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Job costing: allocating labor costs

I run a construction company in Quickbooks for Mac 2014.  I also use the quickbooks payroll service to pay my employees (which runs via an integrated web browser and exports accounting entries to the local software).

Job costing is very important to me. Specifically, I need to take a pay check (lets say for 100 hours) and allocate 20 to job 1, 30 to job 2, etc and have that flow through to my financial statements.  The problem I have is that the payroll service, which also calculates the wages and taxes, has no concept of “job”.  The consequences of this are that when I input hours to pay employees, which generates the wages and taxes, it’s all lumped together into a single line item when it exports into the accounting software thus there is no job costing.  I have made a work around by doing all the job allocation percentages and math in excel and then going back to edit the payroll entries manually, but it’s a nightmare.  What’s the solution for this?  Get off of a mac?  Get a new payroll service?  This seems like a basic feature that should be there!

bonus: my workman’s comp policy payments also allocates as a percentage of gross payroll, which is a similar concept/problem, and I’d love to solve that at the same time

Thanks very much in advance


Solved
Best answer 12-10-2018

Accepted Solutions
BRC
Established Community Backer ***

Yes, it's a basic feature, but Intuit Online Payroll, whi...

Yes, it's a basic feature, but Intuit Online Payroll, which you're using connected to QB Mac, does not support job costing.

For the features you want, it seems QB Windows and the desktop payroll offering would be perfect.

29 Comments
BRC
Established Community Backer ***

Yes, it's a basic feature, but Intuit Online Payroll, whi...

Yes, it's a basic feature, but Intuit Online Payroll, which you're using connected to QB Mac, does not support job costing.

For the features you want, it seems QB Windows and the desktop payroll offering would be perfect.

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I am having this same issue with QuickBooks Windows Contr...

I am having this same issue with QuickBooks Windows Contractor Edition. I have spent HOURS trying to figure it out and 6 hours on the phone with Intuit and QB with no help at all
Established Community Backer ***

Probably should create a new question and identify your s...

Probably should create a new question and identify your self as QuickBooks Windows.
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You are right, what you are doing is a nightmare.  I have...

You are right, what you are doing is a nightmare.  I have never heard of QB payroll handling job costing but would love to hear if it does.  My clients all require job costing but that comes from time sheets in my world, not from payroll service.
The other issue you mention, with the worker's comp is another issue with QB Payroll not separating labor from fringe.
Established Community Backer ***

I believe Intuit Online Payroll has a time sheet function...

I believe Intuit Online Payroll has a time sheet function and may due job costing from that - I'm not sure.
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I have heard it only does hours for billing, but maybe th...

I have heard it only does hours for billing, but maybe that was based on QB version.
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Partition your mac for the Quickbook Windows version....

Partition your mac for the Quickbook Windows version....
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Read eHow that says QB will do job costing and it provide...

Read eHow that says QB will do job costing and it provides some basic instructions....Haven't tried it but on the surface it sounds like it works....at least for the "direct costing" of labor and materials.  I'm also interested to know if there is a function that allows for spreading indirect overhead cost.
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You can code direct costs to jobs and there are some ways...

You can code direct costs to jobs and there are some ways to allocate indirect cost, but not based on indirect rates unless you pull all the cost out of QB into Excel to first compute the indirect rates and allocations to jobs in Excel and then make manual entries to allocate those same indirect costs by job.
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I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time tracking and payroll in QB for Mac. Why would they leave this functionality out? It works perfectly in QB Pro, Premier and Enterprise for Windows. My client is determined to use QB for Mac so switching to Windows is not an option. I tried the online time sheets available with the payroll service for QB mac and it's useless. The MyTime app is slightly better but you have to "bill" the hours to the customer in order to get useful cost data and at this point it's not viable to do our billing that way. I've had to resort to breaking each paycheck down by hours and customer times the hourly rate and entering the taxes as a negative posting to Accrued Payroll Liabilities. It's a real nightmare.

Established Community Backer ***

Submit feedback through the QuickBooks->Feedback menu on...

Submit feedback through the QuickBooks->Feedback menu on how you'd like MyTime changed to make it better serve your requirements.
Established Community Backer ***

Intuit Online Payroll may support it for QuickBooks Windo...

Intuit Online Payroll may support it for QuickBooks Windows and QuickBooks online - I'm not sure.  It doesn't support it for QuickBooks Mac unfortunately.  I know QB Windows and Desktop Payroll does support this.

Frequent Contributor *

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

If you can't get what you need here or from QB, I can share another solution that I use, don't sell.

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Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

I am a novice with QB who is now running the financials for a construction company.  I am using QB desktop contractor premier 2016.  Is there a way to allocate ovhd and non-comp costs like worker's comp, PTO, vehicle expense, etc to specific jobs to show profitability without affecting the overall totals on the P&L?

QuickBooks Team

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Good day, @mtrainor1969.

 

Welcome to the Community space. I can share some insights about allocating overhead and non-comp costs to specific jobs.

 

The Job Costing feature in QuickBooks Desktop allows you to track the expenses for a job and comparing them to your revenue. The accuracy of the reports is according to how you set up each item with appropriate information.

 

Yes, you can allocate overhead and non-comp costs like worker's comp, PTO, vehicle expense, etc to specific jobs to show profitability without affecting the overall totals on the P&L. For in-depth information, please refer to this article: Track job costs in QuickBooks Desktop.

 

I also recommend seeking an accountant for an expert's advice in setting up your transactions to ensure there will be no problem with the books in the future.

 

Keep me posted if you have follow up questions about job costing. I'm still here to help you further. 

Established Community Backer ***

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

@mtrainor1969

 

Here is what I recommend. This is called "$0 Bill" method.

Create an Other Charge item linked to an Other Expense account. Use it on a Bill for a new vendor name = Burden Allocation. On the Items tab, list the burden and job allocate, reiterating as often as required.

On the Expenses tab, post the same total but as a negative, to the same Other Expense account. This entry is Not job tracked.

Hit Recalc. This bill ends with $0; the data is a wash in your financials but the Job Item will report as if it is a Job Cost.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Oh, for this: "PTO"

 

That is Never job tracked; that is Overhead. You need to know what to track that is direct, indirect, and allocated = the cost Doing Your business; Vs Administrative = the cost of Being In Business. PTO is never Job Tracked, but you can factor for Labor Burden.

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Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Thank you so much for your patience and advice.  I did this and it seems to work just as advertised.  

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Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Thank you so much for your patience and advice.  I tried it and all seems to work as advertised.  It is too bad there isn't a way to put these per hour costs, by worker, into the system so that when weekly hours are entered, by job, the costs reflected show the true burdened cost without having to do the $0 Bill method to add those additional costs in as an extra line item.  

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Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Thanks HLG for responding back with some helpful information.   Much appreciated!

 

 

Established Community Backer ***

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

I agree PTO is usually indirect cost, though I would consider it Fringe vs. OH since base differs.

Never say never, sometimes PTO is charged Direct on Jobs in GovCon industry, for example, if contracts are subject to SCA (Service Contract Act), where employees are guaranteed certain pay rated per DOL (WD) Wage Determination, which usually includes specific benefits including PTO. 

QuickBooks Team

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Hello again, mtrainor1969.

 

Thank you for getting back and letting me know you're able to follow the recommendations given. 

 

Keep me posted if there's anything else you need or if you have other QuickBooks questions. Take care!

Established Community Backer ***

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

HLG - The link you provided said this:

 

  • For overhead expenses: Expenses not caused by any specific job (rent, office supplies, etc.) should not be assigned to a Customer:Job. However, you might still want to see these expenses on job costing reports. To do that, create a dummy Customer:Job called "Overhead" and then assign all of your overhead costs to that fake job.

What are the options for allocation to jobs once you accumulate costs in a Fake OH job?


 

QuickBooks Team

Re: I am very frustrated by the lack of integrated time track...

Hello there, @Teri.

 

Allow me to share some additional details on how job costing works in QuickBooks Desktop.

 

This part of article you’re referring to is used to track transactions for recording purposes only. These are the transactions that are not specific to the current job you’re working. Rather, this is your company operating expenses.

 

Keep me posted if you have other questions about job costing in QuickBooks Desktop. I’m always here to help. Have a great day ahead!

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