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Labor Categories allow you to classify work/labor performed on contracts/projects. 

Labor Categories, descriptions, and bill and cost rates may be set up in the Admin > Setup > People > Labor Categories. These rates will also appear in various reports such as Forecast, Assignment and Plan reports.

Labor Categories provide an optional mechanism to categorize people, and the work they do, based on a job description. Your company's Admin creates a list of master labor categories available for use in the system. Master labor categories can be further refined to make them project specific.

Each Unanet user can be associated with a default labor category in the People > List > List tab > Edit Pencil Icon > Time.

Labor Categories can be assigned at three different levels in Unanet:

  • Master level in Admin > Setup > People > Labor Categories
  • Project level
  • Person Assignment level

At the highest level are system wide labor categories. All labor categories must be set up in this global list. As an example, our System Wide List may include:

  • Project Manager
  • Program Manager
  • Junior Software Developer
  • Senior Software Developer
  • Quality Assurance Specialist

A subset of labor categories from the system wide list can be associated with specific projects. This limits the labor categories available to that project. From the previous example, only three of the labor categories will be used in the Project Specific List:

  • Project Manager
  • Senior Software Developer
  • Quality Assurance Specialist

Finally at the third level, individual employees can be assigned to a project and associated with a specific labor category, at the Person Assignment Level:

  • Jane is assigned as a Senior Software Developer

Bill rates may be established at all three Labor Category levels, system wide, project, and assignment. For time and materials projects, labor categories can be paired with a specific bill rate. Typically, workers under the same labor category on the same project will be billed out at the same rate. Each subsequent level of Labor Category has the opportunity to inherit or override the rates from the previous level.

In the example below, the rate for a Project Manager might be $175/hr at the system wide level. This rate can be inherited or overridden at the project labor category level. In our example, we overrode the rate with $150/hr. Finally, when an employee is assigned to a project, the rate can be overridden again:

Labor CategoryRateLabor CategoryRateLabor CategoryRate

System wideProject Manager$175/hrSenior Software Developer$180Quality Assurance Specialist$160



Rate Used

In the example above, the Project Manager bill rate was overridden at the Project level, The Senior Software Developer rate used the system wide default rate, and the Quality Assurance Specialist rate was overridden at both the Project and Assignment level.

Labor Category Derived Defaults:

  • If a user has no default Labor Category associated on his/her Person Profile, and no labor category is chosen on the person's assignment to a project, the system will default to the first labor category on the list of labor categories associated with the project. 
  • If a user has no default Labor Category associated on his/her Person Profile, no labor category is chosen on the person's assignment to a project, and there are no labor categories associated with the project, the system will default to the first labor category on the list of master labor categories. 

Best Practices:

  • Bill rates are almost always set up at a Master Labor Category level. If Bill Rates are negotiated on a project-by-project basis, the rates should be left blank or zero at the Admin level. This may help identify errors more easily in reporting, because a zero bill rate would show if it was not assigned at the project level. Bill rates, if project specific, should be set at the Project > Labor Categories level.
  • Cost rates are almost always set up at a Person/individual level instead of a Labor Category cost rate. Sometimes a generic labor category cost rate is used if users should not be allowed to see individual rates. Other times generic "blended" cost rates may be used for planning or reporting purposes (but of course these cost rates are merely estimates and not exact).
  • Define posting accounts by Labor Category if you want to post to different GL accounts based on the type of work being performed. The account categories that can be sourced from Labor Category are Cross-Charge Labor, Cross-Charge Labor Offset, Labor Cost, Recognized Revenue, and Revenue Write-Off.

Helpful Questions:

  1. Are you planning to track real/individual cost rates for labor or use generic/blended rates?
  2. Do you bill a given Labor Category at a standard rate or do you negotiate rates on a project by project basis?

Additional Information

Help Docs - Labor Categories

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