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Understanding job cost reports

Watch a 5-minute tutorial about using job costing reports

You can use job reports in QuickBooks to learn which jobs are making money and which jobs are losing money. These reports help you invoice customers, create better estimates, analyze how well each job is progressing financially, and identify problem jobs before it's too late.

To view these reports, go to the Contractor menu, choose Job Costing, and click the report you want to view.

You can also go to the Reports menu, choose Jobs, Time & Mileage, and click the report you want to view.

Job Profitability Summary and Detail reports

These reports give you a snapshot of your jobs so you can see which jobs are making money and which are not. The Summary report shows revenue, cost, and profit for each of your jobs. The Detail report drills down into a job, and shows revenue, cost, and profit by item for that job.

Print the summary or detail report before you invoice a customer to help ensure a job's actual costs aren't running too high or low in relation to its invoices.

The summary report gives you a good idea of where each job's actual costs are in relation to its invoices. You can use it to make sure your costs and profits are covered and you stay on top of invoicing your customers. For example, if you invoice your customers each week on a lump sum basis, this report will help you analyze exactly what the costs are to date and how much you've invoiced so far.

Once you've invoiced 100 percent of a job, the summary report will tell you how profitable that job was overall. For example, if the actual cost of a job was $10,000 and you invoiced $17,000, the $7,000 difference is gross profit (profit before counting overhead costs).

The Job Profitability Detail report shows a single job, broken down by items. This is particularly useful if you set up your items by job phase. You can then use this report to help invoice a job on a percentage-complete basis by phase. Since this report gives you a good idea of where each job's actual costs are in relation to the amount you've invoiced the customer for that job, it will help you decide how much you should invoice. For example, if you invoice a job based on how much work has been completed on each phase of construction, use this report to analyze exactly what the costs are to date by job phase and how much you've previously invoiced. Then you can quickly produce an invoice for the job by phase of construction.

Once you've invoiced 100 percent of a job, the detail report will give you an idea of a job's profitability by phase. For example, if phase 01-Plan-Perm's actual cost is $500 and its actual revenue is $600, then the profit is $100.

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary and Detail reports

Use these reports to see how accurate your estimates are and to improve your future estimates. This might be the most important use of job costing information.

The summary report compares estimated costs and revenues to actual costs and revenues for all of your jobs. This report is especially useful if you have many small jobs that last a short time. Use it to adjust estimated costs if you find that certain types of jobs consistently have lower profit margins.

If you see a big variance on an individual job, use the detail report to compare estimated costs and revenues to actual costs and revenues by item within that job. The detail report may also be more useful to you if you have large projects with many phases that span several months or years. If you set up your items as job phases, the detail report will give you a good idea of which phases of a job were over or under estimate.

Job Costs by Vendor and Job (or by Job and Vendor) reports

Use these four reports to make sure you don't overpay vendors. These reports show you exactly how much you have spent with each supplier or subcontractor for each job.

Use the report that presents the information in the way that best suits your needs. The detail reports include all the expenses on the summary reports, as well as all the transactions that make up the expenses. For the Job Costs by Vendor and Job reports, expenses are grouped and totaled by vendor (supplier or subcontractor). Then for each vendor, expenses are further subtotaled by job. For the Job Costs by Job and Vendor reports, expenses are grouped and totaled by job. Then for each job, expenses are further subtotaled by vendor.

Cost to Complete by Job Summary and Detail reports

Use these reports to calculate the expected cost to complete your jobs. Consider reviewing this information on a regular basis to find out which jobs—or which phases of a specific job—are over or under estimate while there's still time to make adjustments.

The Cost to Complete by Job Summary report gives you a snapshot of the expected cost to complete all your jobs. The Detail report shows you the expected cost to complete each item of a specific job.

Job Costs Detail report

This report lists each individual transaction for each job you have set up in QuickBooks. It is useful if you need a report that breaks out all material supplier purchases, all subcontractor bills, and all labor costs (including labor burden) for each job.

You can filter this report to include only one job. Click the Customize Report button, click the Filters tab, and then select Name in the Filter scroll box. Click the Name drop-down list, choose the desired job, and then click OK.

Unpaid Bills by Job and Unpaid Job Bills by Vendor reports

These reports show what you owe to vendors, grouped by vendor or job. Use these reports to manage your cash flow and make sure you pay your bills on time.

The Unpaid Bills by Job report lists bills you have not yet paid, sorted by customers and jobs. This report is particularly useful if your standard practice is to pay vendor bills for a specific job when you receive a payment from the customer. After you receive a payment, you can print this report and proceed to the Pay Bills window. The report can help you decide which vendor bills should get paid now and which you may wish to wait to pay.

The Unpaid Job Bills by Vendor report lists bills you have not paid, sorted by vendor or subcontractor. This is useful, for example, if you get a call from a vendor and you need to know quickly if that vendor has outstanding bills that you haven't paid.

Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs report

Use this report to help identify costs that you may have forgotten to pass along to your customers. It is important that all job-related costs get assigned to a job. Otherwise, your job cost reports will not accurately reflect all costs, making your jobs look more profitable than they really are. This report is particularly important if you invoice a customer on a Time and Materials basis, as you might miss invoicing the customer for costs that don't get assigned to a job.

By default, this report lists all your expenses. You can filter this report to show only job-related costs (and not overhead expenses). Click Customize Report, click the Filters tab, and then select Account in the Filter scroll box. Click the Account drop-down list, choose "All cost-of-sales accounts," and then click OK.

Job Progress Invoices vs. Estimates report

For each customer or job, this report shows whether or not the estimate is active, the estimate total, the total invoiced from the estimate on progress invoices, and the percentage of the estimate already invoiced on progress invoices.

This report gives you an idea of how much has been invoiced to date (in dollars) and what percentage of that amount is of the total estimated costs. Run this report to check whether the actual job site progress matches up with the percentage invoiced. For example, if you get a project status report from the field each week, compare the field's estimated percentage complete to the % Progress on this report. They should be similar. If the information from the field estimates a higher percentage complete than the % Progress report, you may be behind in your invoices to the customer. If the % Progress report has a higher percentage complete than the actual field progress estimate, you may have invoiced more than you should have in the last billing cycle.

Item Profitability report

This report summarizes how much money your company has made or lost on each item (service or inventory item) that your company sells.

Item Estimates vs. Actuals

This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated costs and revenues for the items you sell. The report compares estimated cost to actual cost and estimated revenue to actual revenue for all items.

Profit and Loss by Job

This report shows how much you are making or losing on each job. The report includes subtotals for each type of income or expense so you can see where money is coming in and where you are spending it.

See also

KB ID# H_CONT_RPT_JOB_COST
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