If you aren’t using Chronicle for job costing or budgeting now, you don’t need to set up the budgeting rates as these rates only apply to budgeting. You can set up them up at whatever point you begin doing budgeting with Chronicle.
- In the Main System Setup, click the Labor/Budget tab.
- Go to the Activity Budgeting tab.
- Select the department to customize Production Activity Rates for.
- Double-click the corresponding cells in the grid to change the department specific percentages.
Each activity can have an activity rate which is defined as a % of the estimated amount for that activity. This amount can be used for direct expenses on labor, sub, and/or material costs. These calculations are done in the Budget when you manually enter or import an estimated amount into the budget for an activity. Depending on how you run your business, if you sometimes use your own employees and you sometimes use subcontractors for a particular activity, set up both labor and subcontracting rates. If you never use subcontractors for an activity, you don’t need to set up subcontracting rates. These do not need to add up to 100%.
- These rates can be directly entered as percents or you can have Chronicle calculate a percent for you by converting the hourly/unit rate to a percent.
Mapping a Chronicle activity to an Xactimate activity and determining that Xactimate activity’s budget breakdown is done at the same time. Start by selecting the Chronicle activity you want to work with and adding the Xactimate activity to the Xactimate description list. To keep things your Chronicle activity list in clean, map several Xactimate categories to it, when possible. For example, you have a flooring activity but Xactimate has several activities for flooring. Map them all to the single activity of flooring.
As you map activity to activity you will also need to enter the budget breakdown percentages. These percentages are meant to be standard settings for all jobs for this particular activity. Once Chronicle has done the initial calculations in the Budget manager, you can fine tune those amounts on a job by job basis. These percentages here in the Main System Setup give you a baseline to start the job and adjust as the job progresses. The Xactimate activity percentages for labor, sub, and materials must equal 100%.
Using the example above:
To get a better idea of what these percentages are doing, let's say we were going to charge $100 for a demo.
In the Budget Breakdown for the demo activity, we have decided that $90 is the estimated portion for the labor budget and $10 is the estimated portion for the materials budget, as we might need to rent a dumpster.
Chronicle will then look at the Production Activity Rates and see that 80% of the materials budget ($10) is $8 and enter that into the Budget as the allowed expense for that activity. This leaves us with $2 for overhead/profit. Likewise, Chronicle will see that labor is 20% of the labor budget ($90) is $18 as the allowed expense for the labor part of that activity leaving us with $72 for overhead/profit.
The rates used here are just examples. For example, you may not charge for dumpster rental. In that case, you would for the production activity rate, enter 100% of the $10 is to be used for dumpster rental.