Customers for Shipping

  • Click on the "Customers" menu, and click "Create Invoice."

  • Choose a customer from the drop-down list.

  • Under the items section of the invoice, use the drop-down list on each line to choose the items sold to that customer. Add a Sales Tax item if you need to.

  • Add a new item at the end of the invoice from the drop-down list. Enter "Shipping" as the name of the item. Select "Service" or "Non-Inventory" from the drop-down menu in the type of item. Assign the tax code for shipping if you can collect sales tax on shipping in your area. This differs depending on where you are doing business. Leave the price at $0 and the cost at $0.

  • Press the "Save" button on the item.

  • Adjust the price of the shipping on the invoice to reflect what you are charging that customer for that shipment. Print or email the invoice to your customer and press the "Save" button at the bottom.

Pay Vendor for Shipping

  • Select the "Vendors" menu, and click on the "Enter Bills" option.

  • Choose the Shipping company from the drop down menu labeled "Vendor," and change the billing date to the one listed on the bill.

  • Enter the amount due in that field, and make any notes in the memo field. Under the "Expenses" tab, choose "Shipping" from the drop-down list.

  • Press the "Save" button.

  • Click the "Pay Bills" option in the Vendor menu. Check the shipping bills you want to pay the way you want to pay them. Push the "Save" button under the payment method. If you write checks, rather than printing them, you may need to adjust the check number to the one you used to write the check.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have paid bills in quickbooks, make sure you pay the bill that same way outside of quickbooks, using online bills payment, credit card, check or cash.

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