5 reasons why job-based firms use ERP systems to cost projects

March, 2022

How much does a job cost and why is it necessary? 

Job costing is a method for a firm to keep a close eye on the expenses connected with the various components of a project. More importantly, it guarantees that a firm does not incur any hidden expenses and that all billable products are billed. The goal of project costing is to help service and project-based businesses figure out how to price their products and services more effectively and profitably.

Nevertheless, many small and medium-sized organisations that have experienced substantial growth over the years continue to depend on antiquated and less trustworthy work costing methods such as spreadsheets. Among the frustrations expressed by these firms are the following:

  • Inability to reconcile budget and real expenditures until it is too late
  • Workflows fail to function properly in the absence of outstanding tasks and approval alerts
  • Human mistake occurs when project data is rekeyed into other systems.
  • Loss of data that has not been backed up on a secure server

Why can't I just obtain job costing software?

Job costing is critical to successful project management and price choices. Additionally, it is critical for timely financial reporting. Whether it's non-profit organisations tracking how donations are used, construction companies generating quotations for major projects, or consulting firms working on complex projects, the ability to correctly job-cost is critical to completing projects effectively while remaining profitable.

This may prompt business owners to invest in a stand-alone job-costing system, however there are two reasons why this may be a band-aid solution that adds additional administrative burden:

  • Calculating work in progress (WIPs) for several accounting periods can be a logistical headache if your job-costing software does not communicate with your accounting or finance system. You're looking at hours of manual data input, which may introduce mistakes and cause the entire project to fail.
  • Consideration of all costs, including wages and resource availability, is critical for pricing products, projects, or services. Managing distinct aspects of your project on separate platforms might result in you underquoting rates or overcommitting to delivery schedules, eroding your business's image.


Why are job-based organisations utilising enterprise resource planning systems to cost projects?

By consolidating finance, payroll, inventory, and project data into a single system, project-based firms may have total insight into all aspects of a specific project. A contemporary cloud-based ERP system has the capability of aggregating data from critical business activities, enabling project managers to:

  • Cost breakdowns for individual projects are available.
  • Costs budgeted vs actuals are tracked in real time.
  • Automated work-in-progress calculations save time.
  • Manage personnel across various projects with ease
  • Reduce the amount of data entered manually and human error

Here are five reasons why job-based organisations like yours are using cloud ERPs to manage project expenses.

  1. Planning and budgeting of projects in detail: When your ERP software has robust project planning tools, you maintain complete control over the project's structure. You may simply create critical milestones and observe what inventories, costs, purchase orders, and resources are contained inside each planning line. When you manage projects in Wiise, for example, you may associate purchase orders for multiple planning lines with the project. Additionally, because each planning line has both a price and a cost component, you can simply compute work in progress (WIPs) and charge clients progressively using these planning lines.
  2. A snapshot of all your projects: While details are necessary, having a sense of the big picture, particularly when managing several projects, may be extremely advantageous for project managers. Managing projects in the same system as your financial and inventory data, as well as payroll with integrated timesheets, enables you to have a dashboard view of your daily chores right on your home page. With a single glance, you'll be able to see what has to be done, such as: - Upcoming invoices or invoices that are past due - Workflows or timesheets that require approval
    - Job status and any remaining tasks
  3. Project management simplified: With a consolidated view of all your projects, you can easily track invoices back to customers for project-specific purchases, easily reforecast, calculate work in progress with a single click, and stay on top of your projects with real-time graphical views of your budget versus actuals and job profitability.
  4. Avoid unpleasant shocks by increasing project visibility: Utilize your ERP's task costing tool to keep track of any overdue orders. Determine the quantity of items received in comparison to the billed quantity and the projected amount due at completion. View items and purchases that have not yet been delivered to ensure that unpaid fees do not sneak up on you.
  5. Mobile timesheets: Payroll expenditures frequently account for the lion's share of a project's cost. When projects require workers to work from many locations and time zones, it is critical that your solution enables employees to track their start and stop times, as well as their break periods, from wherever they are. Managing work expenses within your ERP system has the added benefit of completely integrating employee timesheets with payroll. This results in significantly less manual administration across the organisation and assures that employee hours worked are not only current but also correct.