How Can I Create My Own Billing Codes?

Billing Codes play a vital roll in generating your invoices, quotes and credit memos.  A Billing Code is an item created to represent a billable service or item that would not be a physical stock item (such as Inventory items would be).  Examples of Billing Codes are various kinds of labor charges, diagnostic charges, material charges, and tax. These codes can be set to debit and credit their own general ledger cost and income account numbers that would be different from the normal accounting flow of a sales invoice.

While ESC comes with a full set of default billing codes, it is also possible to create your own.  You'll start by heading to Sales → Enter Billing Codes.  Click the Add New button to create a billing code or double click an existing one to edit it.

  • Code - Enter up to a 15-character code here.
  • Active - Remove the check from this field if you do not want the code to show on search screens or reports. The part can still be used by opting to show inactive parts, but it will be extremely difficult to do accidentally.
  • Description - Enter a description as you would like it to appear on invoices. Example: DIAG might be entered for a code to denote a diagnostic charge, and the description "Diagnostic Charge" would appear on the invoice for the customer to see. An unlimited number of characters may be entered for the billing code description.
  • Type - The type determines the category on the sales reports where the cost and sales amounts will appear. Click on the down-arrow button to the right of this field to select a type for this Billing Code: 
    • Labor: the charges for a billing code with a type of Labor will appear in the Labor Sale column on Sales reports. Using a billing code on a sales invoice with a type of Labor will calculate the hours entered by the Rate on the Enter Billing Codes screen. If the Rate field is blank, the Labor Rate for the location being invoiced is used instead. This allows you to use one labor code to invoice all of your clients regardless of their rate.
    • Material: the charges for a billing code with a type of Material will appear in the Material Sale column on Sales reports.
    • Equipment: this type of billing code functions identically to the Material type billing code unless you are using the ESC Accounting module. When integrated with ESC Accounting this type will show up on a separate column on certain job reports.
    • Contract: the charges for a billing code with a type of Contract will appear in the Contract column on Sales reports.
    • Discount: using a billing code on a sales invoice with a type of Discount will display a prompt that asks for the percentage of discount. That discount will then be calculated and applied on all line items above the discount billing code. The discount percentage that is initially displayed on the discount prompt is read from the Rate that was entered on the Enter Billing Codes screen. If this is blank, the Discount % from the Enter Customers screen for this customer becomes the default. In both cases, the discount percentage may be changed when the prompt appears on the Sales Invoicing screen.
    • Helper: using a billing code on a sales invoice with a type of Helper will calculate the hours entered by the Rate on the Enter Billing Codes screen. If the Rate field is blank, the Helper Rate for the location being invoiced is used instead.
    • Other: the charges for a billing code with a type of Other will appear in the Other Sale column on Sales reports.
    • Mat Markup: using a billing code with a type of Mat Markup will display a prompt on the Sales Invoicing screen that asks for a percentage. If a percentage has been entered into the Rate field of this billing code, it will appear as a default on the prompt. It may be changed to any percentage. The material cost of all material line items that appear above this billing code on the Sales Invoicing screen will be multiplied by this percentage and entered as the Price and Amount for this line item. The purpose for this kind of code is primarily for contract bidding. Material will be listed on an invoice or a quote, and the selling prices for these items will be zeroed out (this can be done by clicking into any Price field and editing it to be 0.00. The zero amount will extend to the Amount field). With the selling prices of the individual material line items being zeroed out, a billing code with a type of Mat Markup is used to mark up the cost of all material by a certain percentage. Let’s say that you are bidding on a job, and that you need to make 20% over the cost of the material. The material items will be listed on the invoice first, and then a markup code with a type of Mat Markup is used below that to calculate a percentage of the cost of that material listed above. In this example, if you wish to make 20% on the job, enter 120 in the Rate field. This will appear in the prompt on the Sales Invoicing screen when the billing code is used, and it can be overridden at that point regardless of what number exists as the Rate on the billing code.
    • Equip Markup: this type of billing code functions identically to the Mat Markup type billing code except that the markup is only applied to items listed on the invoice as an Equipment type.
    • Other Markup: using a billing code with a type of Other Markup will calculate the cost of all billing codes with a type of Other that are listed above on the invoice times the percentage in the Rate field of the billing code. A prompt will appear on the Sales Invoicing screen when this type of billing code is used, and the percentage in the Rate field will appear as the default. It may be changed to any percentage at that point. Before using this type of billing code, the billing codes with a type of Other must have a debit and credit account number in the cost fields of the markup codes themselves. If account numbers are entered into these two cost fields on the billing code, the billing code will prompt the user for a cost per unit that will be totaled in the Other Cost field on the Sales Invoicing screen. A markup code with a type of Other Markup calculates only on the cost of a billing code that has a type of Other, and not the selling price. In the same scenario as the Mat Markup code above regarding a bid, the selling prices should be zeroed out on those line items before using a billing code with a type of Other Markup. In this way, the customer will see only one selling price for the entire bid rather than individual line item selling prices. When entering a Rate on the Enter Billing Codes screen, use a number like 120 to calculate a 20% profit. 100 would calculate a number that is equal to cost.
    • Contr Markup: using a billing code with a type of Contr Markup will calculate the cost of all billing codes with a type of Contract that are listed above on the invoice times the percentage in the Rate field of the billing code. A prompt will appear on the Sales Invoicing screen when this type of billing code is used, and the percentage in the Rate field will appear as the default. It may be changed to any percentage at that point. Before using this type of billing code, the billing codes with a type of Contract must have a debit and credit account number in the cost fields of the markup codes themselves. If account numbers are entered into these two cost fields on the billing code, the billing code will prompt the user for a cost per unit that will be totaled in the Other Cost field on the Sales Invoicing screen. A markup code with a type of Other Markup calculates only on the cost of a billing code that has a type of Other, and not the selling price. In the same scenario as the Mat Markup code above regarding a bid, the selling prices should be zeroed out on those line items before using a billing code with a type of Other Markup. In this way, the customer will see only one selling price for the entire bid rather than individual line item selling prices. When entering a Rate on the Enter Billing Codes screen, use a number like 120 to calculate a 20% profit. 100 would calculate a number that is equal to cost. The amount that is calculated by this type of billing code will appear on the Sales reports in the Contract field.
    • Agreement: the charges for a billing code with a type of Agreement will appear in the Serv Agr column on Sales reports. Codes with this type will also be subject to tax codes with the Tax SA column checked.
  • Rate (Price) - An amount may be set here. When the Billing Code is used on the Sales Invoicing screen, this amount will be displayed each time this billing code is used. This amount may be overridden when creating an invoice. This Rate field may also be left blank on the billing code, which will result in a blank price on the Sales Invoicing screen. Any amount may then be entered on the invoice.

    Example: if you create a labor Billing Code with a type of Labor and a Rate of $70.00, using the Billing Code on a sales invoice will set the Price to be $70.00 regardless of the rate tied to the customer's location. This price may be edited, but the advantage of setting an amount in the Rate field of a billing code is to eliminate the repetitive task of typing the same amount for many invoices for many customers.

    The Rate field on a DISC (discount) Billing Code will use that amount on a prompt for a discount percentage when entering an invoice.  The Rate field on a Mat Markup, Other Markup or Contract Markup billing code will be used to calculate the Price based on cost times the Rate.

  • Income Account - When a sales invoice is entered, the normal accounting flow is to credit some sort of sales income account and debit accounts receivable. If this field is left blank the income account will be determined by the sales department used on the invoice. To set this billing code to always use a fixed income account, enter the account number in this field.

  • Cost Debit / Credit - When an inventory part is billed on an invoice, the cost debit and credit is determined by the accounts that are set up when that inventory part is entered. A Billing Code does not have any cost defaults, so if you want to track the cost of the billing code - those accounts must be specified here. When using these fields you must enter both a debit and credit or your settings will be ignored.
    Note: Costs associated with Labor type billing codes will only appear on quotes. True labor cost can only come from payroll, but you can add technicians to invoices or credit memos to have estimated labor costs appear on your sales reports.
  • Post to History - If this is checked, then when this code is used, it will send a record to this customer’s History section. The description of the code will be the History description.
  • Non-Taxable - If this is checked, the amount that is generated by this Billing Code on the invoice will not taxed according to the Tax Code associated with the customer's location.
  • Base Cost - This field is only used if you have added cost debit and credit accounts to the billing code. Use it to set the cost amount for the billing code or leave it blank to prompt the user for an amount when the code is used on an invoice, credit memo or quote.
  • Overhead - If a percentage is entered in the Overhead field, the Base Cost will be multiplied by this percentage to give a total cost. This total cost is the amount that will be displayed in the lower left hand corner cost field on the Sales Invoicing screen, and it will also be the amount that is debited and credited for cost on the General Journal.
    If the Base Cost was left blank, this field will be ignored - even if you enter costs in directly on the invoice when the code is used.

The following Billing Codes have special abilities:

Labor

Leave the rate field blank to have the selected customer’s default Labor Rate used as the Price when this Billing Code is added to an invoice. Please note that using a labor Billing Code will not change the labor cost of the invoice.

Tip: You can have more than one labor code. So if you do different types of work you can have one with a price of zero, which will pull the customer's default labor rate, and another with a price of $125.00 to cover a different type of work you perform.

Discount

When a discount Billing Code is added to an invoice, the discount is only applied to entries shown above it on the invoice.

Leave the rate field blank to have the selected customer’s default Discount Percentage used as the discount when this Billing Code is added to an invoice.

Leave the description field blank to have the discount amount displayed on the invoice as "xx% Discount." This is helpful when the discount may be variable.

Helper

Leave the rate field blank to have the selected customer’s default Helper Rate used as the Unit Price when this Billing Code is added to an invoice. Please note that using a helper Billing Code will not change the labor cost of the invoice.

Sub

When a SUB billing code is entered on the Sales Invoicing screen, a sub-total line item will be created that will display a total of all line items that appear above it. For example, if you wish to enter a number of lines of inventory items, and if you wish to show a sub-total of that material before the labor is added, use SUB to add the inventory items. Additional lines may then be entered below the SUB line, such as additional charges or fees.

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