Not all job costing software is the same. There are two very different types out there, yet the difference isn’t obvious at first glance because both are listed under the same banner of ‘job costing software.’
The functionality and benefits they can deliver to you vary greatly though. This page is intended to help you spot which is which.
Ground-level software, often in piecemeal basic modules, addresses this sort of area:
Capturing hours and costs with basic Timesheets. Estimating and budgets stored as part of the job details. Purchasing including mark-ups and purchase orders. Billing, often handled by the accounts system as the job costing software is treated a simple add-on to this.
In contrast, a comprehensive system raises the bar much higher. It has the power to pull everything together into an agency / business management suite. With it you can drive company profitability, focus on company goals, receive alerts on problems as they arise, develop your team in new ways and help you steer the very direction of your business.
Here are some of the advanced job costing features you can enjoy with Synergist:
You can find out more about how Synergist's job costing integrates across all these areas by reading about each of these features.
Synergist's job or job phase profitability allows you to easily and painlessly pull off a report to show you the actual profitability of your complete project or a phase within a project. Costs will not appear on this list until the final invoice has been submitted, so only actual costs and not expected costs will appear in this highly-accurate report.
The total of all costs on the job or job phase are then used with the total of all invoices to evaluate total profit or loss.
This report will provide you with granular information on your current project phase or complete project profitability. You can see markup % and margin % (profit as a % of total cost and profit as a % of total invoiced retrospectively), total recommended charge and total investment. If you wish, you can also exclude time and expense costs from the profit calculation to show gross profit rather than the standard net profit.
This level of detail allows you to continually improve your profitability, highlighting the areas that are eating away at your profits and allowing you to apply these learnings to future projects.
Synergist has a revenue recognition interface. This allows you to adjust the amount of income you recognise in your reports to sit in line with project billing thus far and project progress. So your reporting on project financials are always accurate against the health of the project. With this approach, over runs, and the implications on the project, will immediately be picked up in financial reporting. Similarly, extremely profitable projects will also be quickly evident.
There are numerous ways that you can configure your revenue recognition tool to suit your process and wider project reporting. For example, you can choose to recognise revenue not yet billed or defer revenue already billed. You can also choose to recognise turnover or profit.
The difference between basic and advanced systems is extremely significant. It's not simply a question of having more features to work with. Synergist's advanced job costing software sits within a wider cohesive whole system that can track projects, profits and integrates with wide business information so your purchasing doesn't operate in a silo.
This has the power to transform a business. Some examples of the benefits, outside of standard features, that you'll enjoy with Synergist are below:
Reducing over-servicing. Over-servicing is a huge problem in the creative agency and project-based world. Having a serious system helps you identify exactly where the issues are, enabling you to take action before they get out of hand.
Saving wasted time. A creative agency MD told us: “We used to spend masses of time searching for information or pulling together reports or estimating work or doing invoices. Such a waste. Now, that’s all cleaned up. It leaves more time for client focus.”
Reducing cost overruns. The managing director of one Synergist-using consultancy told us that reducing cost overruns was the first benefit they noticed after implementation. See their story.
Focusing on the right clients. The data delivers the facts you need to make tough decisions. Which clients are really contributing? Do you keep a prestige but unprofitable client? True facts at your fingertips enable smart, informed decisions.
Automatic alerts. You and your team can receive alerts by email based on set criteria on matters they’re handling, such as costs, late timesheets, late jobs, overdue tasks, and more.
Scalability. Not all software is scalable. Making the wrong choice early on can cause later problems and major disruption. You can suddenly discover that you need to start all over again with a new system – just when you’re having a growth spurt.
Gaining financial control of your business. It’s tempting to focus on finding new clients and assume the finances will fall into place. Sadly, we have seen so many crises. A serious system gives you control of your finances and the data you need to make your biggest decisions every day.
Continuously developing your company. An MD using Synergist: “It’s all about making aggregated small gains in many areas to improve overall performance, sometimes with massive results. Our new system makes it easy for us to do precisely this now.”
Developing your pipeline of business opportunities. Nurturing leads into live projects as part of your linked-together system makes sense. You only ever enter data once in the journey from distant prospect to client to invoice.
Providing on-site demonstrations, training, experience and consultation.