How Reimbursed Expenses Work in QuickBooks Online

There are many cases, maybe too many cases, where we find we need to know how reimbursed expenses work in QuickBooks Online.

You get the process on the outside. The operational side of this is simple. You buy something on behalf of your client, and you want a way to track that, so that the next time you invoice your client, you can get reimbursed.

QuickBooks Online has the features needed to accomplish this, but there are a few considerations. On the operational side, it’s very simple. We spend the money on behalf of our clients, and now we want to get reimbursed. When it comes to how reimbursed expenses work in QuickBooks Online we have to think about how the information is going to be presented on the financial statements. This is exactly the kind of thinking I teach in my course called Bookkeeping Fundamentals with Cloud Accounting Applications.

The expense is simple, right? I pay for something, and book it to (eg) Office Supplies. When I get reimbursed, the question is, how to I want that part presented. The way reimbursed expenses work in QuickBooks Online, I can have it come in as an offset to the expense, or I can have it come in as income.

My preference is to have the reimbursed expenses come in as income. It’s just cleaner this way in my opinion. Especially if you decide to mark up the reimbursed expenses, then your expense might go negative, if you are running the reimbursements back against the expense account. Handled this way, the reimbursements show up as positive number in the income section of the income statement, instead of a negative expense. The expense, of course is a an expense, and the net reimbursement, minus the expense is still the same.

Whether you agree with me or not, on how to book reimbursed expenses in QuickBooks Online, you have the choice. It’s in the settings, and that is why it’s important to understand how reimbursed expenses work in QuickBooks Online.

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