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“Job Costing” comes in many shapes and sizes.  Almost every business has it’s own definition and indeed many systems will have a unique definition of the term – sometimes just to claim the system accommodates “job costing”.

We will offer our definition of “job costing” and illustrate specific job costing solutions.

Small Tradesmen:  ServiceM8 released a job costing component in 2016 which is – in our opinion, the best, most understandable, easy to use job costing component we’ve reviewed.  The ServiceM8 team have avoided all the silly rules we bean-counters think are important and provided a solution virtually every tradesman can easily use and understand.  Guaranteed to give you a snapshot, bird’s eye view of where the job is headed to.  Have a look ServiceM8 – Job Costing  and/or get Help & Support with ServiceM8.  More illustrations of ServiceM8:  Job Management

Small Tradesman who thinks like an Accountant:  Reckon Accounts Desktop and Reckon Accounts Hosted – which is actually driven by legacy QuickBooks by Intuit code  provide an outstanding job costing solution.  The downside is that the system is driven by accounting rules.  To achieve any accuracy, someone in the business must understanding the underlying accounting concepts.  The system is also limited to ‘real dollars’  When you staff $20/hours – that’s the cost that updates job costing.   Accurate?  No it’s not.  The real cost of labour is higher than what you pay the employee on an hourly basis.  The ‘soft’ additional costs are difficult – almost impossible to deal with in this small accounting system.

QuickBooks Desktop is no longer available to businesses in Australia and New Zealand.  For the job costing functionality, we can however use Reckon Accounts.  Reckon Account claims to have changed the QuickBooks Name …. I can assure you they did not change the name !  Reckon Accounts is using the same base code (legitimately !) as QuickBooks.  Although the base code is very old, the job costing component still works fine.

Reckon Accounts job costing functionality is summarised here:  Reckon Accounts – Job Costing.   We have been configuring and supporting QuickBooks Job Costing systems for many years.  Contact us via Help & Support.

Larger/Complex – Business  MYOB EXO Business   offers a purpose built Job Costing module which enables more sophisticated transaction processing including the ability to cost material and labour as a value other than the actual initial direct cost.  EXO is a blend of both conventional accounting concepts and the ‘full costing’ concept – generally able to satisfy both the bean-counter and project managers requiring more realistic costings.

EXO Business is utterly outstanding for generating customised reports – responsive to the needs of almost any definition of ‘job costing’.  Standard reporting will almost always need customisation to achieve  business specific requirements

Your business has an agreement with a customer to provide products and/or services.  In most jobbing environments, the emphasis will be focused on the services component.  Job attributes and requirements can include:

  • The Quote & Acceptance by the customer
  • Scheduling
  • Staffing
  • Time Tracking
  • Sub-Contractors
  • Progress Reporting
  • Documentation
  • Costing Materials Used
  • Invoicing
  • Profitability Analysis

The systems challenge faced by your business will be:

  • Very specifically refine the requirements definition, identifying which of the attributes/requirements listed …. or ones you have added are of primary importance.
  • With the defined road map, identify the appropriate system module(s) most responsive to the requirements ensuring the modules are compatible, can be integrated and avoid redundant data maintenance.

We do not believe there is a small business, affordable systems solution in a box which does everything.  We can however configure multiple systems to work in harmony, efficiently and effectively responding to each and every requirement.