Job Costing Overview

This help topic briefly describes the records required for Job Costing and the order in which they must be created: simply follow the underlined links to view related information.

See Job Template Overview for an overview of the use of Template files to help build your job structure.

I. When Should New Jobs be Created?

At this stage of the discussion we need to define when a new Job would be created. If we looked at jobs as shoe-boxes and we put all the receipts (or costs) into separate shoe-boxes, how many shoe-boxes would we use and when would we choose to start a new one? With this view of a job there are at least three reasons to use a different shoe-box.

A) A new project is started that has defined beginning and ending points, along with defined objectives and tasks to be performed (albeit them subject to change). It is desirable to track costs, progress, budgets, etc. against this specific body of work. This is a traditional concept of a job that applies nicely with a construction model. It is quite easy to see why we would want a separate shoe-box for this work.

B) There may be stack of receipts for costs that are not specifically attributable to work done for clients. Even though these costs are for administration, marketing, or training, it still may be desirable to budget, breakdown and analyze these costs. This functionality will be handled by creating what will be referred to as overhead jobs.

C) Finally, let us discuss bundles of work that refer to classifications of work such as service work, or preventative maintenance work. One might choose to start a shoe-box to store all receipts/costs associated with the work-orders for a particular client site. Even though there is no beginning or ending point, a job may be used in this way. It is important to understand that since job records are children to client sites it is necessary to have at least one job/shoe-box per client site.

Since the actual job costing structure on your system is dependent on the nature of your business and the types of jobs that you do, be sure to look at your existing jobs (and related records) in your system to see how they were set up. Job-related records can be cloned (created from existing records) in one simple step, so you will be able to create new records based on an established structure very quickly. If you are setting up jobs for the first time, we recommend contacting your Data-Basics support representative.

II. Checking Underlying Records

The system uses the records listed on the General Ledger, Client Site and Payroll tabs to drive many of the Job Costing functions. Therefore, details regarding job structure can only be worked out once these underlying records are in place. We suggest that you use the following check-list to ensure that the records that you require for Job Costing are set up properly.

GL Setup Checklist
Jobs cannot be set up until your chart of accounts has been set up and your GL Entities (profit/overhead centers) have been established.

__ GL Account Type (enables grouping on financial statements, and is required for GL Accounts)
__ GL Accounts (these records will define your firm's chart of accounts)
__ GL Entity (identifies your firm's profit/overhead centers; required for departmentalizing)
__ GL Entity Group (may be used to group GL Entities for reporting purposes: optional)

Invoicing/Reporting Setup Checklist
Your Job-related records will reference records which define invoicing formats, labor rates, and so on. If all of these records are in place before you begin to create your jobs, you will find that it progresses much more smoothly, and that information will not be missing when you begin to bill your customers.

__ Labor Rates, Labor Rate Tables (define billing rates for your employees)
__ Material Rate Tables (for Material Markups, if applicable)
__ Other Rates and Other Rate Tables (your rates for Other charges)
__ Rate Schedule (defines the beginning and ending dates to be used with Labor,
  Other and Material Rate Tables used for billing the job)
__ Sales Tax Authorities and Groups
__ Billing Worksheet and Invoice Id's (the formats that will be used to print your firm's customized
  Billing Worksheets and Invoices); contact Data-Basics if these have not yet
been established for your company.
__ Code Code Level 1, Level 2, and Projects (optional for reporting)

Payroll Setup Checklist
Since you will be assigning time to the jobs that you create, the Employee and Pay Type records should be in place even if your firm does not run the Data-Basics Payroll module.

__ Earnings, Deductions, Pay Type (required for Payroll and Job Costing)
__ Payroll Tax, Worker's Comp Records (required for Payroll)
__ Earnings Groups, Deduction Groups, Unions (required for Union Payroll)
__ Employee Type (optional for reporting)
__ Employee

Prevailing Wage Jobs
The Job record’s Prevailing Wage tab provides overrides for time entered on this job in the Labor Journal, Remote Labor Journal, and Work Order Labor screen. This supports Prevailing Wage payroll so that union and non-union workers can be paid in accordance with the prevailing union rate specified for government jobs. See Job Prevailing Wages Tab for details on completing this tab.

Registry options enable you to control how prevailing wage overrides are implemented. If you only wish to implement them for Job Cost Codes flagged as Field, click Registry Entry Global Settings: Field/Office in the Labor Journal, Work Order Labor tab.

Cost Category Setup
Cost Categories determine how you want your reports to break out. At least 3 Cost Categories must be defined: one each for Labor, Material and Other charges. If you use subcontracting, you would also create a Cost Category for subcontracting charges. You can make cost categories as detailed as you want for job costing or as simple as one for each type of expense. Remember that Cost Categories are not Job-specific.

Note: If you will be billing for PM Work Orders as the work is done, you will also need to create a cost category (e.g., PM Work) with the "Other" cost type selected.

Customer Setup Checklist
The level and detail at which jobs can be monitored and tracked is directly associated with the structure and detail with which customers have been created in the system. In order to offer greater A/R and Job Cost flexibility Data-Basics' software splits the concept of customer into two records: Clientsand Client Sites. In brief, the Client record will control AR monitoring, while job and invoicing records reference the Client Site.

__ Client
__ Client Site

Note: The Job Clone Wizard enables you to create and edit Job, Job Cost, Job Billing Item and (optionally) Client, Site and Equipment records from the Job record itself.

Service users may prefer to use New Call to create client, site and job, job cost, job billing item and equipment records from a template. See New Call (New Client Site): this feature is most useful if you are creating a work order at the same time as setting up a new customer.

III. Creating Job Records from Scratch

This section discusses the order in which you would create Job-related records "from scratch." You would need to do so if you were starting on a new job whose costing and or billing requirements did not resemble any of your existing jobs in the system. (Note: in most cases, you will be able to "clone" a new Job (along with its associated Job Cost Codes and Billing Items) from an existing structure. This feature is discussed in section IV).

Jobs and their related records (Job Cost Codes and Billing Items) would be created in the following order:

__ Create the Job Record
__ Create the Job Billing Item Record or Records
__ Create the Job Cost Code Record or Records

Hint: if you create these records in error, you can delete them in reverse order (Cost Code, Billing Item, Job) if no history has been attached to them.

IV. Cloning Job-Related Records

Once the job structures used by your firm have been well-established, you will be able to create a whole new set of job-related records (the Job Record and the Job Cost Code(s) and Job Billing Item(s) that belong to it) by using the Job Clone Wizard.

Click image\clonejob.gif to learn about cloning job, client, client site, equipment, job cost code(s), and billing item records.


V. Jobs and Budgets

If you enter Budgets with your Jobs, the Job Progress viewer will allow you to directly adjust the Percent or Cost to Complete as the Job progresses. Click on Update Job Progress to learn more about this feature.

The Progress Billing Analytic may be used by project managers to update job progress from the web.