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Q: Why do you have more than one job costing report?

A: We have multiple job costing reports to try and satisfy the different functionality requirements of our users. Frankly, we would prefer to have one report that met our own requirements and recommended best practices. For now, we have several.

We have plans to build a single, all encompassing, job cost report that meets the expectations of the vast majority of our more advanced users.

Q: Why isn’t there a single standard report that everyone uses?

A: Job costing reports are not standardized. They are not covered in GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Aptora has no official or widely accepted set of standards that we can follow, the same way we do for an income statement, balance sheet, or statement of cash-flows (cash-flow statement). We almost never receive comments on those reports. We do receive plenty of opinions on  job costing reports though.

Q: Why do certain job costing reports differ from one another?

A: This is the most common question we get. The overall reason is due to the fact that they often take information from different places and often do different things with that information.

There are four commonly used reports for Job Costing that we often get questions as to why they do not match.  They are Job Costing, Job Costing Overview, Job Costing Summary, and Income Statement by Customer:Job.  Here are a few of the most notable differences between the reports.

Job Costing Report Overview

Job Costing
This report shows the history of all transactions where the Customer:Job was selected and provides a Job Analysis to show profitability.  Payroll is factored into this report based on the date of the paycheck and your preference settings for allocating the payroll liabilities.  You can choose to allocate them to Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) for the earning item account that is also COGS or to an Expense when the earning item account is an expense type. All remaining income, COGS, and expenses in the general journal referencing the Customer:Job will be calculated in the profitability.

Job Costing Overview
This report is the recommended job costing report. It was designed by Aptora to meet their requirements. Over the years, it has been fine tuned to meet the requirements of our larger and/or more advanced users. This report is more inline with the financial reports than the others as it obtains its numbers primarily from the general journal.

This report splits out the income, COGS, and expenses based on the Chart of Account Job Costing Type assignment.  The biggest difference in this report is payroll.  The labor is not calculated from paychecks.  Time sheet entries are used to calculate the real-time cost for the labor and the Employer Liabilities for FUTA, SUTA, FICA Med, and FICA SS are factored into the Labor totals.  Commissions applied to invoices which are marked to Job Cost are also included in the Labor Costs.  You may also include an additional Labor Burden that is calculated on the Labor Costs.

Job Costing Summary
This report summarizes the Revenue, COGS, and Overhead based on transactions and the items associated.  The biggest difference in this report is the transactional data used versus the information in the general journal used for the other job costing reports.  When looking at the COGS section, an invoice may report a COGS amount for a non-inventory item when there is an amount in the Cost field. While this cost is not being reported on the Income Statement, it does appear in this report for analysis purposes. Overhead is calculated from the items that have an expense account selected in the item setup or within various transaction account selections.  The labor is calculated from paychecks and appears in the COGS section.  This report is not meant to match or summary any other job costing reports.

Income Statement by Customer:Job
This report is not technically a job costing report. It provides a summary of income, COGS, and expenses is an Income Statement format by the Customer:Job as recorded in the general journal.  This report does not currently factor in the payroll liabilities. We will be making modifications to use the same calculations used in the job costing report for the employer liabilities.


  1. Each report was designed for a specific purpose. Usually these differences are the result of a company’s feature request. Rather than continually modifying a report, we created a new one to meet their needs. That’s why they rarely match.
  2. When comparing reports, please be sure the date ranges and Customer:Job selections match. You will want to understand the differences in what information is gathered and how that information is used to create the report.
  3. Check your chart of account COGS and Expense accounts. Be sure the Job Costing Type selection has something selected.
  4. Be sure to use the time-sheet feature for better reporting.
  5. Double check to make sure that all bills, invoices, adjusting journal entries, items adjustments, and other transactions have the proper Customer:Job selected.

Related Topics

Job Costing Overview Report Explanation (this is the recommended Job Costing report)

View Aptora’s Job Costing Webinar (2 hours and 25 minutes with Q&A)