Functions in Projects

Let us have a look at some of the functions that can be performed in the Projects module.

Log Time

Once you create a task for a project, you can log time for the time spent on each task.

You can also log time in two other ways:

Record Manually

You can enter the time you’ve spent on a project manually. Here’s how:

log timer


Choose the start and end time by clicking the Enter time duration instead option. 

Projects Time Spent New Entry

Insight: The option to select users will be available only for Admins.

Start Timer

You can log time for a particular project using the timer. Here’s how:

start timer for projects Start timer disable timer

Once you stop the timer, you can enter the project details in the following popup.

Associate Projects

Track Project Cost and Revenue

When accounting for a project based company, you might want to track the project’s cost and revenue, and also summarize it accordingly.  In Zoho Books, this process can be done by associating projects with transactions. Once the projects are associated with transactions, you can view the summary of the project’s profitability from the Reports module.

Create and Send Project Quotes

  Before you begin working on the project, you can send a quote of the project and the prices to your customers. They can either accept, reject, or comment on the quote. After a quote is confirmed, it can be converted into an invoice. To create a quote for a project:

New Quote

 You can also create a quote from the Quotes module and associate a project to it. Here’s how:

Select project to associate with the quote

The total expense will be created and the projects details will be available in the timesheets module.

Invoice customers for projects

  You can create an Invoice and send it to your customers for partial or full completion of a project. 

Insight: You can associate multiple project to an invoice. 

  You can create an invoice for a project from the Project details page. Here’s how:

New Invoice Invoice Projects
Billing Method Available Options
Fixed Cost for Projects Only Single line for the project option will be shown.
Based on Task Hours The option Group by users will not be shown.
Based on Staff Hours The option Group by users will not be shown.
Based on Project Hours All the options will be shown.

Similarly you can associate other sales transactions such as Sales Orders and Credit Notes to a project.

Record Project Expenses

Projects have certain expenses. It can be anything from buying a coffee for your user to purchase tools for a task.  To record expenses for a project:

Insight: The Customers and Projects fields will be automatically populated.

  Projects Expense

You can also create an expense for a project from the Expense module. Here’s how:

 Projects Expense

Create Retainer Invoices for Projects

At times you might have to take an advance payment to arrange the resources for the project you are going to work on. Create a retainer invoice for the project and accept advance payments. You can later adjust them with the invoice you create from the project.

To record an advance payment for a project:

Projects Retainer Invoice

You can also record advance payments from the Retainer Invoices module. Here’s how:

Retainer Invoice Projects

Insight: All the sales transaction can be viewed in the Sales tab under the respective module names.

Once the Retainers are in the paid status, you can choose to apply them to your invoice. Here’s how:

Apply retainers to projects

The retainer amount will be deducted from the invoice. You can then view this in the total section.

Deducted in the Invoice

Bill the Vendors for a Project

When you are working on projects for your customers, you may incur various bills purchase of a software, tool etc. You can associate customers and projects to these bills and mark them as billable. Here’s how:

Bill Projects

Similarly you can associate other purchase transactions such as Purchase Orders and Vendor Credits to a project. To do this:

Manual Journals

You can create journal entries to keep of other transactions associated with this project manually. Here’s how:

Manual Journa Projects Journal Projects Additional info Projects

Bulk Update Line Items

You can bulk associate projects to line items of an invoice. You can select multiple items and associate projects easily in just one click.  To bulk update projects:

Bulk Update Line Item Update Projects Update Projects

Tracking Transactions

The transactions that you’ve recorded for a project can be tracked in the project module. Here’s how:

 Projects Sales Purchase Projects

Project Reports (Project Profitability)

You can customize reports and filter them based on the projects associated with different transactions. The overall profitability of a project can be viewed from the Profit and Loss report and the transaction based project details can be viewed from the transaction specific reports.

Profit and Loss Report

Project profitability can be customized and read from the Profit and Loss report. You can tailor the report and view them based on specific projects. To do this:

Customize Projects Reports Reports Projects

Insight: You can view the project’s profitability in a chart format right in the project’s Overview page by clicking the Profitability Summary. You can directly go to the specific project’s Profit and Loss report from this page by clicking Profitability Report below the chart.

Other Reports

You can view the reports of transactions created for a project. These reports include:

  1. Purchase Order Details Report
  2. Invoice Details Reports
  3. Quote Details Report
  4. Sales Order Details Report
  5. Bills Details Report
  6. Expense Details Report
  7. Debit Note Details Report

For instance, to view the projects associated with bills:

Track Project Cost for Staffs

A project can have multiple users working on it. Each user will spend a specific amount of time working on the project, and each user can have a different cost for every hour each works on the project.

Scenario: For example, Brandon and Miles are two users who are working on a project. The cost for Brandon is $10 per hour, and for Miles, it is $12 per hour. If both work for 4 hours each, then the cost for Brandon would be $40 (104) and for Miles, it would be $48 (124). Using the Cost Tracking feature in Zoho Books, you can allocate cost to a user, record time logs for them and track the cost incurred from the reports.

Enable Cost Tracking

Before you create a project, you will have to enable the Cost Tracking option.

Notes: Only an admin of the organization can enable cost tracking.

To enable:

Enable Cost Tracking

Allocate Cost to the Staff

You can set a predefined cost per hour for each user. To enter the cost:

Add Cost Per Hour

To edit the cost for an existing user:

Edit Cost Per Hour

The Cost Per Hour will be pre-filled in the new projects based on the amount specified for the user in the Users and Roles section. The updated cost per hour for the staff will not affect the existing projects or time entries.

On the other hand, if you missed to update the Cost Per Hour for a user before project creation, an admin can edit the project and specify the **Effective From **date. All the time entries created for the project after the selected date will be updated with the new cost.

log timer

Edit the Cost Per Hour While Logging Time

While logging the time, an admin can edit the Total Cost or Cost Per Hour by clicking the Edit icon.

To edit:

Edit cost per hour log time

Next, click Save in the New Log Entry.

To view the timesheet of a project with the Total Cost:

You can view the total cost of each entry in the Total Cost column.

View total cost

Project Cost Summary Report

This report gives you a summary of all the expenses incurred for projects. Often, when you take a project for a client, you will spend on certain resources for the completion of the project. The purchases of the resources can be tracked in the form of bills, expenses, self-billed invoices, manual journals etc. These costs spent on each project can be viewed in the form of a report in Zoho Books.

To view the Project Cost Summary report:

Project Cost Summary Report

The report will show the project name, description, customer name and the total cost from transactions, the cost amount from tiemsheet, and the budget amount. You can pick the date range from the calendar dropdown and view the report accordingly.

To customize the report, click the Customize Report option at the top bar.

Under the General section, the report can be filtered based on Project Name, Project Status, Project Billing Method and Customer Name.

Customize Project Cost Report

You can choose to include the columns that you want to have in the report. To include columns, click Show/Hide Columns to add or remove the columns from the Selected Column box.

Show or Hide Columns Project Cost Summary

Once you run the report, the Cost From Transactions will be shown. Clicking the cost of a project, you can view the drilled-down report with the list of transactions created for the project.

You can customize this report by clicking Customize Report. You can filter it based on Transaction Type, Vendor Name and Account Name. Transaction Type includes five filters (Bills, Vendor Credits, Expenses, Journals and Self Billed Invoices). Also, you can customize the columns by clicking Show/Hide Columns.

log timer

Also, you can export the report to Zoho Sheet and in PDF, CSV, XLS, and XLSX formats.

Projects Revenue Summary Report

Based on the project you’ve worked on for the client, invoices are raised along with the progress of the project. The total revenue raised on each project can be viewed in the form of a report in Zoho Books. Here’s how:

Project Revenue Summary Report

The report contains the following fields such as Project Name, Description, Customer Name, Actual Revenue, and Budget Amount. You can pick different date ranges from the calendar dropdown.

To customize the report:

Customize Project Revenue Summary Show or Hide Columns Project Revenue Summary

Once you run the report, the Actual Revenue will be shown. By clicking on a revenue amount of a project, you can view the drilled-down report with the list of sales transactions created for the project.

Project Revenuew Summary Drilldown

Also, you can export the report to Zoho Sheet and in PDF, CSV, XLS, and XLSX formats.

Next >
Manage Projects


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