Back in simpler times, our customers had simpler jobs. All they needed was to set up one set of cost centres for each job. As the complexity of the jobs grew, it became necessary to split a job into separate areas, and have a different set of cost centres for each area.

If you’re taking on large industrial construction jobs you can take advantage of areas to better organize your jobs. If you’re doing simpler jobs, like single-family homes, you’ll likely only need a single area. But, even modest jobs can benefit from splitting indirect costs, such as supervision and clerical support, into one area, and direct costs, such as material and craft labour, into their own area.

Each area can be tied to one or more purchase orders. You can save an electronic copy of these purchase orders and include them when you invoice your client. Abio will also alert you when you are close to maxing out an area’s purchase order.

Each area can be dispersed in a different style than other areas. Dispersions allow you to divert different kinds of payroll costs to their own cost centres. For instance, if you want to keep track of meals, or overtime premiums, you can set up dispersion rules to record them separately.

To add a new area to a job, navigate to [e] Job Costing, then [d] Area Entry.

A list of all current job areas will display.

Area Details

Click on the Details tab to review an individual area.

Area Actions

You can click on the action field to see a list of available actions:


This action lets you view, but not change, an area.


Add a new area to a job.


Change the details for an area.


Delete an area that doesn’t have any centres created for it.


Print, email, or export the area record to excel.


Renumber an area within a job.

Unaudited change

This action only applies to the Client P/O tab.

Area Fields


The job this area is for.


The area field uniquely identifies the area within a job.


Display this description in reports.

Disperse Type

Payroll timesheets include more than just regular hours. They can also include things like overtime hours, which represent an overtime premium. There are also meals, travel, living out, and a number of other overhead costs.

These amounts definitely contribute to the cost of the current job. However, they won’t necessarily be present on future jobs. It will be easier to estimate future similar jobs if the labour hours are posted to their own cost centre, and overhead costs go to their own cost centres.

If you want to isolate overhead costs from straight labour costs, you can specify a dispersion type. Depending on the rules you set up, Abio will move those overhead to costs to their own centres. Use this field to determine which set of dispersion rules should be applied when payroll is costed to the general ledger.

Area Group

Assigning an area to an area group allows you to refine how records are selected for job costing reports.


Only active divisions can be assigned to accounts and books.

Client P/Os

This tab lets you record one or more client purchase orders. Abio keeps track of the amounts invoiced to each purchase order. You can then use the J/C Area P/O Tracking report to let you know when a purchase order is close to it’s limit.

Client P/O Actions

Click on the action field to display a list of valid actions.


This action lets you view, but not change, a client purchase order.


Add a new client purchase order to an area.


Change the details for an client purchase order.


Delete a client purchase order that doesn’t have any A/R invoices posted to it.


Print, email, or export the client purchase order record to excel.

Unaudited change

Change the total amount of invoice entry posted to this purchase order.

Client P/O Fields

Client P/O

This field uniquely identifies the purchase order

Quote No

If there was a quote that led to this purchase order, you can record the quote here. When A/R invoices are posted to the purchase order, you will have the option of include the supporting documents associated with the quote in your invoice package.

P/O Amount

Enter the amount of the purchase order.

P/O Invoiced

This field is incremented each time an A/R Invoice is posted to this job, area, and client purchase order.

Copy P/O to other areas

If a client’s purchase order is applicable to multiple areas, you can selectively copy it to other areas within the same job. This function is enabled during the change action.

Clicking on this button opens a dialogue that allows you to select which areas to copy the current purchase order to.

Use the check box at the top to select all or select none of the records.

From there, you can add in or remove centres to copy the client purchase order to.

You can adjust the amount of the purchase order.

If the purchase order already exists for some centres, those centres will be disabled.

Click <Apply> to add the client purchase order to the selected centres.

When you refresh the list, it confirms the new purchase orders have been copied to the selected centres.

Supporting Documents

Click on this tab to upload an electronic copy of the client’s purchase order.

Any of the supporting documents can be included with any A/R invoices posted to this area.

Add and Remove Centres

Rather than add centres one by each, you can add and remove centres to the current area by dragging them from the right of the screen to the left of the screen. Click on the ‘Add and Remove Centres’ tab.

Use the Change action to enable the screen. When you’ve selected your cost centres, click the Apply button to save them. You can modify individual cost centres on the Centre Entry screen.