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Accounting methods for invoicing customers

Record income in one of two ways:

The timing and way you enter an invoice into QuickBooks (typically called recognizing revenue) is the basis for the accounting method you select. The decision about when to book income creates issues for both the contractor and the accountant. Selecting a method of accounting depends on the average duration of your jobs. If you are a specialist whose jobs are of short duration, you will probably want to use the completed-contract method. Otherwise, you will probably want to use the percentage completion method. Follow the links above for more details about each method.

You should use the same accounting method for all your jobs, and you should understand both methods before selecting one. The IRS doesn't allow you to switch back and forth between the methods without going through the proper paperwork, so it's best to stick with one method. Consult with your accountant or the IRS if you need more information.

Both invoicing methods assume that you use accrual basis accounting.

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