The main budget screen looks like this:
Seeing the Entire Job’s Budget or Just One Department
The drop-down at the top of the window lets you choose Entire Job or any department that is associated with the job. (If the job only has one department, these views will be the same.)
Total Budget: When you come into the budget, you always come to the Total Budget tab first. This gives you an overview, so it is the one you will most often use when you are monitoring the budget after it is initially set up. It combines labor, subcontracting, and materials for each activity. You may need to scroll to the right to see all of the columns and/or scroll down to see all of the activities. To change the estimated amounts, you can do so from this tab by clicking on the amount in the total estimate field, which will open a screen so you can individually adjust the labor, sub and materials estimated amounts. Then select save.
Labor, Sub, and Materials: These tabs show the respective amounts for labor, subs, and materials. If an activity has subactivities, they will be broken down on these tabs but will be combined on the Total Budget tab into a single line. This allows you to provide different amounts for the subactivities and still have a total amount for the activity. You can adjust these amounts if you need to. These tabs also show you what the status of the activity is and its allocation percent that was setup in the Main System Setup for it.
Earned Revenue and Billing: The information on these tabs have been incorporated in to the Work in Progress Report.
Activity: This column lists all production activities that have been added to the job file for the job or selected department. By production activity, we mean activities where you actually do something for the customer like painting, or replacing carpet, or checking moisture. Activities like doing the initial estimate, sending a bill to the customer, or doing a customer satisfaction survey don’t produce anything for the customer and aren’t generally budgeted in this way; they’re typically addressed in the labor burden (departmental overhead costs). The activities setup indicates whether each activity is a production activity or not; if you have not selected yes this activity should show up in the labor/budget managers, the activity won't be listed here even if it is part of the job.
Total Estimated: This is the amount of the total job cost that is associated with this activity. It is expected that this amount includes all profit and costs for this activity.
Allowed Expense: This is the amount of the estimated sale amount that you expect to spend on direct costs. This amount is determined based on the Activity Cost setup for the activity. For example, if your cost setup indicated that 40% of Framing/Rough Carpentry should go for labor, then if you entered $1,000 in the Estimated Sales column, Chronicle would calculate that $400 of this is allocated for labor.
Total Cost: This is the actual amount that this activity has cost to date. For labor, Chronicle calculates cost based on what is entered on the Labor Entry screen and on the employee’s pay rate. For example, if you enter 8 hours labor for an activity and the employee makes $15/hr, Chronicle calculates a cost of $120 and reflects it here. For materials and subcontracting, cost is determined based on what is associated with the activity in your accounting program. Cost isn’t shown on the Materials or Sub Budget tabs because Chronicle doesn’t currently have any way of telling which costs from your accounting program are for materials and which are for subcontractors. You can see the sum of the materials and subcontracting costs on the Total Budget tab.
Total Margin: This shows the difference between what is allocated and what you’ve spent so far. For example, if $400 was allocated for an activity’s labor and so far you’ve only spend $250, then you have a margin of $150; that is, you have $150 left to complete the activity within budget, or, if the activity is done, you have a profit of $150 beyond what you expected. On the other hand, if you $400 was allocated for labor and you’ve spent $500 for this activity’s labor, then you’ve spend $100 more than you were supposed to—this is shown as ($100)—and you’re in danger of losing money on this particular activity. Lines with a negative margin are shown in red to warn you of a potential problem.
Labor Estimated Sales: This amount comes from the estimate column on the labor budget tab. It shows the default budget breakdown percent for the labor on that activity as determined by the Main System Setup or as manually entered on the total budget tab.
Labor Allocated: This amount is calculated from the percentages that you used in the System Setup.
Labor Cost: This amount comes from the Labor Manager and shows the accumulated hourly cost of each employee who worked on this activity.
Labor Margin: This is the difference between the amount of labor you have to spend and what is left to spend.
Sub/Material Estimated Sales: This amount shows the sum of the estimate column on the sum budget tab and the material budget tab which is the sum of the default budget breakdown percent for the sub+materials on that activity as determined by the Main System Setup or as manually entered on the total budget tab.
Sub/Material Allocated: This shows the sum of the amounts in the allowed expense columns of the sub budget and material budget tabs.
Sub/Material costs: This combined amount is imported from Quickbooks and is the actual sub+material costs. These amounts are entered in Quickbooks as a payable or a bill.
Sub/Material Margin: Amount remaining to be used.
Status: This indicates whether the activity is Pending, Active, or Completed. This is significant since it tells you whether the costs and margin are likely to be final or whether more changes are likely to come.
Options: You are able to enter and show columns for up to two estimated supplemental amounts (you must import these numbers). Or you might want to make a comment about the estimated amount or even print the budget.
Refresh: Gets the latest information and refreshes the figures on the screen. You only need this if, while the budget is open, you make changes elsewhere in Chronicle that affect the budget. For example, suppose while looking at the budget, you noticed that some labor is missing. If you enter that labor without closing the budget and reopening it, you must click the Refresh button to see those changes reflected.
Cost Detail: For labor, this lists each employee labor entry (with activity, subactivity, cost, date, and hours) that contributed to the labor cost.
For material and subcontracting expenses, this lists each expense that is associated with the current job and activity in your accounting program.
You can also get to the activity detail by double-clicking any line in the table.
Audit Log: The audit log shows who changed the amount budgeted for an activity.
Export to Excel: Exports the budget to an Excel spreadsheet so you can print, perform additional calculations, and so on.
Cancel: This discards changes made since you last saved, and it closes the budget.
Save: This saves any changes you’ve made to the budget while still keeping the budget window open for further viewing or changes. Once you click Save, the Cancel button will no longer undo those changes.
Save & Close: This saves any changes you’ve made and closes the budget window.
Lines in red indicate that your costs for that activity exceed what is allocated for that activity. This could be because you exceeded the budget or it could be because no Estimated Sales amount was entered for that activity yet.
Totals for each column are shown at the bottom. If you have more activities than fit on the screen at once, the totals are for all activities and not just for the ones you can see. (The scroll bar at the right lets you see the other activities.)
If any payments in your accounting program have been associated with the job but aren’t linked to an activity (item in the chart of accounts), a box appears at the bottom of the screen that lists them. If you enter expenses correctly in your accounting program, you'll never see this entry.
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