Work Orders In QuickBooks

Before I started using QuickBooks I had a printed Work Order which I filled out by hand. I still occasionally (but rarely) use this if I'm out at a client's location and don't have access to my computer. Here is a sample of that old Work Order.

Since we started using QuickBooks for our bookkeeping, I've also learned to create just about all of our Work Orders in Quickbooks. This has several benefits. 1.) Once we've created the Work Order, the bookkeeping is also done at the same time. 2.) No more lost Work Order tags. When I was filling out the Work Orders by hand, every once in a while I would lose a Work Order. What a challenge. Now, if I misplace the Work Order, just print out another one. 3.) At the same time that I create the Work Order, the job is automatically put on my job schedule.

In QuickBooks, depending upon which version of Quickbooks you have, you can use either Sales Orders or Invoices as your Work Order. Probably because we've started using QuickBooks since 1998 with the Basic version (and then progressed to the Pro and now to the Premiere version), we learned to use Invoices as our Work Orders. We have created a number of Invoice templates that we have labeled as Work Orders. Depending upon what type of job or service, we use any of a selection of templates that we have created. In addition, we've created several templates with various sizes of text. For small jobs that don't require much explanation we've created a template with large sized text so that it will better fill up the sheet. Conversely, we've also created a template with small text, with the columns readjusted. This we use for jobs that require a lot of items with detailed descriptions. We also have other templates with regular sized text for average jobs.

How much detail you put on a Work Order depends on the size and the complexity of the job. Write out as much detail as needed to do the job correctly.

Here are some samples of Work Orders with various amounts of detail on them. (Click on each of them picture to see a full sized image. Then close that window to come back to this page.) All of these templates use a template with regular sized text.

Here is a short Work Order and a medium sized Work Order.


Here is a long Work Order and a full page Work Order


To make it easier to fill out the Work Orders I've prefilled many of the Item descriptions in Quickbooks with the generic text that is common to each item on all Work Orders. Here is a sample of the Orderable Fabrics Item. At the left click on the Item type "Orders:Fabric". The text shown in the middle is then automatically filled in. Then, just add, change, or delete any of the text as needed for each job:

Here is a sample of a Work Order as viewed when filling it out. The items were chosen in the left collumn, then all the text that you see in the wide Description collumn in the middle was automatically filled in. Then it's a matter of just altering each item line description as needed as needed for each particular job.

Generally I choose and alter one item at a time, but the all the items on the above invoice were all chosen to demonstrate the capability.

I've also set up these Work Orders to work with Reports that automatically keep track of the jobs that are in process.