Materials (Inventory) Used Screen

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 years ago

A Materials (inventory) Used Screen would be handy (in the contractor version anyway).

Most of my invoices are time & materials, so I enter time by the Time/Enter Single Activity screen, materials purchased for that specific customer/job are captured via purchase order & bills screen - so that when it comes time to raise the invoice I use the add time & costs which adds the time and purchased materials to the invoice.

This doesn't capture items that are held as stock though, these have to be manually added to the invoice. A materials used screen would allow inventory to be allocated against a job and then be picked up by the add time & costs screen when the invoice was raised.

Photo of Trevor Watson

Trevor Watson

  • 1,478 Points 1k badge 2x thumb

Posted 5 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Jason Hollis

Jason Hollis, Head of Product

  • 10,154 Points 10k badge 2x thumb
Hi Trevor,

You can actually get a full materials used listing (including inventory) per customer (or job) by going to...

Reports > Jobs, Time & Mileage > Job Profitability Detail


Hope that helps,
Jason
Photo of Trevor Watson

Trevor Watson

  • 1,478 Points 1k badge 2x thumb

Thanks Jason, but that's not what I'm after. What I am suggesting is a way to capture inventory used on a job so that it can be invoiced easily. When I hit the "Add time & costs" button I would like a tab that says Inventory Used just as there is for time, expenses, kilometres and purchases. Think of it as a work-in-progress tab or an inventory allocated tab.

The reason being is that jobs aren't all one visit, they can last days, weeks or longer - sometimes you might start a job and then because your waiting for other trades to do their bits you can't finish it for a couple of weeks. What I'm suggesting is a way to capture the inventory used on the first visit so that it can then be easily invoiced out when the job is completed.

Hope this explains it better. 

Photo of Mick Mullins

Mick Mullins

  • 100 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
We're looking at this also. After talking to the help line they have suggested we create an invoice for the material used. So each time we install items at the job site, we create an invoice for those items.
Going to make billing a bit messier and payments a bit trickier I think....can't see a better way of doing it though particularly as invoicing but not send this invoice to the customer though is the only way I believe to also create reports that include those items used on a job.
Photo of Jason Hollis

Jason Hollis, Head of Product

  • 10,154 Points 10k badge 2x thumb

Thanks for fleshing that out a bit more Trevor. I am with you now. Mick you are also on the right track.

Let me share my own experience with our family construction business where we ran the whole thing on QuickBooks Pro AU version (now called Reckon Accounts Pro of course).

Firstly the approach does depend on whether you use itemised invoices with sell prices per line or project type invoices (eg. Deposit, First Progress, Final, Retention etc... linked to a contract or scope of works). Let's look at the second scenario as this is the most common with businesses tracking WIP (work in progress) and jobs/projects that span several days, weeks or months. It is also more in keeping with Trevor's original post.

Secondly it is worth touching on how more expensive ERP / jobbing systems track inventory and WIP, as the key is to mirror this approach in Reckon Accounts.

In these systems, materials and time (and disbursements like travel) are 'issued' to a job, not as Cost of Goods Sold but as WIP (the accounting entry for Inventory used in a job is Debit WIP Asset, Credit Inventory Asset). In short, the more inventory you allocate to a job the higher the WIP value gets, and the more your inventory reduces. When the job is complete (or at an invoicing point) the WIP clears and it taken up by Cost of Goods Sold; Debit COGS, Credit WIP Asset).

Now we have the technical stuff out of the way, let's look at how we can replicate this in Reckon Accounts.

Basically we need to 'issue' materials to a job without creating a sell price or accounts receivable entry. To do this, we create a pseudo/ghost invoice (let's call it a job sheet) on a daily, weekly or job end basis depending on how you want to track your jobs.

As the reports come in from the field regarding materials used, you add these to the job sheet without sell prices. This reduces your inventory and increases your Cost of Goods Sold. Therefore, if you want to manage WIP, you run the journal report located on the invoice title bar to get the materials value, and reverse the COGS to show as WIP.

** There are ways to make this a seamless process, however the point of this response is to just give an overview of the concepts, not to go into some of the advanced actions you can do in the program.

*** Also note you DO NOT need to track WIP as it does add extra complexity - again it depends on your requirements and also the length of your projects.

At the end of the project, or at the invoicing/progress payment point, you run the report I mentioned in my first post to ascertain the materials used to-date, and either calculate the sell based on a margin, export to excel and add a sell per line item, or simply invoice out the fixed price you agreed to.

Time is captured using timesheets, and the time by job report is viewed in conjunction with the above report to gauge your charge-out or indeed your actual rate vs your expected rate or target rate.

Some other useful tools are:

  • Estimates created to use as project / job budgets
  • Customise an estimates template and use this as a job / project pick list for your site managers (or multiple copies for daily materials used reporting)
  • Combine time reports and job profitability reports as Excel exports to calculate job profit incl wage on-costs, and actual charge out rate (then benchmark against all of your projects to-date using simple excel formulas)
  • Create projects and job subcategories to better manage your WIP and invoicing points (eg. Customer : Project : Job : Stage/Component)
  • Used items linked to liability accounts to track unearned revenue and deposits

As you can see there are lots of variables and you can apply subtle variations based on your individual requirements, but hopefully this gives you an idea of what can be achieved in Reckon Accounts.


Kind regards,

Jason Hollis
Partner Relationship Manager - Business Group

(Edited)
Photo of Mick Mullins

Mick Mullins

  • 100 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Jason thank you very much for your input. It seems you actually understand the issue which is really helpful for us...I was on the help line for a long time last week to New Delhi or wherever the help line goes to and it was clear they didn't quite understand the contract side of the issue.
Thank you once again...we will be digesting your response in detail.
Photo of Trevor Watson

Trevor Watson

  • 1,478 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Thanks Jason  for pointing out alternative workarounds, but its still a clunky, inelegant solution.
Photo of Jason Hollis

Jason Hollis, Head of Product

  • 10,154 Points 10k badge 2x thumb

Hi Trevor, thanks for responding.

I think the important thing to remember is that Reckon Accounts is an accounting software product, albeit with greater job costing functionality 'pound for pound' than most stand alone accounting software products in the market.

However there are of course limitations to industry specific functionality that you would find in purpose built job costing software. We as a family business were aware of these limitations and made the decision to work within those limitations, but at the same time coming up with creative ways to provide some detailed costing information to ensure our business ran at maximum efficiency and profitability. All this within an accounting program with no third party add-ons except for Excel.

That being said, I am happy to discuss further options with you as Reckon have add-on products that specifically cater for advanced job costing environments, whilst maintaining the Reckon Accounts back end accounting ledger.

Please feel free to drop me a line at community@reckon.com - attention Jason Hollis


Kind regards,

Jason Hollis
Partner Relationship Manager

(Edited)
Photo of Inigo

Inigo

  • 6,320 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Jason, that was a very thorough explanation which certainly shows the capabilities of Reckon Accounts as a general purpose core accounting package in a great light.

A strong ecosystem of add-on products that caters to more specialized usage is preferred to a behemoth that tries to do everything.

Mick's expectation of what an entry-level support technician would be capable of understanding over the phone may be stretching it bit.

That said, if users are prepared to pay more for more advanced levels of support, then perhaps that can be catered to also.

This community is great and if more people lend their expertise and experience then it can only get better.

-IM

Photo of Mick Mullins

Mick Mullins

  • 100 Points 100 badge 2x thumb
Inigo I didn't know to expect only entry level technicians take the calls when we call Reckon for help. Is there another help line to get the actual help we need? I am only aware of the one.
Photo of Inigo

Inigo

  • 6,320 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Hi Mick,

There's just one help line I know of for end-users.

It is likely most technicians you'd get over the phone would have the basic training in how the software functions and what it can do.

There will also likely be some 2nd level support internally that those 1st level support can turn to.

So if 1st level can't solve it, it goes up the chain.

If your questions sounds to them like it is something the software does not currently do, you'll be given the line about "we'll tell our developers about it and maybe they can do something in the next version".

Anything more complicated you'd be better off putting pen-to-paper so to speak  (emails these days) where you can really explain what you need in a clear, methodical fashion, with pictures if necessary to get the point across.

The support you'll get would be influenced by how well you understand what you need, how well you describe your problem and what kind of questions they ask you.

So if you know what you want to happen in a given scenario and can articulate that clearly, then you stand a better chance of the support person either understanding whether they can help you, or if they can refer you to someone who can.

Some of the people on the Reckon Community, have the descriptor "Partner" next to their name. Those people are the Reckon Accredited Partners.

The support tech's will sometimes refer customers to those partners. So in a way they are a different level of assistance Reckon product users can get.


-IM


Photo of Trevor Watson

Trevor Watson

  • 1,478 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Firstly the approach does depend on whether you use itemised invoices with sell prices per line or project type invoices (eg. Deposit, First Progress, Final, Retention etc... linked to a contract or scope of works). Let's look at the second scenario as this is the most common with businesses tracking WIP (work in progress) and jobs/projects that span several days, weeks or months. It is also more in keeping with Trevor's original post.

What about the first scenario - that's what my idea was specifically targeted at?

Photo of Inigo

Inigo

  • 6,320 Points 5k badge 2x thumb
Hi Trevor,

Have you considered where using the feature that allows you to mark a sale as pending would achieve what you need?

It's a bit of reverse order from what you describe in that the invoice is first created  with the inventory items added to it then the invoice is marked as pending.
* when in the invoice click the Edit menu and select Mark Invoice as Pending

At the same time you can still be doing the Time Activity.

When it comes time to actually raise the invoice, you turn the pending Invoice into a normal Invoice, then add the time/costs and reimbursable items entered in the purchase order/bills.

* when in the invoice click the Edit menu and select Mark Invoice as Final


-IM


Photo of Trevor Watson

Trevor Watson

  • 1,478 Points 1k badge 2x thumb
Thanks Inigo - I'll give that a try.