Nothing wrong with that--but automation can save you a lot of time once it's set up.
We do something similar, we use a numerical code for everything.I've never found QB to be a good stand-alone solution for job costing--at least from a reporting and management standpoint.
I have a series of reports in excel that we use to track job costs on a weekly basis. If you've never been exposed to Percentage of Completion accounting, I would definitely take some time to research as it can save you a lot of money and a lot of headaches.
I've never found the cost codes that come in most software/accounting systems to be very applicable/user friendly for remodeling so I established my own. We use 33 code categories and each code has sub-codes for material, in-house labor, and subs.
In QB, I've set up items for each code:
Code 17 is framing--which is what all of my guys use when they turn in a time sheet or a receipt. In QB 1701 is material, 1702 is in-house labor, and 1703 is subs. When a receipt or check is made in QB--it is recorded to the job name and item number it pertains to.
We then output reports on a weekly basis that show costs in each code category to date, and input those into our Work in Progress reports. These show a running total of estimate vs actual costs on a job--an invaluable tool from a PM perspective.
I've searched for a long time to find an integrated solution, that merges seamlessly between estimating system, accounting system, etc. I don't think it exists. For me, the combination of QB for recording and excel for management reports has yielded the best results.
Hope some of that made sense. PM me if you need more help.
Whether it's a paper or computing solution comes down to putting in the time... organizing or inputting it... that's the biggest challenge IMHO...
No, but my dad and grand dad did for years. Worked well from what they said.
It's horribly wrong to consider doing it without a computer. If you do job costing with paper and pencil, you are in practice limiting yourself to adding up the receipts for each job, and knowing what the total is. Realistically, you'll be the only person who can ever make sense of a paper system, and you'll never have any real ability to look at your accounting data. You could spend hours figuring out whether you estimated the foundation correctly, or you can run a report that tells you how profitable all the pieces of the house were, where your mileage costs are going, etc. If you ever hire a bookkeeper or accountant, the first thing they'll do is switch you to a computer-based system.Nothing wrong with that--but automation can save you a lot of time once it's set up. ...
Amen. I didn't get in this business to spend a bunch of time counting beans. I do quick calculations of payables and payments. If that number jives with my profit margin then I move on to the next job and spend time with family.I use the profit and loss per job report on quickbooks. Except I am plagued with not enough time in the office too, I am not doing that with most of my jobs. But I look at sales and marketing as my top priority in my business, accounting my second. Some will disagree and tell you to make accounting your first priority, but if I am limited in time then my attention goes to sales and marketing, not to accounting.
All of our foreman start a folder for their jobs. All material tickets, rental tickets, receipts etc go in the folder. If you just keep everything in one place in the truck then input it into a program or excel file nightly/weekly could help. My partner is in the field 99% of the time and he keeps an accordion file in his truck with all estimates I email him and any other info on the jobs.
I will also second this! When we first started the business we tried Quickbooks online, but it cost us in a huge way. We couldn't figure out how to add the labor costs from payroll to the jobs. Even the "expert" on Quickbooks from the accountant couldn't figure it out. Cost us over 25k to get the year end stuff done and figure how to charge all the labor from the accountant to the jobs. Bought the computer based software that will let you charge payroll to the jobs and it cut the bill in half or more. Having the program will save you time and let you look at your business profits ( hopefully not losses) much easier.You'd be surprised at what a good job costing system will teach you about where your money is going, where you're efficient, where you're inefficient, etc.
It will help your estimating by leaps and bounds.
My accountant is fond of counseling me to make sure "the juice is worth the squeeze"... I.E.--make sure the effort you put into your systems yields meaningful results.
After-the-fact costing is better than no costing--but far too many guys don't look at where the money is going until tax time. They see money coming in, money going out, and as long as the pluses are greater than the minuses they don't pay munch mind to the details.
That's a mistake I made for far too long. Even a single owner/operator business can benefit from a basic costing system.