Brucanna & Tut,
I appreciate both of your responses. Likewise, it took a few tries to sort through how to use the interface, so I depended on words - and made some hard to follow points.
Brucanna, I’ve highlighted part of your statement below because it was good advice…
That seems to a likely path. However, Manager has so many wonderful coding capabilities that I will not resign myself to taking that road just yet. Currently, I use an estimating spreadsheet I devised to generate various level of detail estimates - from high level “Work Package” conceptual estimates to detail “separate fly poop from pepper” estimates. That requires an excruciatingly painful catalogue of past item purchases, their unit prices as well as average purchase prices - something that Manager does very well.
I have spreadsheets to hold GL transactions to produce Income & Financial Position reports (both of which an accounting friend verified integrity). Manager piqued my interest because it puts all of this in one place. I can just download the inventory catalogue to the estimating template.
It may be of benefit to understand my goals, and why Manager’s coding capabilities attracted me so quickly -
- I needed to get away from Spreadsheets for doing all of this
- I wanted an inventory/quantity catalogue for estimating and accuracy in tracking purchased items, and installed ones, too.
- I wanted a Construction Codes of Account drop-down list to classify purchases, labor, rentals, tools, etc., and segregate Direct from Indirect Costs…and Administrative Costs which are NOT Construction related, but business related.
- As I purchase a property, I record it as an Asset - Current Asset to be sure. The Work in Progress Control Account works great for this - even being able to inactivate sold properties. I wanted to accumulate costs from Purchases, Labor, Subcontracts and other direct expenses against each property account in that control account, while also posting those costs to the detailed income/expense accounts. Perhaps I end up doing this through JE’s each month, but it seem intuitive to me that Inventory Locations, Tracking Codes, Sales Quotes or Orders (don’t show up anywhere…), or some combination of them should be able to work for that, but I haven’t found the right combination, or… Still, no expense details for material items deflates the whole balloon. Unless, of course, I use a Sales Invoice, which creates a perception issue that requires an explanation. Every. Single. Time.
- I need to track Changes - changes that result from a potential Client for extra, unscoped work, or those I initiate due to marketing perceptions or rework, those unexpected costs due to discovery.
Much of the above is NOT driven by accounting, but by Project Control. To be certain, I have tried to make GnuCash work - but the developers are reluctant to add coding features that Manager already has - although there are certain Custom Codes on some forms that would be more useable for me if I could add it into the line item “line” on the form, instead of grouped together below it.
So, my set-up experiments so far include:
- Control Account for property purchases (each property a sub-ledger of the WiP Control Account
- Tracking Code for all expenses - to assign to a specific property address
- Inventory Location - Whether by Purch Invoice, or Goods Receipts. Not sure that Goods Receipts will pull the costs as well, but being able to assign materials to a specific address is paramount.
- Inventory for Purchases - As I indicated, Inventory Items do this perfectly for me - although not being able to see these expenses in relation to Retained Earnings is a show-stopper without a work-around.
- Sales Invoices - I see the Expense, but I do not wish to convey to outside investors that I have billed a mythical client for a property that is still a wreck…
- Production Orders - the Guide’s explanation and examples made sense as an approach, but it means having to add each property as an inventory item - makes no sense. Plus, Non-inventory items for Subcontract and Labor show up as immediate negative expenses - makes income statement look REALLY wacky.
For some graphical explanations:
To the left is Summary Set-up, “Cash Basis”, with Date Range; last year to “now”. To the right is “inventory set-up” I buy stuff with Tax identified as a percentage of the total, but I can’t figure out how to use “sales” price without using “Sales Invoices”. Each Inventory Item has a custom expense account - which would make it roll over to the proper income expense account.
Also note the Custom Code Field for Construction CoA. Inventory-wise, I am using the Vendors SKU for the item, but then I cannot “average” the purchase price, as they have separate item codes. It’s important to know for estimating that this single gang box costs different amounts at two Big Box commodity stores, not to mention commercial suppliers, and I never know where, or which one, I will have to frequent for a property. I am completely terrified of creating a cryptic, sequential and intelligent set of commodity codes to resolve this. As an example, these “Old Work” 1G device boxes come in several flavors: from 3-1/4", 2-1/2" deep, plastic, metal and surface mount. My current inventory list has several duplicates - I am using the Construction CoA as an item code, but it is pointless to expand the CoA to cover all the variability - hence using the vendor commodity code.
Looking at the Income Statement report…
First, I created an additional “Unit Sales” Group under Income, hoping it may help resolve some of my reporting issues. So far, it has not offered any benefits. I will delete it.
Second, taking both of your advice on Production Orders, I took it out. It was reporting under Less Expenses: Inventory - Cost. So, I now have the combination of “Cash Basis, plus no Production Orders”, but still cannot see the paid for costs of the Purchase order, valued @ about $941 with including Sales Tax Paid = $78. STP was showing in summary as a Tax Liability, so I JE’d it to expenses. No problem doing this at monthly closeouts. But not showing Materials expense? That hurts.
I just conducted an experiment…Put the Production Order back in, recorded inventory location on it. Still on Cash Basis; at least I can see the expense against zero income - completely understandable for one property, with the <$1020> negative Retained Earnings. At least I can point to the balance and understand it, but no ability to see the distribution of the Production Order Costs across the Chart of Accounts, and Non-Inventory Items? Wow…just wow.
Not only does Retained Earnings go nuts, but I have all of the negative expense accounts making it - truly - look like I am what Tut indicated first off. It is odd, very odd, that non-inventory items added to a Production Order immediately show up in the detail expense accounts (as negatives!!!), but purchased materials from inventory do not. And Inventory on hand correctly reflects the zero balance due to the Production Order, which now has the entire inventory against it
The Production Orders are valuable…and I have thought of restricting them to REWORK changes only. And how do I get rid of them after the property is sold???
I really would like drop-down choices for Custom Fields on the line items for Purch Order, Purch Invoice, Inventory Items, etc. Or, create a module that allows hierarchical drop down lists for a code, which can be added/activated for any of these forms. Currently, I can put Custom codes in the line item, but have one choice…data entry.
I have experimented with customizing forms - to differentiate Purchase Orders from Subcontracts, Changes and Rework. It helps from a visual standpoint - a Blue for is a Subcontract, a Red on for a Change Order, etc.
After all of this, I still cannot get material expenses to show up in detail accounts. Production Orders get me to third base, but LOB at the end of the inning.
There are so many aspects of Manager that are valuable time savers…from set-up, languages and coding to custom reports, but income expense for inventory items not showing in detail accounts up is very disappointing.
I seem to recall one post that indicated a “Job Cost” module in the works. Much of what I have experimented with, dug into and tried various approaches to resolve are fundamental to Job Cost & Management Control - but without having assigned/installed inventory showing up as expense…
This was long, and you may not wish to continue this discussion, but I am still hung up on being able to see items purchased for a project show up as detail expenses on the Income side of the summary. Neither can I get an Income Statement report to reflect that as well - as my last example snapshot demonstrated.
So, my original question still remains…Expenses without Sales invoices. I hope all of these additional words and snapshots may help you respond further, or with a fix.
At least they are qualified words this time…