Review: New project costing features in version 11 of Line 50. By David Carter

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David Carter finds much to admire in the new Project Costing features in Sage Line 50 v11. But the nation's top accounts package still doesn't have a proper screen for entering purchase invoices.

When Sage announced version 11 of Line 50 last year, some project costing features were announced for "users who wanted to dip a toe in the water and analyse job and project information at a very simple level without having to go into complexity'.

This turns out to be a bit of an understatement. Talking to Sage at Softworld last week, I think it's fairly clear that in the long term their strategy is to pension off the existing Job Costing package and incorporate fully fledged project costing within Line 50.

The demise of Sage Job Costing will go unlamented among AccountingWEB readers who have...

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Sage Project Costing
Dear David

I would be happy with any mechanism that allowed recording against revenue rather than being restricted to Sales Invoices/Credit Notes as at present

Kind regards


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Sage Project Costing
Dear David

Work in progress is a combination of the following

Costs incurred on uncompleted contracts which are to be carried forward

Revenues billed on uncompleted contracts

Costs accrued on uncompleted contracts

Revenues accrued on uncompleted contracts

In addition you can have deferred revenues which would comprise advance payments for work not yet started and would be classified as a liability in the accounts

You can only bypass the spreadsheet if you can post all this into Sage and then design a suitable report BUT Sage won't let you put journal entries to revenue so you're stymied.

If anyone knows different I would be interested.



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Can you get a report of unfinioshed projects?
Thanks Laurie
But you are still keeping it on a spreadsheet, which implies the standard reports don't do the job for you. What would you like the WIP report to look like?

As an IT man I've assumed that WIP valuation in job costing is simply a list of the costs and revenues of jobs that are unfinished. Am I correct in this? David

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Sage Project Costing

I use a spreadsheet on which there are totals by project for
Accrued & deferred income
Accrued & deferred expense

I merge the project revenue & cost totals from Sage to give a combined total

I review with project managers what adjustments to make to the accrued & deferred items - you then have a project P&L together with a WIP valuation (the totals of accrued/deferred items)

Hope this makes sense


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WIP definition
Thanks Laurie. I noticed your comment last year where you said that Sage:
"does not seem to cope with the normal period end adjustment to bring in revenue for work completed but not invoiced. Revenue can only be affected by a Sales Invoice/Credit Note & whilst one could achieve the desired effect on net income by using the Project Only Charge/Credit mechanism you will not get the correct revenue reported."

How do you think Sage should allow you to put in these journal entries to revenue? Via Journal Entry? Via Bank Receipts?

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WIP report
Laurie, how do you get a Work in Progress valuation at the end of the month?

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Sage Project Costing
Have been using it live for two months and it works reasonably well.

Apart from the problems mentioned there are three that I find a bit frustrating

In reports projects are listed in the order in which they were created when I would prefer them in project number sequence

Errors cannot be corrected through the file maintenance corrections procedure since if, for example, you look up a purchase invoice the project doesn't appear so you are forced to use the project only mechanism which is a bit tedious.

Whilst there are numerous options to enter costs the same is not true of revenue - why is it logical to be able to post a bank payment to a project but not a bank receipt?

Still it is a step forward from the job costing which I did not use because of complexity & cost.

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