Not too long ago, we came across an article in the Construction Business Owner magazine on Job Costing and the integrity of it. As we read the article, we couldn’t help but notice how important job costing is to construction companies and how CrewTracks can help and make it easier for companies to track. The article talked about the difficulties companies face when it comes to accounting and job costing, specifically how “too many organizations bid projects without realistic feedback from the field.” This can cause projects to go over budget, but the organization may not know where they went over budget in the first place. “The overage may have been an estimating error or site condition but if the answer is always viewed as a field problem, the root cause may never appear.” Let’s take a dive into job costing and identify how CrewTracks can help.
What is Job Costing and why is it important?
First, we need to go over what job costing is. Job costing is an important piece of the construction accounting process. It allows companies to calculate, track and assign expenses to specific job items. It allows office workers and executives to manage budgets to make sure a job is not over budget and on track. The broad categories for job costing are labor, material, and overhead. This helps companies estimate labor, materials and overhead more accurately for future jobs and projects all while keeping the company profitable.
How CrewTracks can help?
CrewTracks has a few different ways to track everything you need to know for your job costing. Up first, labor. Our clock-in and out feature makes it easy to get everyone’s hours tracked. When someone clocks in, that information goes straight to the office and starts to build a timecard for them. When they clock out, they can allocate their time to the items they worked on that day. That information creates the timecard for each worker, which is approved by a supervisor and/or payroll manager before ultimately sending this data to your accounting system. CrewTracks also can track materials being used for each job. Whether it be bricks, stone, asphalt, concrete, or whatever you need CrewTracks to track, our application makes it easy to record how much is being used per day, and how much should be used on the job as a whole.
When we chatted with David Johnson at SkyLine Scaffold, Inc. about daily reporting a few weeks ago, he also mentioned how he was using CrewTracks for job costing. He told us how he has taught every one of his employees to “do a quick download of all the hours for that specific job and assign a bidding number to them.” This allows the foreman, project managers, estimators, and office workers to know if the project is on budget or not. It keeps his whole team informed instead of just his accounting team. By everyone seeing this specific report, the crew can know whether they are on track or not from the very beginning. As the Construction Business Owner article said, “how often does an organization believe they underperformed in the [final phase] when they really operated poorly in the [first phase]?” By using CrewTracks to keep track of your labor and materials, you can see as soon as you get off budget and off track so you can correct it when it happens and not when you are out of money at the end of the project.
A couple of lines in the Construction Business Owner article really stood out, because they essentially summarize the conversations we have with construction business owners every day. First, this statement (with an admittedly biased insertion to make the point clear):
“Systems [such as CrewTracks] on the market today provide timely data, allowing you to make better decisions earlier in any project.”
And second, this statement:
“Job cost feedback should be timely, realistic, collaborative and functional. The tools are available to do this correctly.”
CrewTracks is one such tool. If you find yourself catching issues too slowly on projects, or worse, looking back at a project and simply not knowing where things went wrong, there’s a good chance what you’re missing is “timely, realistic, collaborative, and functional” data from the job site while it is in progress. In other words, you need field management software. CrewTracks empowers your field crews to feed vital data to your office staff on a daily basis, enabling you to use CrewTracks to see the profit or loss of every job every day.
CrewTracks generates over 2 million data-rich daily reports per year. Stop wondering if you are winning. Stop wondering where a project got off track. Accurate job costing starts with accurate job tracking, and data-rich daily reports are the backbone of accurate job tracking.
If this sounds like something you can’t live without and want some more information on CrewTracks, schedule a free demo.