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Project Cost accounting

I have a new client who develops web sites for companies under a fixed bid arrangement. The client uses QB but has not kept track of time or project cost records. We are going to implement Harvest for time tracking. I have too questions:
1. Should I use QB Professional Service module.
2. what is the best structure for setting up client codes and job codes? It has been a long time since I set up a job code structure. Should the 2 digit year be part of the code? Any advice will help

The client does web site development, and rebuilds/redevelopment, and wants to track by which development tool they utilize. Web maintenance, web hosting, SEO, PR, Creative Wrtiing, etc


Jeff Taylor
Title: CFO
Company: Communications Co.
(CFO, Communications Co.) |

There are two schools of thought on job codes: unstructured and structured. Unstructured codes rely on a database that a viewer can readily access for guidance as to the details of what they are looking at. This provides less data at first glance, but more once you go to the related database to see all of the job details. Since it is unstructured you do not need complex rules for writing your job codes in the first place, which can be a difficult task to consistently apply. Structured codes give you some information at a glance which can be handy but require more training to apply and read.

My preference has been for structure, but very little, and then deeper detailed data in a related database close to hand. It is just too much of a pain in neck to apply complex job codes and due to Murphy's law there seem to be nothing but exceptions to any rules you set out. So I pick very high level structure, such as a simple customer code plus date code, or location code, division code, etc. It really depends on what are the highest order elements you want to track. But be wary of going to 10, 14 or 20 digit codes as you try to capture more and more detail. It is tempting, but I find it never works out well.

As for the specific question of a 2 digit year, that depends on how critical the year is for you to capture as to whether you have it. And Y2K technology issues aside, I have never had an issue with 2 digit years and think 4 digits are typically superfluous, but YMMV.

Sorry I can't comment on on the QB PS module, i have not used it.

Sam Thacker
Title: Partner/member
Company: BFS-USA Group LLC
(Partner/member, BFS-USA Group LLC) |

There is a company by the name of Journyx that has a great piece of software that is free for less than 10 users.

I am a freelance finance writer and use it to keep track of my hours. I too bill fixed price but need to know whether I am profitable or not on a job by job basis.

It does fully integrate with QB and is very robust. Since this software is used for keeping track of hours for large IT projects, it looks a little scary when you first download it, but it only takes a few minutes to set up for a small project.

Hope that helps!


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