Retainer jobs

This article will explain the Retainer option found in the job creation window and in the job property sidebar. 

What is a retainer?
A retainer is a fixed fee agreement with your client. So instead of quote and bill the client for every job, instead you agree that for a fixed fee every month/year, the client will get X amount of services within the retainer agreement. Many WorkBook clients create one job for every month (January retainer, February retainer and so on) and on that job do a price quote for the fee, do the time entries against the job and finally bill the client the fee.

Alternatively, you can create a Project (Retainer 2016) and within that project, create the jobs belonging to the retainer. In this instance, you would create a Retainer billing job that holds the invoices, and all other jobs will be finalised without an invoice. You can still see the profitability on the project level. For this retainer scenario, the retainer checkmark functionality as detailed within this help desk article is not needed. 

Table of content


What does the retainer job setting do?

The retainer option, which can be set on a job level, is a fairly simple function. The only effect it has is to prompt the user at job closure, what to do with any over or under spending compared to the quote that is on the job. WorkBook will ask you if you want to transfer under or over spending to a new job (for example the next month’s’ retainer job), as a WIP adjustment. If you have over spend in January, you can then transfer the amount to the February job and start on that job with a negative/lower budget.

January job
Price quote (agreed retainer fee) 10.000
Expenditures (costs applied to the job) 12.000
Over spending: 2.000

February job
Price quote (agreed retainer fee) 10.000
WIP adjustment: -2.000
Remaining budget: 8.000

WorkBook will not transfer any costs to the February job, but create a WIP adjustment instead. In other words, this has a financial impact.

Where do I turn on the retainer job setting?

It can either be set during creation of a new job as seen in picture below.

Retainer settings

Job creation dialogue retainer setting

or in the job properties sidebar (the golden hand).

Retainer 2

Job properties retainer setting


Job closure adjustment

In the example below we have done an invoice for 10.000. The job had expenses for 12.000. In other words: we are invoicing less than we’ve had expenses for.

In this case an adjustment will be transferred to the next job for 2.000. In other words: the February job will have less budget because you over spend in January.

Retainer - transfer WIP

Retainer job closure adjustment


How will it affect our monthly WIP/revenue?

Your monthly WIP/revenue will be capitalised, by either sales price or cost price according to your settings in your posting configuration.

Retainer posting configuration

Retainer posting configuration


An example for the use of the setting

Here is an example where you are doing a PR campaign project for a customer for a year, which is worth 120.000 USD. Your goal is to manage this month for month.

From here you split that Project into 12 jobs on the customer. (But you only create the January job at first, because the job closure adjustment will create the next job and transfer the adjustment).

1. January 10K
2. February 10K
3. March 10K
4. Etc…

Each jobs is worth 10K .

In January you spent 12k (in sales price not cost price), but only invoice 10k. This will lead to a job closure adjustment of +2K next month. In other words you start out february with 2.000 USD worth of hours. Your goal must therefore be to not spent more hours than 8K.

This way you can handle everything from a single job and will by the end, end up with a project containing all 12 jobs.

Was this article helpful? Useful Useless 3/5 found this article helpful.