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The Difference Between a Customer and a Job in QuickBooks

What are the differences between a customer and a job in QuickBooks?

One of the key differences is how your customer list will appear within QuickBooks. In the example below, Babcock's Music Shop and Chris Baker are the customers. Indented beneath each customer name are the jobs that relate to them - for Babcock's Music Shop, there is a job underway called "Remodel" and for Chris Baker, there are two jobs - "Family Room" and "Garage Repair".

Customers and Jobs

This particular business has opted to create a separate job within the customer file to track information that relates specifically to that project instead of "lumping" everything into the main customer account.

For example, when they go to create an invoice, they do it using the name of the job instead of the name of the customer. That creates a separate tracking of revenues for the job.

Another difference is this - you can take advantage of the "Jobs" tab that exists to track information that is specific to that project, as shown below:

Job Tab Details

If you only use the main customer account, the jobs tab above still appears, but it can only hoold information relating to one job, not all the different ones your business may be performing for a customer.


Keep in mind that the core QuickBooks software is designed to be used by all different types of businesses.

In many cases, this "job" feature of QuickBooks is never used and the business never misses a beat.

In others, the "job" feature is essential to help them track profit and loss by job, estimates vs. actuals by job and other key information the business owners want to see.


If you need to add a job, it's easy to do. Click the customer where you want to add a job so they are highlighted in your customer list, Then, just head to the top of the customer list, click the New Customer and Job button and then click Add Job. Fill in the details and you are good to go!

Need help sorting all of this out for best use in YOUR business? Click the Contact Scott button below and let's talk about your specific situation to see if I can help...





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Hi Shelley:

So what happens if you right click on your customer list and choose to "re-sort list" into its' original order?

Be sure the list is in hierarchical view to do the sort.

Hope that fixes it...

Scott Gregory

We use numerical jobs with our customers. Example 010113 may be for customer ABC Company and 010213 may be for DEF Incorporated.

I had our customers List in alphabetical order and the jobs were in decending order. Example, Job #010313 that was also for DEF Incorporated was listed above Job #010213.

Today, I clicked something that has caused the jobs to be grouped with other job #'s that are similar. Example 010312 is listed above 010313.

Do you possibly know how I can return my list to the way it was, without click and dragging? I have tried the Flat vs hierarchical view. However, that did not help either.

Thank you for your help.


You can name the jobs (and customers for that matter) however it makes sense for your specific needs.

You can label with a name, number or both - QuickBooks will accept any combination, whatever works best for you.

Scott Gregory

I have 10 jobs that we are doing for the CITY. So I created a customer account for the CITY and added job numbers for the 10 jobs under this customer. Each job will have a job number and this is also how we will file the paperwork in the file cabinet. Is it necessary to give the customer a number or is the name just ok?

ex. 13-01 CITY.....(or can this just be CITY?)
13-01.001 Main Street and North Dr.
13-01.002 Missouri Dr and River Street

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