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Community Contributor *

Projects - Uncaptured data and workarounds

Hi all,


There are a couple of things that still don't seem to be captured in all the right places on Projects, that I'd like to both chronicle, and get feedback on the workarounds for, particularly in the bookkeeping/accounting capacity. The items are all time cost related, but maybe there's some other things and time is just a symptom of this.


How Time seems to be pulled


For the purposes of costing it seems Time is pulled from payroll. This is an important point to remember, because should there be any amendments to a person's time card, Projects will only list those changes on the Time Activity tab, but not the blue "Costs" bar on the overview.


It's also worth noting that payroll expenses on that time (Employer Taxes), are not assessed at the time sheet level, and so this will not give you the same kind of costing as something properly captured through payroll on the Projects screen.


The Workaround


First off, I did not come up with this workaround, credit goes to Heidi M from the QBO Team and it's helped us get a much better view of our projects cost. The fix is a $0 sum journal entry, putting it back into the project for the sake reporting. My question for bookkeepers is: Should these adjustments be captured in the account they were originally intended for, or should the adjustment accounts remain expressly for these purposes? The steps for the work around are as follow:


  1. Create a new account with
    • Account Type: Expenses
    • Detail Type: Payroll Expenses
    • Name: Anything (I use Time Costs)
  2. Adjust the timesheets with the appropriate pay rate
    • Make certain to account for Overtime here
    • Hourly Cost can also be used here, but that feature doesn't seem sensitive to overtime or other special considerations as it is a special consideration itself.
  3. Once all the time is appropriately accounted for, you should see sum total under the Total Cost column of the Time Activity tab. Write this down.
  4. Create a journal entry with the following:
    • Line 1: Account:Time Costs     Debit: $XXX.XX     Credit: ---    Description: Something you'd remember     Name: Project you're allocating to
    • Line 2: Account:Time Costs     Debit: ---     Credit: $XXX.XX    Description: Something you'd remember     Name: ---
  5. The above should capture the Gross Pay for the job (Hourly Cost function withstanding). To capture the additional payroll expenses like Employer Taxes, you can either incorporate it into that journal entry above after you've calculated it, or create additional line items for them. I personally use additional lines for transparency.


The Hourly Cost


This function works wonderfully for straight time pay with additional considerations you plan for at the outset. What it doesn't seem to do, however, is adjust for unique paycodes. I can't verify if it overrides overtime as well.


The issue with this, that I witnessed, was a particular employee gets a special pay rate for certain projects. Let's just say $20/hr for special projects and $15/hr for normal ones. Via payroll, his time is mostly allocated into the correct paycode (There's a small fraction which allocates into overtime that I have to manually move over). I also happened to have set up his Hourly Cost according to his normal pay rate. What seems to be happening is, the Hourly Cost seems to be overriding his Time Activity while leaving payroll unaffected.


To correct this, I have to go into each time entry and adjust it to the correct paycode, but I imagine just deleting his hourly cost should be a sufficient fix for now.


Established Community Backer ***

Re: Projects - Uncaptured data and workarounds

Wow, can't imagine manually allocating cost by project via journal entry in this decade or last two.

Community Contributor *

Re: Projects - Uncaptured data and workarounds

As far as I've heard, Journal Entries are pretty commonplace. But in a project capacity, it's really very tedious. At the moment, however, I don't think there's an alternative. Just have to wait for QBO to evolve further.