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Community > Using Xero Connected Apps >

Job Number P&L

Started by Brett Law -   in Using Xero Connected Apps

I have a product development business. We are just migrating from MYOB to Xero. I want to be able to assign supplier costs and client invoices to specific job numbers. I understand that Xero doesn't enable job number cost/revenue assignment and P&L tracking out of the box.

Ideally - I would be able to assign costs and invoices to job numbers and then be able to review job specific P&Ls to review job profitability.

We have about 200 projects (jobs) per year.

Appreciate any experience anyone can share - nirvana would be an addon that integrates into Xero and not something else that we would have to log into to.

Thank you
You could look at using Tracking Categories in Xero, but with 200 projects a year this may not be viable. Try WorkFlowMax - integrates well with Xero but requires a separate login.

Peter McCarroll  


Yes, I agree with Peter, WorkflowMax is a great option for managing projects. Xero may seem a little limited on the surface due to not having job and stock features, but in actual fact, it is far superior in functionality due to over 300 potential add-ons. This makes for very customised software in your business.

WorkflowMax has excellent reporting also, so job based reporting, productivity, time sheets etc, are all standard.


Glennis Stuckey  

WorkFlowMax is a far superior product to Xero. Too bad they bought it, as they will probably dumb it down to Xero level, e.g., rename "projects" to some offbase name as they did with A/R and A/P, slow down the development cycles (that's already happened), etc.).

Jim McClintock  

Hi Brett - we are with MYOB now & looking at going to XERO - but I have the same job # need & starting looking into this. It's concerning that they don't have this feature - did you try WorkflowMax or find another solution? Thanks, Jill

Jill Sands  

Hi Jill,

We did look at workflowmax but for our purposes is too biased towards charging based on time - i.e. projects where you are charing x hours at $y per hour. Unfortunately our business doesn't work like this as we manufacture and sell products so the fees we charge clients and what we pay factories has no time basis to it. As such, after much review and hope, the WorkflowMax capability didn't answer our needs.

Unfortunately, whilst MYOB can manage this job number reporting easily and efficiently, we have not found a workable solution with Xero. We are hoping and hoping that Xero will be upgraded to hold this capability or that an add on will be created because the process of tracking P&L by job and commissions etc for our sales people is very cumbersome in Xero.


Brett Law  

Hi, I am very new to Xero and still finding out what it can and can't do. I have a client in advertising / promotions who buys services and sells them on so I too am looking to be able to report by job number. I have taken a look at Workflowmax but it does seem geared to time management which is not what I need.
Have any of you found a solution yet?
I would have thought that a back to back sales order / purchase order system would do the trick - any suggestions?

Carol Dufour  

Can any Partners help out here?? ;)

Brittany H (Community Manager)  

We are in the same boat and require the job # process that doesn't seem to exist within zero.
Has anyone here found a workable solution in zero or an add on?
Very keen to hear your thoughts before we transfer over

Chris Beehan  

Hi everyone. Xero can handle job-based data no problem (just set up Tracking Categories to track Job number). The issue is in the reporting. Xero's only Tracking Category reporting in is a columnar format in the P&L and Balance Sheet, which severely limits its usability.

You can run a P&L for any individual job (Profit & Loss Report, Compare Periods or Show Date Range, click more options, then filter by the desired tracking category). But again this gets tedious with more than a handful of jobs.

What we need is a set of reports focussed on Tracking Categories. A P&L report that listed all jobs with comparatives and ran them one at a time down the page (or on separate pages as an option), plus a job activity report (showing GL transactions subtotaled by job and code). These were great reports in MYOB, and are missing from the Xero arsenal.

I had a quick look at Quickwindevelopment.com's Excel add-on. While not for a novice, I believe that these reports could be built using this tool. Would need a bit of macro programming to get what you want, but I believe that this is achievable (I have invited the QWD team to respond to this post).

Brittany: are improved tracking category reports likely to come soon (sniper project maybe)?

I'm an NZ Chartered Accountant, Xero Certified Advisor and Xero's 2012 Most Valuable Professional. Please contact me for qualified accounting and business support: www.business-express.co.nz or phone +64-4-282-0306 or +1-647-367-0876.

Peter McCarroll  

We wouldn't recommend that Tracking be used for individual jobs. Tracking is meant for the static areas of reporting in your organisation - like Region, Department, or Sales Person so Xero doesn't handle a large number of Tracking options. If Job Tracking is something that you need, have a look at our Add-On Partners to see if any suit your requirements. Medium-term plans are to add in Job Cost functionality, but that's definitely subject to change so I don't want to raise up anyone's hopes! You can keep upto date with the progress of that here.

@Peter no plans to improve the Tracking Category reports, but this would a much easier change to make once all reports have the underlying framework of v2. If you add a Feature Request for that I'll be able to update you there :)

Brittany H (Community Manager)  

Thanks for the invite Peter.

Whilst you could hack together some sort of job costing report using my Excel Addon, I don't think it's a good fit. As Brittany said, the tracking categories aren't really meant for this and I wouldn't want people buying my addon in the hope it could be a magic fix.

Certainly come check it out if you want to do some advanced reporting though.


Ruairi M  

Do I understand correctly that I can not report on the transactions I have been allocating to a particular job.!!??!! Really?!?! I mean the field is there, when entering details in either Bills or Purchases... So please tell me I can now report on them. Surely Xero is not THAT dysfunctional?....

Laurette Lubbers  


No I don't think you do. If you are putting tracking data in with your transactions then you definitely can report on the results. In the Profit & Loss/Income Statement there are two ways to use this data:
1. Under Common Formats you will see "Compare <Category>" in the second line of options. If you click this you will see a columnar view of all the tracking options. It defaults to YTD, but it you then switch to the Show Date Range tab you can select a date range in this view.
2. Jump Straight to the Compare Periods or Show Date Range tabs and click "More Options". There is an option to "Filter by <Category>". Now you can prepare an income statement just for ONE option. The new report lets you include multiple options together (bot not do columns).

I hope that helps.
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Peter McCarroll  

Peter, Yes, I can see you can have Job totals in the P & L but I am actually after a simple report with ALL of the Job transactions, i.e every transaction I have logged under a specific Job (name/number), in one report....

Laurette Lubbers  

Yep - the new Account Transactions report will do that for you - you can filter by Tracking options.

Fuel Accountants Canada  

Still very disappointed with XERO for not having this functionality. We use Workflowmax and ABSOLUTELY HATE IT. It is terrible if you do anything but bill by time. It is very ridged and takes too much time to enter data. It isn't well integrated with Xero either. Our team went with Xero because they seemed to be making the fastest progress and we thought a year and half later they would be much better than Quickbooks, but they have stalled for sure. Seems they bit off too much and haven't addressed some seriously missing features in either product. So we can find addons to xero and addons to WFM but neither work with each other.

Smith Joshua  

Peter, the Account Transaction report only let's you select 1 GL code.
How do you get a transaction report for a job that shows every transaction please?
Everybody raves about xero but i'm yet to be convinced.

Vanessa Frost  

Vanessa, if you want to be able to select accounts to report on together then go to Reports, New Reports, Account Transactions. For all transactions, I like the Detailed Account Transactions report - export to Excel and now you can filter and search easily. The other all-account reports to look at is the General Ledger report - set the dates and update, then click on Export Detailed General Ledger to Excel. We keep this as an archive at the end of each year.

Peter McCarroll  

We use tracking for over 200 jobs a year and this works fine and produces P&l reports for each project. Enable in tracking, there is 2 group options at any one time and thy appear on the colomns in billing and invoicing so easy to assign costs to. We run 2 financial year catorgaries at a time so 2017 jobs and 2018, you then archive the previous year and enable the next year in its place.
We looked at work flow max but found it not suitable, this function is a great result. What you are after sounds similar to what we require and it works a treat
Keep it simple

Chris Beehan  

I've been patiently waiting for over 3 years to move my design business over from MYOB to Xero. I refuse to pay for a job/project number/full job/project p&L plugin that should a standard feature. I use multiple general ledger accounts and need a total project P&L. I am joining this discussion in the hope that we get an email update as soon as this feature goes live.

Julie McCoy  

Hi Julie,

I am happy to discuss with you what we do for project recording and P&L as it works well and Xero is a fantastic program for our business.
We looked at the add ons and they were not suitable.
If you want to contact me directly I am happy to run through it with you.
chris@stageset.com.au +61 401297779
I recon you would be happy with the transition to Xero, we certainly were.

Chris Beehan  

Thanks Chris, I will take a look at the tracking option (with my other business) and give you a call if I can't figure it out. Really good of you, cheers.

Julie McCoy  

We use tracking categories currently but the hard limit of 100 could be an issue soon. We are unable to use the second category option to create a combined tracking ID as we already use that for measuring different departments (You can only have two turned on at a time). I am hoping to get news of an update with a solution by adding to the discussion.

Andrew Spencer  

Andrew we use more than 100 tracking numbers, have done for the last few years??? I have never had a problem with this.

Chris Beehan  

Hi Chris I guess we will find out ourselves shortly what the limit is.

This other thread seems to confirm the tracking option limit and confirm Xero are working on a job tracking solution.


Andrew Spencer