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Cost Codes for Estimator

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

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For accounting purposes, you can assign Cost Codes for each item in a job bid. This is usually done after the bid has been won, using your own company accounting codes. Once all items are coded, reports can be run outlining material, labor, equipment, subcontractor and other item costs. You can assign any job cost a specific code depending on your company's accounting needs. Codes can be grouped according to specific types (such as material, labor, equipment, etc.) or you can assign the cost codes according to activity. Once your cost codes have been entered here, they can be used in the Assign Cost Codes window. These windows are used to tie your cost codes to your job bid items.

To import a list of cost codes from an an existing spreadsheet, right click in the table and then click Import from Excel. The excel import window will open where you can set up how you want the cost codes in the spreadsheet to be arranged in the window.

To export your cost code list to an excel spreadsheet, right click in the window and click Export to Excel.

There are two ways to apply cost codes to your bid items and sub items. In larger jobs with a lot of items, the preferred method is to use the Assign Cost Codes window. For jobs with fewer bid items, you can apply codes to each bid item directly from the Bid Items window by clicking the Actions menu selection, Item Cost Codes.

No matter which method you use to assign your cost codes, if you save bid items and sub items that have been assigned a cost code to the Item Master table, the assigned cost code is also saved. Each time you import the saved item into a new job, its cost code will come with it. This is important, because the more item masters you save with an assigned cost code, the less time you will spend linking cost codes to future job bid items and sub items.

Using the Assign Cost Codes window

With this method, you will import the cost codes from the list you create here into the Assign Cost Codes window. Then, you will drag and drop your bid items into their corresponding cost code categories in the Assign Cost Codes window. This is the fastest and easiest way to assign cost codes to the long lists of bid items and sub items that are common in medium to large jobs.

Item Cost Codes

Assigning cost codes is done in this window by highlighting a bid item or sub item and then clicking Item Cost Codes in the Actions menu. When the window opens, you will enter the cost code for the highlighted item and then click OK. Next, you will highlight another bid item or sub item and enter its cost code. You will do this for every item needing a cost code. This method is easiest to use when you have small jobs with a limited number of bid items, as it necessitates opening the Item Cost Codes window for each individual bid item.


The SharpeSoft Estimator is a simple tool that can help you organize and adjust your spreadsheets to give you the best user experience possible.

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