3 Ways to Handle Vendor Bills (Yes, You Still Have to Pay ‘em)

A question from a soon-to-be BillQuick Customer (I’m a positive kind of guy!) echoes similar questions asked in demos and training by architects, engineers, accountants and other professional services firms.

We use subcontractor engineers to support the existing billable employees.  We have a mark up for the cost of the subcontracted engineers.  What is the correct way to enter the estimated costs, and actual costs for these subs?  Do we treat these costs just like employee mileage, hotel, lodging expenses?

The first step is to set up the subcontractor as a Vendor.

BillQuick can handle vendor invoices in several ways, depending on the desired invoice presentation and payment policy.

#1 Pay When Paid

If you pay subcontractors when the firm’s invoice is paid (fully or partially), enter subcontractor bills on the Vendor Bill screen. You can enter time and expenses separately or enter the entire invoice as an expense.

Time flows to the Services section of a detailed invoice. Expenses flow to the Expense section on invoices.

When payment is received for the billed vendor’s work, a report pops up showing you how much of it to pay to the subcontractor.

#2 Time Entry, Expense Entry

Enter the subcontractor’s time on the Sheet View or Simple Time Card screen (select View by Vendor). The default or special bill and cost rates setup for the subcontractor will be applied automatically. The bill rate should reflect any “markup” you want to charge.

When billed, this information flows to the Services section of a detail invoice.

Enter the subcontractor’s expenses into the Expense Log screen. You can markup the amount by a percent or dollar amount.

The information flows to the Expense section on invoices.

The subcontractor’s invoice will be paid following the firm’s payment policy. There is no prompt or report from BillQuick regarding the subcontractor after payment. The time and expenses are treated the same as an employee’s.

#3 Expense Entry

Enter the subcontractor’s invoice amount as a single expense on the Expense Log screen. You can markup the amount by a percent or dollar amount.

The information flows to the Expense section of an invoice.

Again, it is treated like any other expense and there is no special prompt or report related to payment.

After the Fact Vendor Bill

If you decide after entering time and expenses items on their screens that you want to be prompted to ‘Pay When Paid':

  1. Go to the Vendor Bill screen
  2. Open a vendor bill or create a vendor bill (and save it)
  3. Click the Tools button and select Import
  4. Select the time and expenses you want to include in the vendor bill

Link Invoice and Receipts to Vendor Bill/Expense

You can also link a digital copy of a vendor’s invoice and attached receipts to individual time entries, expense entries, and vendor bills. These linked files can also be attached to an invoice to be emailed or printed with it.

(Linking files to project, expense, vendor bill, time, invoice and other records is a feature in the BillQuick Pro and Enterprise Editions.)


Bob Wolff

Bob Wolff is an accountant-turned-Channel Manager at BQE Software who helps to offer consulting and software solutions for BQE customers. He likes to share his business expertise here on the blog whenever he can.



  1. twichman@twichmanla.com' Todd Wichman Reply to Todd

    Which versions of BillQuick do these answers apply, all?

  2. Hi,

    Do these tips apply only to the BillQuick billing software? Or do they apply to handling bills from vendors in general?

    • PM,

      Not sure what your question is, but I’ll try. . . the tips use BillQuick to illustrate the points. In many financial accounting systems, you enter vendor bills in the A/P module then move things around to include them on an invoice. In BillQuick, you charge the vendor bill/expense to a project, making it naturally flow to an invoice.


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