Jan 2023: Job Costing from LMN

In this article, you will find a comprehensive list of all 2023 product release notes.

January 24, 2023

Everything in one menu with LMN’s updated navigation

We hear you: constantly switching back and forth between Estimating and Time is a headache. That’s why we’ve streamlined LMN’s navigation menu, where now you’ll find the links to every LMN section within the left sidebar. The Settings menu is still available — click on the Settings menu link to expand it.



Job Costing From LMN

Designed for businesses that want to make sure they’re staying as profitable as possible, LMN’s brand-new Job Costing tools let you compare all of your job-related usage – of labor, materials, equipment, subcontractors, and other costs – against estimated amounts, so that you can spot variances and make smart adjustments to your estimating.

JOBS: View Real-Time Costing at glance with the Job Cost Overview Screen

The next time you fire up a Job in LMN, you’ll still see the Scoreboard that our contractors know and love. But you’ll also see a second, even more powerful analysis tool: the Job Costing Overview panel. At the top of the panel, you’ll be able to view critical details of your job:

  • Actual Revenue (vs. Estimated)
  • Net Profit and Gross Profit (vs. Estimated)
  • Total Cost of Job (vs. Estimated)
  • Action Items
    • This tool will dynamically suggest steps you can take (e.g. connecting a work area to a task) to improve the accuracy and precision of the job’s costing.


In the table underneath, you’ll see key costing details about each line item associated with the job — organized into category dropdowns for Labor, Materials, Equipment, Subs, and Other. Data fields provided for each line item include:

  • Estimated Quantity (per the proposal/estimate that was exported to create this job);
  • Actual quantity used
  • Estimated cost in dollars
  • Actual cost in dollars

Estimated amounts come over automatically from your estimate, thanks to some improvements we’ve made to the Estimate Export tool (see section below this one).

Actual usage and cost details can come from several different sources, some of which are brand-new: as of this update:

  • Timesheets submitted via the Time Mobile App (labor; materials; equipment)
  • Data from Vendor Bills inputted into LMN (materials; equipment; subs; other)
  • The Job Cost Overview’s Add Cost tool for creating manual cost entries (all categories)

Read on for more information about all three of these methods of recording costs.

Bring non-labor Line Item information from an Estimate into a Time Job with the improved Estimate Export Tool

In dozens of calls with LMN Contractors, we’ve been hearing that having to input your list of materials into a Job on the Time side is less than ideal, for two reasons:

  • One of your Admins needs to type out the list of materials that will be tracked over on the Time side — even if your Estimator already typed these out while preparing the Proposal. This is data re-entry that eats up valuable business time.
  • Materials inputted on the time side have no connection to your proposal — so you can’t see the amounts that were estimated for each one. This prevents you from being able to properly cost jobs with your materials (estimated vs. actual) factored in.

Now, for the first time ever, LMN’s Estimate Export tool will bring every material from your estimate over into your newly created job — including the estimated quantity and price. When your operations staff go to review the materials within a fresh Job, they’ll be able to pick and choose which ones they want to track usage of for job costing purposes.

Bringing over the estimated quantity and price information doesn’t just apply to materials, either. When you open up the Job Costing Overview of a job created via Estimate Export, you’ll also see the estimated amounts for line items in the categories of Equipment, Subcontractors, and Other.

Manage a Job’s Usage Tracking more easily with the new Materials and Equipment panel

Of course, you don’t always want to track everything you estimated. In fact, there are a lot of cases wherein doing so might actually be more trouble than it’s worth — yielding data that is too granular for you to act on.

With this in mind, we’ve made it easy to set up what you will and won’t be tracking via a new Materials & Equipment view that you’ll see on every LMN job as of this update. For each non-labor item tied to the job, here you can specify whether you’ll be tracking it on timesheets, and/or tracking the quantity.

If you created the job via Estimate Export, this screen is where you’ll see the list of line items that automatically had their details brought over (see above).

If you’re creating the Job from scratch, or adding something that your estimators didn’t include, you can click the green “+” button to add an item in one of three ways:

  • By searching for it in your Price List (all four categories are available)
  • By importing it from another job (you’ll have the option of bringing Task, Rate/Price, and Service information along with it)
  • By searching for it among the Default Materials you’ve already added into LMN Time via Settings > Jobs > Materials.


What will change on the Time Mobile App side?

Over on the Time Mobile App, nothing will look different (yet!) in terms of the app design — but what will change is the list of items your crew lead will see when they’re prompted to indicate material usage upon punching out. This list will now also include any items from the other non-labor categories (equipment, subcontractors, and Other) that you toggled Timesheet Tracking ON for via the Materials & Equipment screen. It may also prompt for quantities of these items if you also toggled “Track Qty” to ON.

Important Note: If you are currently tracking equipment using LMN’s existing Timesheet Equipment functionality, you won’t see those pieces of equipment appearing within the Materials & Equipment page. With the changes being made as of this update, we’ll soon be deprecating this tool — contact your Account Manager for more information on how to update your equipment tracking flow, in order to get the most out of LMN Job Costing.

Vendor Bill Management within LMN

In many situations, vendor bills/receipts are your best source of truth with regards to the costs incurred on a job. Now, for the first time, you can add a vendor bill into your LMN system:

  • Head over to one of your Vendor Bills list pages. There are two types of these that you can access within LMN:
    • Click into a Job, then click that job's 'Vendor Bills' tab, to view a list of bills that have been allocated (in whole or in part) to that job; or,
    • Open up LMN's 'Jobs' submenu, then click on the 'Vendor Bills' menu link to access a list of all the bills you've inputted into your LMN account.
  • Here, you’ll be able to view the list of all the Vendor Bills you’ve inputted to date, and click on any bill to expand it for more details.
  • From here, you can click on the green “+” button to input a fresh vendor bill.
  • This can also be done from an item’s “Vendor Bills” tab.

Our Vendor Bill input tool allows you to input all the crucial information you need to analyze jobs properly:

  • Assign each bill to an actual vendor from your CRM, or create a new one on this screen. For contractors who like to be thorough about their record keeping, we’ll also let you input bill-specific details like the reference number, PO number, date, and due date.
  • Next, add a digital line item for each item found on the bill/receipt. Here you’ll also be able to specify whether or not each item is taxable.
  • Purchasing is rarely simple, and we get it: sometimes a receipt will have items going to a number of different jobsites. After popping in your line items, you’ll be able to assign each one of them to an LMN Time job, as well as a category/item. While doing this, you’ll be able to compare the amount you’re allocating to a job, with the amount still remaining to be allocated per that job’s estimate.




Manage each staff member’s Hourly Cost in Wages

Another obstacle to Job Costing with the way the system is currently set up, is that on the Time side we have no record of what each field staff’s time costs the company on a per-hour basis.

With the new Wage Costs tab we’ve added to the Edit Staff view, you can punch in the hourly cost of an employee, and specify a Labour Burden percentage (by picking a Budget) which will be applied to the calculation — along with the average weekly overtime on a job — when the job is costed out by the LMN system.

To make sure that the costing for older jobs is still accurate, you can also use this tab to set historic wage costs for each staff member (which will come in handy if, for example, they recently received a raise).


Add a Cost in Any Category via Manual Entry

Sometimes, to be accurate with your costing, you’ll need to record a cost that didn’t come in via timesheets or vendor bills. You can do so by opening up any work area within the Job Cost Overview, and clicking on the “Add Cost” button.


When adding a cost via this method, you’ll be asked to provide some basic information fields (depending on the category) that will be needed in order to calculate your costing.


Restrict Staff access to Job Costing details

You may not want all of your employees being able to access Vendor Bills or the Job Cost Overview. In the Edit Staff modal under the Permissions tab, you’ll be able to specify a staff member’s access to Job Costing (no access; read-only access; or full access).


LMN's Zapier Integration: Now in Open Beta until March 25th

In response to overwhelming interest from our contractors, we've expanded LMN's Zapier integration Beta to include all LMN accounts. On March 25, the Zapier integration will leave Open Beta -- at which point the functionality will be available to Pro+ accounts only. 

Your Zapier integration can be configured on the LMN side by heading to your Integration Settings page at https://settings.golmn.com/settings/account/integrations.

Click here to view full instructions on how to get started with LMN and Zapier.



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