One of the most important features within the JobTread application is the budget tool. From your initial estimates to tracking actual profits, this is where the magic happens. This article will act as a guide through the budget tool and will provide direction on how to best use it with your business.
The foundation of every budget are the estimated costs. These are the items you'll be paying for to complete the job, from materials, to labor, to other business expenses like permitting fees. Build out your estimate with the help of your catalog, a saved list of expenses.
In addition to estimate building, JobTread provides a set of cost documents that can be sent to customers and vendors. These documents are work agreements that automatically tie back into your budget. For example, you can send a customer your estimate and if they accept, the approved amount will appear back on your budget. See the list below for an explanation of these requests.
As you're building a budget, you may have unknown costs where you need more clarity. Bid requests are a great way to collect this information from vendors, suppliers, and subcontractors. Learn more.
The budget tool is extremely flexible and supports a variety of use-cases. You can choose to use some of these requests, or none at all. For example, as a house flipper or spec home builder, you may only utilize basic budgets with bid requests. Other types of work, like general contracting, may require the complete gamut: budgeting along with bid requests, customer orders, customer bids, vendor orders, and vendor bills. Using all the features allows you to track the life of the project, leading to better reports and more transparency.
How you use these features may also deviate from job to job. Bid requests can generate vendor orders which can generate vendor bills. Likewise, customer orders can generate customer invoices. Following this path makes document building a cinch, but it’s optional. For example, you can skip vendor orders and enter a vendor bill. The only difference is the bill will not be pre-populated with information because it was not generated from an existing order.
As you build your budget and begin utilizing customer and vendor requests, you’ll notice new data populate your budget table. This table utilizes “smart views” to only show what’s relevant to your job. Back to the example of a house flipper or spec home builder: in this case, there is no immediate customer and you're probably factoring profit into your overall margin when you sell a property. "Price" is the cost to the customer and probably will not be used. If you do not include a "price" on your line items, you will only see the name and cost of each item, simplifying your table. As soon as you add a price to one of your line items, the data points “estimated price” and “estimated profit” will appear.
The budget table also adds data points when customer and vendor requests are utilized. Reference the table below for a breakdown of when data points appear on your budget table.
|Budget column||Display setting|
|Estimated Profit||Included when price is used on any cost item.|
|Committed Cost||Included when a vendor or customer order is used.|
|Approved Price||Included when a customer order is used.|
|Projected Profit||Included when a customer order is used.|
|Actual Cost||Included when vendor or customer invoice is used.|
|Actual Price||Included when customer invoice is added.|
|Actual Profit||Included when customer invoice is added.|
|Name||Always present on budget.|
|Estimated Cost||Always present on budget table.|
|Estimated Price||Included when price is used on any cost item.|
It's time to start building your budget. Add expenses with the "cost item" or "cost group" selectors at the top of the budget table. These selectors search your catalog as you type, so if you've populated the cost in your catalog, then adding them to your budget is a cinch.
In the case where you haven't populated the item, you will see a Create option appear in the search result. Choose this option, or hit enter on your keyboard if it's the only result, and this will allow you to create a new cost item. Complete the details of the cost and submit.
|Quantity||Total number of the item. "Quantity" can be removed if the item is not quantity based.||125|
|Unit||Unit of measurement. "Unit" can be removed if item does not have a unit of measurement.||each|
|Unit cost (and ext cost)||Unit cost is the cost of the item. Ext cost is cost of all items (quantity * unit cost).||$9.98|
|Unit price (and ext price)||Unit price is the amount charged to the customer. Ext price is price of all items to the customer (quantity * unit price).||$14.00|
|Markup||Difference between selling price and cost of goods of services.||40.28%|
|Margin||Profit margin divided by sales.||28.71%|
|Taxable||Will tax be charged on the item to the customer?||Yes|
|Custom fields||Other custom fields you've added to cost items through your catalog.||-|
|Name||A name to identify the cost||Drywall panel - 1/2 in|
|Description||Additional notes, if needed.||USG Sheetrock Ultralight|
|Code||Cost code.||09-250 Drywall|
As you build your budget, you can adjust the "view" options in the top right of the table. For example, if you wanted to view items grouped by cost code, or cost type, simply select that option from the list. The default view is to show items grouped by cost group but the last selection you make on this view selector will be saved. Additionally, you can click Maximize to hide the left navigation or click Expand to show all line items under a group. Collapse will appear as an option if the groups are showing their lines items, allowing you to shrink the list to only show groups.
Pro-tip: Copy a line item to save time. Simply click the edit icon next to the line item you'd like to copy, scroll to the bottom of the pop-up, and select Clone this cost item. This will create a copy of the line item where you can make changes and add it to your budget.
You can also choose to add cost groups to your budget. This is a real time saver for companies that have consistency from job to job. For example, a drywall installer likely uses the same materials for most jobs. In this case, they could create a cost group that houses all materials like drywall panels, screws, tape, joint compound, etc. When building a budget, all they need to do is add the cost group, the line items are included, and the only thing left to do is update the quantities. When a cost group is added to the budget, the total amount is the sum of the line items under it.
Note: At any point during the building process, you can move line items and groups. Simply select the "grid" next an item, hold, and move it to your desired location in the budget.