job costing

Establish Cost Codes to Track Job Costs

“Using cost codes for project reporting helps boost profits.”


In today’s episode, I discuss establishing cost codes to properly track project costs.

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E411: Ask Coach – Dealing With A Loser

It happens to the best of us, a loser project. The best solution is to jump in and correct course.


Q: I have a project that is losing money. What is the best way to deal with it?

A: Go into attack mode and limit the downside.


  1. It happens, even to the best in the business – A loser project
    1. Hopefully, you know early
      1. If you practice what I talk about you know as soon as things start to turn bad
    2. There are many reasons projects go bad
      1. Clients / People / Productivity / Management / Estimating / Etc.
    3. The common reaction is too often to cut cost and hope it goes away
      1. That’s not the best approach
  2. The right approach is to attack the problem
    1. Don’t let a loser drag you down
    2. Find out what went wrong
    3. Put a full court press on getting the project done and behind you
  3. Be open and creative
    1. Don’t be embarrassed, we all have them
    2. Be open with the people involved – let them know you are struggling (they probably already do)
    3. Talk to your team, suppliers, subs, client and others involved – solicit their help
    4. Get outside help – a different set of eyes can often find better solutions
    5. Ramp up productivity
      1. If it’s possible, ramp up the productivity and get the project complete as quick as you can

E398: The Importance Of Job Costing

Proper job costing can help you correct problems before it’s too late.


  1. Know your numbers
    1. How do you know what it cost without job costing
    2. How can you track your progress
    3. How do you look back and know what happened
  2. Adjust your estimating
    1. Without job costing.\, you don’t know if you are using the right estimating numbers
    2. You may be losing work or losing money or worse – both
    3. You need to build good cost breakdowns
  3. Make adjustments
    1. Job costing will allow you to see problems while they are still correctable
    2. You can make adjustments and avoid loses
    3. Try different alternatives to improve