How to Enter Expenses Into QuickBooks

Entering your expenses into QuickBooks lets you see how and why you are spending money, and where you can cut costs to improve the bottom line. Entering expenses also simplifies the tax filing process. To enter expenses into QuickBooks, create the expense account in your chart of accounts and record the expense using the Enter Bills function.

Setting Up Expense Accounts

To enter expenses, your QuickBooks chart of accounts must reflect your business expense categories. If the expense account doesn't exist yet, set up the expense account in your chart of accounts.

  1. From the QuickBooks home page, navigate to the Chart of Accounts. 
  2. Click Account at the bottom of the page and select New
  3. QuickBooks will open a New Account window. Under account type, select Expense.
  4. In the account name field, write the name of the account. For example, you might write Salary Expense or Rent Expense. If you use account numbers, write a unique number in the Number field.

Enter the Expense

The easiest way to enter expenses into QuickBooks is to use the Enter Bills function. Doing so allows you to keep a record of invoices received, notes them in accounts payable and debits the expense account for the bill amount.

  1. From the QuickBooks home screen, navigate to the Vendors menu and select Enter Bills.
  2. Input who the bill is from in the Vendor field. If the bill is for an existing vendor, choose the vendor's name from the drop-down menu. Otherwise, write in the vendor's name and hit enter to save a new vendor.
  3. Enter the vendor address in the Address field. If the bill is for an existing vendor, the address field should prepopulate. Review the address to ensure it's correct. If the bill is from a new vendor, enter the address that the vendor wants the payment sent to.
  4. Under date, write the date listed on the bill or invoice. Fill in the the amount due and the bill due date. If the invoice contained an invoice reference number, write it in the Ref. No. field.
  5. Choose an expense account that best represents the nature of the bill. For example, if the bill is from your electric and gas company, choose Utility Expense. If the bill is from a lawyer, choose Legal Expense or Professional Fees, depending on what's listed in your chart of accounts.
  6. If the bill has fees that span across multiple expense accounts, click in the Account field and enter the second account name. Split the amount across the two expense accounts as necessary.
  7. Click Save.

About the Author

Based in San Diego, Calif., Madison Garcia is a writer specializing in business topics. Garcia received her Master of Science in accountancy from San Diego State University.