After a one-time setup process, using a job budget will give you a near immediate picture of where each job and activity are in relation to the estimate that you created when you sold the job.
Chronicle does this by automatically calculating a targeted costs for each activity in your job’s budget. To do this you must indicated in the system setup what percentage of each activity’s estimated cost is allocated to labor, sub-contracting, and materials. Then, when you set up the budget for the job, you must enter the dollar amount from the estimate that applies to each activity. From that, Chronicle can calculate what the labor, subcontracting, and materials cost should be for that activity on that job.
For example, let’s say your activity setup indicates that 22% of each painting activity applies to labor. If you indicate that $2,000 of a particular job’s estimate applies to painting, then Chronicle calculates that $440 is allocated for labor costs. As you enter labor hours for this job and activity, Chronicle lets you know whether you are over or under budget. For example, suppose the employee working on this job makes $15/hr. If you enter 24 hours of labor for this employee for this job’s painting, Chronicle automatically calculates that $360 has been spent on labor and that this activity is currently $80 under budget.
If need be, you are able to change budgeting amounts as the job changes to keep labor within the allowed amount.
In the Main System Setup, the one-time setup involves:
- Linking of Chronicle activities to QuickBooks expenses can either be to an account listed in the Chart of Accounts or to an item in the items list (preferred method). This is a one to one relationship. (If you create and use subactivites, these are not linked to the Chart of Accounts. They fall under the activity that is already linked.)
- Setting up the activity budgeting percentages so Chronicle knows how much of the amount should be budgeted for an activity and applies to labor, subcontracting or materials.
- Mapping all of your Xactimate categories to Chronicle activities. You can map multiple Xactimate categories to one Chronicle activity.
- Enter employee pay rates so Chronicle can calculate labor costs. (This will require updating of pay rates as time goes on.)
On an on going basis:
- The activities you are budgeting for must be added to the job file.
- In each job's budget indicate, either manually add or import from the Xactimate estimate, how much of the estimate applies to each activity.
- Use the labor manager to enter employee hours for each job/activity.
- Adjust budgeted amounts as you go along.
- If you use subactivities you will need to take the total amount for the activity and manually divided it between the subactivities on the individual tabs of labor, sub, or materials. You can track the labor costs for the subactivity from these tabs. On the Total Budget tab you will see these combined when looking the main activity.
- If you have an activity that comes in under budget and another one that is over budget you can lower the estimate for one and raise the estimate for the other.
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