Reports to Monitor Job Costs

Unless your business is shut down to the pandemic, you have jobs in progress or already completed so it’s worth knowing just what job costing data you can pull from QuickBooks. Here are a few job cost reports to help you monitor your progress and profitability – perhaps some you didn’t know existed!

  • Estimated vs Actual – I’m a big proponent of some version of your estimate being in QuickBooks because the rest of your data is there. Why not be able to look at your reporting in one place?  Found in the Jobs, Time & Mileage reports

Job Cost Reports

  • Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs – When I was doing the books for a landscaper, bills would come in and I wouldn’t know which jobs they were for so I had to wait to ask someone. But what if I forgot to ask?? This report helps ensure that all costs that are to be costed to a job, are. (Not all expenses are job related, like rent and advertising.) The last thing you want is to find out after you invoiced your customer that some billable costs were missed. This report is found in the contractor reports in Premier and Enterprise.

Job Cost Reports

  • Billed/Unbilled Once the work is done, you want to get those invoices out the door! Here are a few reports to help you review.
    • By Person and Job (found in the contractor reports in Premier and Enterprise) –This helps you monitor your billable labor costs.

Job Cost Reports

  • Unbilled Costs (found in Jobs, Time & Mileage reports) helps you track your unbilled costs – important for Time & Material invoicing!

Job Cost Reports

  • Job Progress Invoices vs Estimates (found in Jobs, Time & Mileage reports)- Most times, the bookkeeper has no idea on the status of the job, so it’s up to whoever is overseeing the project to let the bookkeeper know an invoice needs to go out and verify it did, in fact get sent to the customer. The Job Progress Invoices vs Estimates this lets you see if you are up to date for invoicing on the project.

Job Cost Reports

  • Open Work Orders (Work Orders are Sales Orders in QuickBooks, found in the Sales reports in Premier and Enterprise) – Just as you can invoice off an Estimate, you can invoice off a work order. Open Work Orders means you haven’t invoiced your customer yet – or at least not entirely.
    Job Cost Reports
  • Cost to Complete – for your larger projects, this report helps you see if you will still come in at or under your original costs. Perhaps due to weather or some unforeseen issue, you are behind, or maybe the job is progressing faster than originally expected.  So for this reports, YOU decide how far you are on the project – 10%, 50%, etc.  Then based on your estimate, your actual costs to date and the percentages you enter for the different tasks, this report calculates your cost to complete the job and whether you are over or under your estimate. This is a report where negatives numbers can be a good thing!
    Job Cost Reports
  • Committed Costs – is an Enterprise report found in Jobs, Time and Mileage. This report pulls in your open Purchase orders, Item receipts and unpaid wages (if you use Basic, Enhanced or Assisted Payroll), which are costs that don’t show in the Cost to Complete report. Very helpful for monitoring large projects.
    Job Cost Reports
  • Work in Progress (WIP) – Many of you with larger projects track WIP. For some, you can’t invoice or run reports until you have these numbers – usually those who invoice based on Percent Completion.  If you are in QuickBooks Pro or Premier, you’ll have to run a couple reports, export to Excel to calculate (or maybe you already have some elaborate spreadsheet). Depending on the number of jobs, this can be a time-consuming project.  But with Enterprise, it just takes a few seconds! Found in Jobs, Time and Mileage reports.  This might even be worth bumping up to Enterprise. (We can help you price so you can decide – just let us know.)
    Job Cost Reports
  • Job Profitability Detail – I prefer this to the P & L by Job because I like to keep the Chart of Accounts simple and have the detail in the Items list, which is the basis for this report. This is probably not an under-used report, but an easy one to point out a common issue.

Job Cost Reports

If you see No Item followed by a number (especially if it’s thousands or tens of thousands), then you have a data entry error and possibly a setup error as well.

If you have to rely on spreadsheets, it could be because you either don’t know about some of these reports or something in your setup isn’t right and therefore the reports aren’t providing useful information.  Our Common Costly Mistakes report covers the main mistakes people make in setup.  Let us know if you don’t have that report.

So what report(s) have you missed out on that would be beneficial?

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