Tracking Job Costing from Sales in ESC Accounting


Job Costing can be addressed multiple ways in ESC. Job costs can be tracked when entering data virtually anywhere in ESC simply by entering the job number on the transaction. Since there are so many ways to address job costing in ESC here we will address just the three basic methods.

Some companies use only one method of job costing while others may use all three: work in progress for commercial construction, full job costing for residential construction and sales job costing for install and service. We will outline the different job costing options and their setups so you can decide which job costing method(s) best fit your needs.

  • Sales Job Costing – Records only entries entered through Sales to the Job Sales Report.  Jobs can be done in phases and multiple invoices can be created. This option is usually used for jobs lasting less than a month, but with multiple billings. If only one invoice will be created for a job it is not necessary to set up a job, the same profitability information can be seen on the Sales Report without setting up a job.
  • Full Job Costing – Records any entries made in ESC with a job number to any of the job reports. This option is usually used for jobs lasting more than a month, with income and expenses going directly to the Income Statement.
  • Work–In–Progress – WIP works just like Full Job Costing, but keeps the income and expenses on the Balance Sheet until the job is closed. This option is also used for long term jobs.

Things you need to know about Job Costing

Jobs are setup in Customer Info → Job List → Add Job and are attached to a customer, although the job can be used on any transaction for any customer (commonly used for third party billing).

The Department entered on the job will be the default department whenever the job number is used, but can be changed.

The Status on the job helps when running reports and no entries can be made to a job in a Closed status.

Costs are tracked as Types and Job Classes:

  • Types are hardcoded and cannot be changed. They consist of Material, Equipment, Labor, Subcontract, Permits and Other.
  • Job Classes are sub-categories of Types and determine where an item appears on the job reports. They are optional and are generally recommended for payroll or labor breakdowns. Examples of job labor classes are Startup Labor, Duct Labor, Finish Labor and Electric Labor. Job classes can be entered throughout ESC in screens, such as Purchase Orders, Time Entry, Enter Bills. Job Classes are setup in Company → Enter Job Classes.

Items received from a Purchase Order can automatically be costed to a Job by selecting the Automatically cost inventory items received to a job option in Company → System Setup → Inventory.

Multiple Quotes can be entered per job and multiple dispatches are allowed per quote, but only one invoice per dispatch.

Sales Job Costing

How Sales Job costing works

All transactions must go through a Sales Invoice to appear on your Job Sales Report.

One Time Setup

  • Inventory – Make sure all parts that will be used on jobs are setup in inventory.
  • Job Classes – Setup any desired Job Classes in Company → Enter Job Classes.
  • Employees – In the General tab of the Employees → Enter Employees screen, setup the technician’s labor rate and overhead burden factor. The burden factor will be added to their labor rate in sales billing and appear on the Job Sales Report.


While the following is the suggested flow, the only real requirement is a sales invoice with a Job number on it:

Quote → Setup Job → Dispatch → PO → Invoice

The Process

Enter the Quote

To enter a quote, go to Sales → Quote List → Add and enter the quote's information.

If the quote has not yet been accepted, leave the Status as Pending. Using the job labor billing code, enter the number of hours the job is expected to take along with parts, equipment and any other items needed for the job. You can have multiple quotes on a job and multiple dispatches on a quote, but only one invoice per dispatch.

Quote is Accepted

When the quote is accepted, go to Sales → Quote List and find the quote by entering the quote number or the customer name in the Search field. Choose the correct quote and click OK.

Set up the Job

Create a new job for this quote by clicking on the word Job.

The Setup Jobs screen will pop up with the customer field populated by the customer on the quote. To create the job, click the Assign next job number button or manually type in a unique Job Name and make sure the Active box is checked. The job can also be associated with a location, if desired. This can be helpful when identifying jobs if you do a lot of jobs for a customer that has several locations.

At this point, you can associate a supervisor and sales person to the job. The Supervisor field can be used to filter reports, but has no other functionality.
The Sales person field, however, will automatically fill in the Sales person field on all progressive invoices created for the job.

You can also assign a Default Department to the job, doing this will ensure all transactions made for this job will use this department unless changed by a user.

If the job will start shortly, set the Status to Open, otherwise use the Pending status. Set the Start Date and Projected End Date if you know them. Leave the Actual End Date blank for now.

If you would like to add any notes to the job you can do so on the Notes tab. This is a freeform text field that can be used for everything from phone numbers of job site inspectors to the status of permits needed for the job.  Click Save then Exit when you are finished.

Back on the Quote screen, change the Status to Accepted, then click the Create Dispatch button at the top of the screen.

A screen comes up listing all the items on your quote and asks which ones you want included on the dispatch. If you want all items to go to the dispatch you can use the Select All button at the bottom of the screen. 

Once you have made your selections, click OK and you will be in the Dispatch screen. The customer information, the job name/number, the quote number and the selected items from the quote have been imported into the dispatch.

The selected parts are listed under the Parts tab so the tech knows what is needed to do the job. Finish filling in the information, then click Order Parts to see if all the required parts are in stock. If all parts are in stock, schedule the job, then click Save.

Ordering Parts

Before scheduling the work to be performed, it is wise to see if you have those parts in stock and order them if you do not.  To do this, recall the dispatch and select Order Parts.

The resulting window shows the status of the parts needed to complete the dispatch.

The Total Quantity field shows how many of each item you have in stock. The Warehouse Quantity shows how many items of that type are in the currently selected warehouse. To order the part, be sure the box on the left is checked. Then verify the Vendor you want to order the part from. Although the default vendor for that part is shown, it can easily be changed. The PO field allows you to add the item to an open Purchase Order for the same vendor, if one exists, or create a new one. This field must be filled out for every checked item before continuing.

In the example shown above we can see that ESC automatically deselects the items (shown in gray) we have in stock and selects the items (shown in white) that we need to order. Looking at the vendor field we can see that these parts aren't normally purchased from the same vendor so separate Purchase Orders will need to be created.  Clicking in the PO field on the first item reveals that we do not have an open Purchase Order for State Supply so we'll select Add New to create a new purchase order for those items.

Notice that this automatically sets the PO field to Add New for all remaining items ordered from State Supply.  Clicking in the PO field on the second item shows that we already have an unplaced purchase order for Tommark. We'll select that purchase order to add this item to.

Once everything is set to your satisfaction, click the Create and Edit button to generate the purchase orders and open them for additional editing, or the Create All button to create the purchase orders for editing and printing later.

Once the purchase orders are created, you can see the parts that have been added to purchase orders by choosing View Ordered Parts from the Activities drop down of the Dispatch screen.

The example below shows that PO # 171 has been placed, but PO # 170 and 172 have not. A PO can also be opened by clicking the Open button on the right side of the screen.

Once the parts are ordered, schedule the dispatch. You can either set up a non-tech column on the EDB called "Awaiting Parts" or you can assign it to the tech that will be doing the work. In this case, we will use an "Awaiting Parts" column. For the Date Promised, either use the date the parts were ordered so the dispatch will appear in the column immediately or enter the date the parts are expected so the call will not show up on the board until that day. Use a Status Code that is set up like Off Job, but can be called "Ordered" or "Parts" or similar. Since we are using the Awaiting Parts column when we are waiting for parts, we have the Status Code set to automatically move any dispatch set to the status of "Parts" to the "Awaiting Parts" column.

When the parts are received the icon on the EDB turns to a PO icon.  

If there is only one PO for the dispatch, you can go ahead and schedule the work to be done. In our case, there are two more PO's pending.

To reset the icon back to the 'Off Job' icon () double-click on the dispatch to open it and click Save to wait for the rest of the parts to be received. The status of the ordered parts can be checked by going to Activities → View Ordered Parts.

Once all the parts are received you are ready to schedule and complete the job.

Complete the Dispatch

When the dispatch is complete, make sure the technician’s times are correct on the dispatch and the Status is Complete for each tech. These must be entered if labor costs are to be shown on the Job Sales Report and dispatches must be in the Completed status to be billed.

If you will not be creating an invoice at this time, click Save to save the dispatch.  If you do wish to create an invoice at this time, click on the Create an Invoice button at the top of the screen.

A window will appear asking if you wish to save your dispatch, click Yes. The next window will say there are outstanding quotes for this job and ask if you wish to bill a quote, answer Yes.

The next window will show a list of quotes for this job, choose the quote you wish to bill and click OK.

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