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A Day in the Life: Project-based jobs
Solution No. 390

Before we get started
The project-based job
Adding a brand-new customer!
Making the work order!
Build, build, build the dec….
Time to pay up, Bob!
Additional notes: how to create a job item
Additional notes: how to create a team
Video tutorial


Welcome to the third of our ongoing "Day in the Life" series, in which we'll guide you through some of the more common processes associated with running a field service business similar to yours. Today, we'll be tackling the ins and outs of how Method Field Services can be used to schedule a project-based job. The example industry we'll be using is deck building, but there are many industries in which you might need to schedule an ongoing project, including landscaping, roofing, and any other field in which the work might take a longer period of time to complete.

A quick disclaimer: our "Day in the Life" documents and videos are meant for users who are already familiar with how QuickBooks works and who have a working understanding of the Method environment as well. If this is your first time dealing with Method Field Services (for QuickBooks Desktop) or Method Scheduling and Invoicing (for QuickBooks Online), we'd recommend you check out our documentation and videos outlining the basic functionality of Field Services before delving into this content.

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Before we get started

This document is designed for you to follow along and see how Method Field Services / Scheduling and Invoicing works in practice. But if you try to paint a portrait in the dark, the results might be unflattering - similarly, you'll need certain prerequisites in place in your Method Field Services account in order for this example to work the same way in practice as it does on the page. Here's what you'll need to get started:

Job item - This Day in the Life will require several unique job items:

  • Deck building
  • Deck assembly
  • Deck assembly: Auger and cement mixer rental
  • Deck assembly: Cement
  • Deck assembly: Deck foundation
  • Deck assembly: Deck materials
  • Deck assembly: Garbage bin rental
  • Deck assembly: Joist
  • Deck assembly: Site cleanup

It will be easier for you to follow along if these are already saved in your account, so to find out how to add job items, click here!

Team - You will want to have three teams prepared before starting on this Day in the Life tutorial.

NOTE: You will have to use your own users to populate these teams, since you probably don't want to buy licenses for imaginary workers. To find out how to create new teams, click here!

All set? Once more unto the breach, dear Method users!

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The project-based job

Robin Lefler is the last word in outdoor carpentry - her decks are the talk of every summer barbecue in the area code. Her company, Deck Queen, has made great use of Method Field Services which helps her to schedule long-term jobs that can't be completed in a single day. And since Method syncs with her QuickBooks account, she spends less time inputting accounting information and more time doing what she and her team do best - building decks fit for royalty! The following is an example of how a typical day in the life of Robin Lefler, Deck Queen, might play out.

Building a quality deck is no easy feat - it requires time and care to do it right. That means a single job might take Robin and her team several days to complete. The best way to schedule such a job in Method Field Services is to set it up as a project-based job.

Summer is right around the corner, and who should call the Deck Queen offices than our old friend Bob Crenshaw, who's in the market for a brand-new deck on which to host his famous all-night pig roasts. Of course, that means his existing deck (which was damaged when somebody dropped the pig at last year's all-night roast) will need to be torn down first. Clearly this is a job that won't get done in the span of a day, so Robin decides to book it as a project instead.

But before Robin builds a work order for this deck-building project, she should input Bob as a new customer (because even though Bob has previously been a customer of Lawn Queen and Pipe Queen, he has never patronized Deck Queen before!). This means she needs to create a customer record for Bob. Here's how she'd do it!

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Adding a brand-new customer!

  1. Navigate to the Tab Groups drop down menu and click on Field Service Operations.
  2. Click on the Customers tab link.
  3. In the Customer name field, type in Bob Crenshaw.
  4. If you want Method to be able to plan your route, make sure you include a valid address in the Bill to field.
  5. Click Save to save the new entry - Bob Crenshaw is now in your existing customer list! If you refresh the Existing customers grid, you'll be able to see him - and he'll be available to choose from the Customer drop down list on the Work order screen.

Now that Bob has been inputted into Method Field Services, Robin is free to create the work order for tearing down his old deck and building a brand-new one!

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Making the work order!

  1. Navigate to My Calendar and use the mini calendar to select the next calendar week.
  2. Click on the Tuesday 9am slot and drag the mouse over to the Thursday 5pm slot. Then right-click and click New.
  3. This will bring up the Add/edit work order screen with the dates and times already filled in for a three-day job. Choose Bob Crenshaw from the Customer drop down list.
  4. In the Job item grid, choose Deck Building and click Update.
  5. Navigate to the Recurring dates subtab and click on Recurring. Then click on the Project radio button.
  6. Under Set preferences, check off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Date span will be filled in already because you chose it in the calendar. Then click Insert recurring dates.
  7. You will see the three days represented in the Job grid below. But since Robin has three teams working for her, each of whom will be responsible for one day of this project, we will have to reassign the jobs. Using the Assigned to drop down menu, assign each job to a different Team Leader (keep in mind every member of the team will be included for time tracking purposes when on the job when the Team Leader signs in).
  8. To further clarify the differences between the jobs happening on each of the three days, change the name of the first job to Deck Assembly: Clear, the second to Deck Assembly: Foundation, and the third to Deck Assembly: Build. You can do this by typing directly into the field and then clicking away to save. Then click Update to update the grid, and close the work orders.
  9. When you return to the My Calendar screen, use the Assign to feature to show active work orders for your three Team Leaders by clicking the check boxes next to their names and clicking Apply filter. This will display the work orders in the calendar.
  10. Click on each work order in sequence to fill in details about the job items associated with each work order. You can do this by clicking New job item and then typing in the name of the job item you're searching for. For the first, fill in Site Cleanup. For the second, fill in Deck Foundation, Auger and Cement Mixer Rental, and Cement. For the third, fill in Deck Assembly and Deck Materials. For each work order, when you have finished filling in the job items, click Update and then click Save & Close to return to the Calendar screen.

Now it's time to head out to Bob's house to start our project!

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Build, build, build the deck...

On the first day, as we have indicated in our work order, the order of the day will be dismantling and removing the old deck.

In order for the team to know where Bob lives, a map would certainly be helpful! To bring up a map:

  1. From the My Calendar screen select the column pertaining to the day of the job.
  2. Click on Mapping > Map selected column. Assuming you have set up a home address for your business (please see Settings and Preferences for more details) this will bring up a map of directions from your office to Bob Crenshaw's house, which you can print out for your team!

Once you arrive at the job site, the team leader can log into Method Mobile using the user ID of the Team Leader you chose. All of the team members associated with this team will be included in the Time Tracking (see next step).?

  1. From the drop down at the top of the screen, choose Work Orders and select Bob Crenshaw's work order from the last. Then click Start Timer and get to work tearing down that unsightly old deck! When you click Start Timer, it updates the status of the work order to "In Progress".
    TIP: It's important to note that additional job items can be added though Method Mobile. For example, if the team hadn't accounted for the possibility they'd need a garbage bin to dispose of Bob's deck, they could add one by navigating to the Items tab and searching for the Garbage Bin item in the Selected Job Item field, then clicking Save to save it to the work order.
  2. When Bob's deck has safely been deposited into the rental Garbage Bin, the team leader can go back into Method Mobile > Details and click Stop Timer. This will log the entire team's hours worked and update your Method account on your home computer as well, and will set the work order for today to Complete.

The above steps would be repeated in the exact same way for the two other teams, at the end of which time Bob should have a brand-new deck just in time for this year's pig roast!

Time to head back to Deck Queen headquarters!

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Time to pay up, Bob!

When the final nail has been hammered and the last of the varnish dries, it's time for Bob to pay for his beautiful new deck. This means Robin has some invoicing to do!

  1. From the Work order list, select "All Completed and to be Invoiced" from the Filter by view drop down menu. This will display Bob's three work orders as they have been marked Complete.
  2. Click on More Actions > Invoice All. When prompted, click OK > Create Invoices > OK. This will redirect you to the Invoice tab. Since the work orders for all three days pertained to Bob, they will all be represented on a single invoice (rather than sending Bob three separate invoices for each day). You'll see all the work that was done along with any inventory items he's being charged for, as well as the total owing. Depending on how your preferences are set up, Method will email Bob Crenshaw to tell him his invoice is ready.

And that's it! Bob has a new deck and you have learned how to schedule a multi-day project in Method Field Services. Below, you'll find some additional information you might find useful to help walk you through this example.

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Additional notes: how to create a job item

  1. From the Work order list, choose the work order you'd like to edit.
  2. Under the Tasks & Materials subtab, click on the ellipses button (...) next to any of the Job Item spaces. This will bring up the New Item screen.
  3. There are two types of job items we'll be using in this example: Service and Inventory Part.In the Name / Number field, type in the name of the job item.
    • Service: Deck building, Deck assembly, Deck assembly: Auger and cement mixer rental, Deck assembly: Deck foundation, Deck assembly: Garbage bin rental, Deck assembly: Site cleanup.
    • Inventory Part: Deck assembly: Deck materials, Deck assembly: Cement, Deck assembly: Joist.
  4. For services, include a sale price in the given field. For inventory parts, include both a sales and cost price (the cost price refers to how much the item cost your company to purchase).
  5. For services, click on the Income account drop down list and chose "Services".
  6. For inventory items, click on Inventory information > Asset account, and choose "Inventory asset".
  7. Click Save & Close to save these records.

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Additional notes: how to create a team

  1. From the Dashboard, go to Settings > Team members.
  2. Choose a team name for your team and type it into the field (e.g. Team 1).
  3. Under Team Leader, choose a user name from the drop down list. This will be the default sign in for all team members attached to this team when they're in the field.
  4. Under Employee/Vendor 1 and 2, choose two other users from your Method team.
  5. Click Save & Close to save this record.
  6. Repeat as needed for additional teams.

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Video tutorial

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