Developing a job identification system can provide all sorts of handy information at a glance. Years ago when DuKate Fine Remodeling used Peachtree accounting, it incorporated one of Peachtree’s job ID systems, which it continues to use to this day.

At year's end, for example, company president Mike DuKate can easily identify the number of jobs per client, as well as separate out commercial from residential work. After reviewing a job autopsy based on the job ID, he not only knows dollar volumes but can identify the types of projects and the number of each type of project within each division. The job ID might also be handy for finding out which projects generated the most callbacks.

DuKate’s naming convention is also a great way to keep concurrent projects for the same client separated. Sometimes, due to extra work requested by the client, issuing a separate job ID might be easier to track as opposed to tracking a change order. Plus, it aids in keeping job costing accurate. (The disadvantage of just using a numbered job ID system is that it makes it too easy to be one number off and inadvertently assign cost to the wrong project.)

Suggestions for creating a job ID:

1. Have the beginning of the ID consist of the client’s name. If, for example, the client has a common last name, such as Smith, use the first three letters of the last name and the first letter of the first name to distinguish between clients. E.g., John Smith’s ID would begin “SMIJ.”

2. Assign a number representing the number of jobs performed for that particular client during the current fiscal year. So, the example would look something like “SMIJ2.”

3. Categorize the job as either a residential remodel (R), a commercial job (C), a handyman service (H), or a callback situation (CB) — for example: “SMIJ2R.” Add letters if more than one category fits.

4. Assign the year: SMIJ2R12. Now you know that John Smith has done residential work with your company twice in 2012.

At the end of the year, this type of Job ID aids in job analysis. Plus, when you want to know how many jobs you did for that retirement community, the answer is right there in front of you.

—Kathy Shertzer, gatekeeper and office manager for DuKate Fine Remodeling, in Franklin, Ind., blogs for REMODELING online.