How do I get started with Cost Centres?

What is a Cost Centre?

Cost Centres are used to help keep track of expenditure. Hours are allocated to Cost Centres in order to see how much time and money is being spent on a particular department, project or process.

You will find Cost Centres used throughout Focus. For example, Cost Centres can be applied to an absence of any length as well as IN clockings. Therefore, it’s important to have a basic understanding of how they are used on a day-to-day basis.

This guide will look at:

  • Edits and Cost Centres
  • Timesheets and the hierarchy of Cost Centres
  • Rotas and Cost Centres
  • Self Service and Cost Centres
  • Reporting and Cost Centres

Edits and Cost Centres

By default, Users must provide a Cost Centre when making an edit to a Timesheet or booking an absence. If required, you can turn this requirement off by navigating to System>System Setup>General>Edits and tick ‘Allow No Cost Centre on Edits’.

Timesheets and the hierarchy of Cost Centres

There is a definitive Cost Centre hierarchy in how they are applied to time worked, due to the fact that each IN clocking can only have a single Cost Centre applied. From the lowest importance, this hierarchy is:

Employee Form (lowest)

Shift Rule

IN Clocking

Hours Edit (highest)

Employee Form

If there are no other Cost Centres that Focus can find, the employee’s Default Cost Centre will be applied.

Shift Rule

In the employee’s schedule (Work Schedule or Rota), the Cost Centre within the Shift Rule will take precedence over the employee’s Default Cost Centre.

IN Clocking

When an employee clocks IN, if the clocking terminal (Connection) has a Cost Centre assigned to it, it will take precedence over the Shift Rule’s Cost Centre. Likewise, Self Service clockings can be assigned to Cost Centres. 

An OUT clocking will close off the current Cost Centre, allowing a second IN clocking to have a different Cost Centre applied to it.

If required, this can be overridden in the employee’s Timesheet by selecting the required IN clocking and changing the Cost Centre.

Hours Edit

The top of the hierarchy is an Hours Edit. Any Cost Centre selected here will take precedence over all other Cost Centres.

The results of your Cost Centre settings, and how the worked hours have been assigned to Cost Centres, can be seen as a breakdown at the bottom of an employee’s Timetable.

Example A: An employee who works the same shift every day and clocks in on the same clock might have all their hours assigned to a single Cost Centre.

Example B: An employee who works a variety of shifts and clocks in at several different locations might have their hours split across multiple Cost Centres.

Rotas and Cost Centres

A Shift Rule (if it has a Cost Centre) will show in the Rota as the colour of its Cost Centre. Otherwise,  it will be white. When a Shift Rule with a Cost Centre is selected in the Rota, its Cost Centre is greyed out, preventing it from being edited. 

In ‘Options, Filters & Preferences’, you can set a default Cost Centre if required.

If you then manually add Times to the Rota, or add a Shift Rule without a Cost Centre, the assigned default will automatically be applied. You can, however, change the Cost Centre if required.

You can also use this Cost Centre default to filter costs within the Rota, which can help with your planning. If viewing Total Hours and/or Total Cost in the Rota, simply tick ‘Filter Cost By Selected Cost Centre’. This will change the totals to only show those hours and costs associated with the selected Cost Centre.

Self Service and Cost Centres

If your employees clock in using Self Service, you can make it compulsory for them to select a Cost Centre when doing so. To turn this function on;

  1. Select ‘System’ from the Menu Bar.
  2. Select ‘Self Service Profiles’ from the System Tree.
  3. Select the required Self Service Profile.
  4. Select the ‘General’ tab.
  5. In the ‘Clocking Rules’ section, tick ‘Clocking With Cost Centres’ (allows employees to select a Cost Centre but is not compulsory). Tick ‘Cost Centre Required’ to make the selection compulsory.
  6. Save.

The Cost Centre hierarchy is still applicable here. For example, the selected Cost Centre will override any Shift Rule’s Cost Centre or the employee’s own default Cost Centre.

Reporting and Cost Centres

In the ‘Payroll - Cost Centre Hours Report’, you can choose to view a quick snapshot or a detailed breakdown of how hours have been assigned to Cost Centres.

  1. Select ‘Reports’ from the Menu Bar.
  2. Select ‘Payroll’ from the Reports Tree.
  3. Select ‘Payroll - Cost Centre Hours’.
  4. Set your ‘Filters’ as required (eg. Date range, Group, Cost Centres to be included).
  5. Select ‘Cost Centres Summary’ to produce a Group breakdown of the hours assigned to each Cost Centre. Alternatively, select ‘Employees Summary’ to produce an individual breakdown for each employee.
  6. Select ‘Run’ to see the Report.

Related Articles

How do I check shifts have been assigned a Cost Centre?

Check that shifts are being assigned to the correct Cost Centres and update quickly if needed.

How do I create Cost Centres?

Cost Centres can be used to keep track of wage spending, assigning employee time to particular departments, projects or processes.

Skill Level