How to Use QuickBooks For Job Costing – Understanding Job Cost Reports

QuickBooks offers a plethora of standard job costing reports designed to give you the information you need to manage your customer and jobs.  Some of these reports are only found in the Contractors and Accountants editions, but many are available in other versions of QuickBooks as well.

Jobs & Profitability Reports:

These reports can be found in Pro, Premier and Enterprise in Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage.  

Job Profitability Summary – This report summarizes how much profit your company has made from each customer.

Job Profitability Detail – This report drills down to the detailed costs and revenues for each job phase you billed to the selected customer or job, so you can see which parts of the job were profitable and which parts were not.

Item Profitability – This report summarizes how much profit you have made from each item or job phase you sell.

Profit & Loss by Job – This report shows how much profit you are making or losing on each job.

Unbilled Costs by Job – This report lists the costs you assigned to a specific customer or job but have not yet billed as reimbursable expenses.

Job Estimates Reports:

These reports can be found in Pro, Premier and Enterprise in Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage. 

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Summary – This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated job-related costs and revenues. The report summarizes estimated to actual costs and estimated to actual revenue for all customers.

Job Estimates vs. Actuals Detail – This report drills down to the detailed costs and revenues for the selected customer or job. It compares estimated to actual costs and estimated to actual revenue for each job phase you billed.  That way, you can see which parts of the job you estimated accurately and which parts you did not.

Job Progress Invoices vs. Estimates – This report compares each estimate with progress invoices based on the estimate. 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.

Item Estimates vs. Actuals – This report summarizes how accurately your company estimated costs and revenues for the items and job phases you sell. The report summarizes estimated to actual cost and estimated to actual revenue for all your items.

Estimates by Job – This report lists all active estimates assigned to a customer or job.

Open Purchase Orders by Job – This report shows the remaining purchase order line items that have not been received and their expected delivery date for each customer or job.

Job Costs & Bills Reports:

These reports can only be found in the Contractors and Accountants editions of QuickBooks.  Some of them are also available in the Professional Services edition.  

Costs to Complete by Job Summary – Once you enter how far along each of your jobs are, this report summarizes the cost to complete each of your jobs that have active estimates. It also shows how far you are over or under your estimate.

Costs to Complete by Job Detail – This report drills down to the detailed estimated cost by phase to complete the selected customer or job, and how far you are over or under your estimate.

Job Costs by Vendor and Job Summary - This report lists the job-related expenses you have incurred for each job, subtotaled by vendor.

Job Costs by Vendor and Detail – This report shows a detailed list of all the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Job and Vendor Summary - This report lists the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Job and Vendor Detail – This report shows a detailed list of all the job-related expenses you have incurred for each vendor, subtotaled by job.

Job Costs Detail - This report lists the expenses you have incurred for each job. This report is useful if you need to break out all material supplier purchases, all subcontractors bills, and all the labor costs for each job.

Unpaid Bills by Job – This report lists the bills you have not yet paid, sorted by customers and jobs. It lists only bills with an associated customer or job. This report is useful if you wait to pay vendor bills for a specific job when you receive a payment from the customer.

Unpaid Job Bills by Vendor – This report shows all bills you have not yet paid, sorted by vendor or subcontractor, and lists any customer or job associated with each item on the bill.

Expenses Not Assigned to Jobs – This report lists expenses that you have not assigned to a customer or job, totaled by vendor. Use this report to help identify costs that you may have forgotten to pass along to your customers.

Job Status – This report lists information for each active customer and job.

Customizing Reports:

One of the wonderful things about QuickBooks is how easy it is to customize reports and then memorize them for future use.  At the top of each report is a Modify Report button.  Here, you can change the way it looks as well as move, sort and subtotal the data in it.  

An even more powerful feature is report filtering.  Each filter represents a specific way you can restrict the scope of the report. When you select a filter, QuickBooks displays fields for you to fill in. The fields ask for information that QuickBooks needs to know to apply the filter to the report.

Once you have a particular report customized just the way you want, you can easily memorize it for future use by clicking the Memorize button.

If you need additional assistance, please call our QuickBooks technical support line at 888-351-5285.  We are here to help you get the most out of QuickBooks!

Employed in One Job Application?

I often get asked by job seekers, is it possible to get employed in just one job application? Of course the answer is yes, but it is difficult to make that positive and hence employed result consistent.

However, it is possible to become employed in far fewer job applications than 200 made over four months, the current statistics for the average job seeker. There are far better and more effective job application techniques which can easily get you employed in less than 30 days.

Job Interview = Dating

As an experienced recruiter or employer knows, the predictability of job search is impossible when it comes down to predicting the outcome of a job interview. Like many recruiters and HR professionals, I see this stage more like a dating exercise than a predictable or controllable set of outcomes. Much as though I may think that candidate A may be better, the employer hiring manager may like the equally good candidate B better – it’s just human chemistry!

So while interview technique and briefing each party may well allow good recruiters to achieve a 65% or slightly higher mix and prediction ratio, I have rarely seen many get consistently better results.

The interview stage is hence the biggest risk in trying to get employed in one job application, and it all comes down to human chemistry. That’s not controllable, but it is predictable.

Telephone Interview

Much like placing any job application, it is easily possible to pass a Telephone Interview, if you have read the job advert and have the required competencies – a Human Resources term for skills, qualifications and experiences (SQE).

The difference between a job application and telephone interview is quite simple: format of the communication. The information actually sought by the employer is not any different or often more extensive than that required in the job application. The only additional test is that what you claimed in the job application can actually be backed up with confidence in the telephone interview.

Job requirements?

I have always said, and wholly believe, that every essential requirement of the desired suitable job applicant can be found in the job advert. Yes, you can wholly improve your chances of gaining employment if you research and read around and about your potential employer – by as much as 200%, as you then read the wider interests of the organisation. But everything you need to known that the ideal job applicant should have is in the job advert.

Yet, time and time again, job applicants fail to read job adverts. I had considered that this was because job applicants couldn’t read, and it was but a poor reflection on our nations education system. But as it affects all categories of job application, I conclude in part this problem is derived from a candidates own drive, giving them what could be termed beer goggles!

Simply, the desire to be employed and get that dream job obviates and replaces an individuals ability to read a job advert. They read the title, look at the pay, and with jobs boards making it so simple, they just click to apply.

Communication and Rapport

One of the areas that I have concentrated on in the last five years is the most effective process by which to get employed. But it was only recently in conversation with a professional coach friend of mine that the final piece of the explanation as to why this process worked in the jigsaw of communication, and hence successful job application, clicked into place.

I said to her that I was now convinced that I had tracked the most effective process for any job seeker to get employed, and told her about some of the key tactics and decision points. I said to her that I knew that this was creating a better communication and hence engagement with the potential employer and hiring manager, but wondered if there was another factor at play by which to explain what was happening?

As an engineer by training, I had concentrated on effectiveness of process. In summary the job seeking system gets the job seeker ahead of the competition and closer to the hiring manager, effectively what a good recruiter does to win recruitment business. But as an NLP trained coach, she immediately understood what the process was creating: both the right communication at the right time; but also as a result, the right rapport with the employer and hiring manager. Thus in communication terms, it’s not just about what you communicate, but when, resulting in a build up of the right rapport; and hence employment.

Employed in one job application

We were recently approached by a potential client who wanted us to write her a Cover Letter, a service which we no longer provide as a stand-alone option. After talking to her, the office staff asked if I could directly talk to her, where by as a long term job seeker she needed some considerable help.

This lady was, like many long term job seekers, looking at a poor set of statistics and long term unemployment over 90 days, when the average job seekers success ratio has fallen by two thirds. She had seen a job that she really wanted, was fully technically qualified for, and having written her CV, all she needed was the perfect Cover Letter. Could we help?

I talked the job through with her, and as she had the supporting evidence of both the job advert and the job description, I could have fully analysed the job with just this information. But after a bit of searching – OK, 5 minutes in total using some very easily learnt boolean search techniques around Google, LinkedIn and the employers website – I managed to find a biography profile for the hiring manager.

System of how to get employed

Using all three of these pieces of information – job advert, job description and hiring manager biography – I created an SQE priority sheet. Some of these were hard technical factors associated with the job description, while some were soft factors, mainly associated with the profile of the hiring manager. I then compiled the priority sheet, and checked it using a simple technique to assure myself that the match between employer requirements and job application was as perfect as it could be. I have used this later technique in some job markets where there are very few jobs or employers, and it works superbly in gaining better job application statistics.

From the checked sheet, I then compiled the required Cover Letter, and again checked the output using the check technique on both the Cover Letter and her draft CV. Both were then adjusted again. I then got the job applicant to check the priority list using a very simple technique which both follows the defined employers application process, as well as breaks it. This is in no way an immoral or risky technique, but it drives through the candidates advantage and confirms the priority sheet.

Hiring manager job application

Interestingly at this point, something happened which I didn’t expect and yet was not surprised by: the employer offered our job seeker customer an Informational Interview! At this point after such a long period of unemployment, I had to temper her enthusiasm: honest, it’s just an informational interview outside of the formal HR employment process, which you will still later have to go through. You can get as much information about the job at this stage, but also need to treat it as a formal interview.

I knew the Informational Interview had gone well, as she called me two hours after the designated time slot that she had been allocated. The first piece of news was that the formal interview process was to be held two days later, and the second piece of news was that they had asked to undertake a formal background check, and should she agree? I asked her to think for five minutes about key issues that she wanted addressed, and were there any open questions left on the Informational Interview table? We hence compiled a follow-up thank you letter, accepting the interview date and confirming the ability to start background checks. Seven days later she started her new job!

Employed in one job application: possible, but…

I don’t, as I said at the start of this piece, believe that there are a fixed set of outcomes which can be wholly controlled to get employed in one specific job. The job interview comes down to human chemistry, which means that the outcome is at best a 65% chance of success.

But I do believe that job application technique, when best learnt and applied against the most successful techniques, it is possible to get employed quickly and in a timely manner. The reason the average job seeker presently gets 1 telephone interview per 20 job applications, and spends four months job searching is poor technique. If any of them figured out that it’s costing them on average nearly £10,000 in both lost income and additional costs, they would quickly do something much better, much quicker.

Simply put, if you can find 50 suitable jobs for which you are skilled and qualified for, then there is no reason why you should be unemployed. It really is that simple if you know the right job application technique. Plus, if you know it well and have access to the right information, possible to get employed in one job application.

Good Luck!

Five Ways to Improve Your Job Search

Let’s face it, while sure it’s exciting, looking for a new job is hard work. The job market is flooded and resources when trying to find hidden job vacancies are few and far between. Refining and improving job search is vital when looking to land a great position.

We need to continuously improve on the way we search for jobs. By utlising online job websites to look for jobs you are extending your reach to all possibilities. By improving your job searches, you effectively find scarcer job vacancies and increase your chances of being placed in your dream job.

Here are five ways to improve your job searches.

1. KNOW YOUR RECRUITMENT RESOURCES:

There are vast recruitment resources available to job seekers. Consider the number of recruitment agencies as well as online job portals available for job seekers to make use of. The numbers are astounding. Before blasting your CV all over the Net, first research the job that you are interested in to make sure that it is what you are looking for. Both online recruitment websites and recruitment agencies need to be carefully selected in order to run better job searches. Remember that these are the companies you are selecting to represent you in your job search. Commission your skill to only those agents who promise measurable results.

2. REFINE YOUR JOB SEARCHES:

After registering with a reputable job portal, and have run your first job search, learn how to refine your job search. Job seekers new to online job searching should use a refined job search to improve their search results. Quick job searches are great when looking for broad search results. When looking for refined results uniquely filtered, advanced job searches will closely pinpoint less common vacancies.

3. MAKE USE OF JOB ALERTS:

A job alert (also known as an automated job search agent) is a terrific way to use job portal resources to their greatest potential. Job notification alerts are scheduled notices received in various formats such as email or RSS feeds to inform Job Seekers of related jobs that have been posted to a job portal. By pre-defining job criteria, a job alert (search agent) will monitor activity on the job website. Based on the job criteria and keywords detailed in your job alert, the system will automatically update and notify you accordingly of matching jobs. By receiving job alerts, job seekers are savvy to positions specifically relevant to them, as they are loaded to the job site. The early bird catches the worms and that’s why you want to be a prompt as possible when applying to important employment opportunities. Improve your job searches by making use of relevant job alerts.

4. DON’T NEGLECT ANY MEANS OF JOB SEARCH:

As discussed, there are various resources that a job seeker can utilise when hunting for a job. Be sure to make use of the job search resources that are most relevant to the success of your job search. Manage a healthy balance of utilising each available resource until you can identify with those that specifically assist your career. By making use of all the resources available to you, your job searches are bound to improve.

5. MAKE YOURSELF SEARCHABLE:

Job searching isn’t all just about you searching for employment opportunities. Recruiters and employers are also searching for job seekers. By registering with reputable online job portals you are allowing yourself to be found. Head hunters run searches on online job portals and recruitment databases, hunting for candidates. If you don’t play you can’t win, so be sure to advertise your CV where people know to look. While this is not a direct way to search for a job this will enhance the results of your job hunt significantly.

There are always new and innovative ways of improving any job search. All that job seekers need do, is tap into these advanced methods of job search and brace themselves for an influx of job interview requests.

Copyright (c) 2008 Camilla Patten