Within the Service module, the first item to set up is the product. Products are items or services that you provide to customers. The products dictate which general ledger accounts are used for sales and costs. The product classifications are basically the categories as commonly used in job cost. There are no longer standard categories such as labor, material, subcontract or other. They are referred to as labor and parts. Should you still want to separate material, subcontract and other, you would create parts for each one of these.
The next topic is setting up centers. Centers are basically service centers. For example, if you have multiple offices, you can set up a location for each office. If you only have one location you would set up only one center and use it across the board, as that is your primary place of business. Should you open up satellite offices in the future, you can create service centers for each location to easily segregate them for reporting purposes. Once your service centers are set up, no modifications will need to be made unless the business information changes.
The next step is setting up each department. As with the service center setup above, if you only have one department you would use that as your primary (or only) department. Each department can be mapped to the general ledger based on its default prefix. The prefix tells the service module which department is responsible for each product, work order or task. There must be at least one department set up for the company.
Since each product will be mapped to the appropriate general ledger accounts (base accounts), the prefixes will assign costs to the correct departments in the general ledger. This blog describes the basic setup that must happen in order for the work orders to correctly code the revenue and sales accordingly.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you complete this setup process and discover you missed a department or product, you can always add them later. It does not have to be set up perfectly or completely from the start, although that is ideal. But enough information does need to be in place in order to begin using and/or testing the module to ensure all information is mapped correctly. I will continue the setup process in subsequent editions of this blog series.