Job Cost Reporting With Accounting Software

In the market for new accounting software? Wondering what features you need to help make decisions easier and maximize profits? If so, make sure that you look for software with job cost tracking abilities. This reporting capability can provide the micro-level insight that you need to increase profits.

All accounting software will provide you with big picture reports that summarize your net income, however it can be difficult to see the break down of profits in companies that complete multiple jobs or projects, such as contractors. This is what a job cost module in financial software does – provides reports of the profitability of each job, in real time, instead of the entire organization.

Job cost reports are created when the software tracks things like man hours spent on a project. This is similar to tracking hours worked for an hourly employee, but can be used with salaried workers as well.

Armed with this data, users can then compare the cost per hour of the project (to date or upon completion) with the revenue per hour of the project. Therefore, the profitability of the job can be seen on an hourly basis instead of a project basis, allowing decision makers to make changes to labor, etc. during the project to reach the target profit margin.

When you can see the profitability of each project as it progresses, decision making becomes much easier. If you can see that a certain project has a cost per hour that is too high, changes can be made to lower the cost per hour of the project moving forward so that the project results profitably. These calculated decisions are easy to make with simple reports, require less time to make, and reduce the need for reactive or seat of the pants decision making. They can also help plan future projects that are similar in scope.

However, be aware that job cost reporting is one of the less talked about features in accounting software reviews. Therefore, you need to know exactly what you are looking for when investigating potential software solutions. Some things to look for are:

* How much detail does the program provide? Can it track job costs?
* Can costs be tracked in real time?
* How much ability does the user have to manipulate and change job cost data after it has been recorded? Can the software create custom reports?

Since job cost reporting is not used as often as things like accounts payable tracking and payroll reporting, you will likely have to do a bit more digging to answer these questions.

But, when you find the right software and use the job cost reporting feature properly, you will see that it provides exactly the kind of insight that you need to improve your efficiency and get the most from your work. This is why accounting software with job cost reporting is almost always preferable.

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