When getting your Cost Codes set up in Buildertrend, you'll notice a list of codes denoted as Variances. These codes are important to your cost tracking capabilities but don't have any direct connectivity to your Cost Codes. Within this article, we'll showcase why you need them and when to use them.

Variance Codes are used exclusively to track any unplanned or unexpected costs on a job. By default, your Buildertrend account already includes a list of some of the more common reasons for lost revenue on a job, which can then be added to a Purchase Order or Bill. You can find this list within your Setup tab, to the right of your Cost Code list.

Variance Codes are not actually related to a specific cost, but provide reasoning for the unexpected cost. However, since they exist alongside the Cost Code database, it makes sense to review how they relate to your actual costs.

Why should I use Variance Codes?

If you've ever lost money on a job but couldn't account for the exact reason why, you should use Variance Codes. To gain that level of insight, you'll want to begin to familiarize yourself with the Budget and Purchase Order system here in Buildertrend. 

Where do I use Variance Codes?

Variance Codes are used within Bills and Purchase Orders. You can apply a Variance Code to either an entire Bill/Purchase Order or you can add them to individual line items within a Bill/Purchase Order.

How do I edit/delete Variance Codes?

To add a new Variance Code or Variance Category, click New.

To delete or edit a Variance Code/Category, click the Variance Code you wish to edit or delete. Here, you'll be able to type over the title or delete the code.

Remember: if the Variance Code has been used anywhere within the program, you won't be able to delete. As an alternative, you can deactivate the code by unchecking the Active toggle in the top right. For more information on deleting Cost Codes from the program, please refer to the article: How Do I Delete Cost Codes?

🧰Pro Tip:

  • Adding your Variance Codes into sub categories or parent codes is not a best practice and should be avoided.

What is the difference between Customer Variance and Builder Variance?

Within each Variance Code Editor the option to flag the Variance Code as a Customer Variance. This toggle is directly tied to the Customer Change Order tool within Buildertrend. By default, the Variance Code: 72- Customer Change Order is auto designated as a Customer Variance.

If a Variance Code is marked as a Customer Variance when converting a change order into a purchase order, it will automatically mark the cost as customer initiated and move it to a different column within your Budget.

To maintain this functionality, don't remove this flag from Variance Code 72- Customer Change Order.

If not marked as Customer Variance, the Variance Code will be recognized in the system as a Builder Variance code which is seen as an unexpected cost your company must cover. Both types of Variances have a column within the Budget.

Help Video:

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If you have any questions or require additional support, feel free to chat with us, send an email: support@buildertrend.com, or give us a call at 1-888-415-7149. We’re always happy to help.

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