Using cost codes in foundU

Looking to get the most out of Cost Codes in foundU? 

Cost codes are useful for:

  • Allowing you to maintain budgets for jobs, events etc.
  • Reporting to assist businesses to make decisions
  • Uploading your data into your accounting software for your Profit and Loss (P&L) statements.

Best practice tips:

    • Utilise the Cost Code (PO) Library.
    • Ensure that all employees are allocated. This includes your salaried employees!
    • See below for cost code reporting and more!

Cost codes in foundU work in the below ways, you can:

      1. Cost a whole roster. This is the most frequently used approach, where cost codes are pulled in from your rosters (they may represent different departments for example Bar/ Front of house etc).
      2. Cost an individual person's position. This allows you to choose a specific setting option for how the cost code appears per employee and per position.
        • When deciding which approach would work best for your business you'll need to consider:
          • What you would like to cost e.g., cost per site
          • Your setup, e.g., if you have your rosters set up per site and if all your employees are rostered.
          • As well as any Salaried automation options you may be utilising.
      3. Cost a specific line item in payroll. While cost codes won't be visible to employees on payslips, admins can assign cost codes to line items when editing or adjusting payslips. For more information see our helpful Edit or Adjust Payslips article.


Within foundU Cost codes and Purchase Orders are the same thing.

If your platform is set up to use invoicing, they will be referenced throughout your platform as Purchase Orders or POs. If not, they will be referenced as Cost Codes.

In this article, they will be referred to as cost codes. 

Managing Cost Codes

Access the Cost Code library

The cost code library can be accessed from the main menu > Payroll Settings > Cost Code Library

From within the cost code library, you can view and manage your cost codes. This includes adding new, editing, or deleting existing cost codes. 

Add cost codes to your library

Cost codes can be added to your cost code library from anywhere in the platform that allows the selection of a cost code.

However, the primary location to add & manage your cost codes will be the Cost Code Library itself, making it a central place to make changes easily.

Cost Code Library

To add a new cost code to your cost code library:

  1. Navigate to Payroll Settings > Cost Code Library.
  2. On the right, select + Cost Code.

  3. Enter the name of your cost code.

    • As you are entering your cost code, the field will search your existing cost codes. If you find that the cost code you're attempting to add already exists, you can edit it instead. See the below section for editing options.
  4. If your cost code can be used across all operations, leave the toggle Apply to all operations on. Skip ahead to step 6.
  5. If your cost code is only available for use in certain operations, turn the Apply to all operations toggle off. 
    • With the toggle disabled, click into the operations field and type to find your desired operations.
    • Select each operation that the cost code applies to. 
  6. Save your selections at the bottom.

Cost code selection

When selecting a cost code anywhere in the platform, if the cost code does not exist, you will have the option to create a new one. 

  Note: If you create a cost code in this way, it will flow back to the cost code library, however, it will only pertain to the Operation it was created under.

  • Roster - The cost code will be added and applied to the operation that the roster belongs to.
  • Payslip - The cost code will be added and applied to the operation the pay item is attributed to. 
  • Employee position - The cost code will be added and applied to all operations.  
  • Invoice - The purchase order will be added and applied to the operation that is being sent the invoice.



Edit cost codes

The editing of cost codes will be done from the Cost Code Library. There are two types of edits that you may be looking for.

  • Editing the operation/s that a cost code can be used with.
  • Editing the title of the cost code.


  1. Navigate to Payroll Settings > Cost Code Library
  2. Click the ellipsis to the right of the cost code you're looking to edit then select edit

  3. Add or remove operations as required. 
  4. Once you've made the desired changes, click Save.

Cost code title

It's not possible to edit the title of an existing cost code regardless of whether it has been used or not. Instead of editing the title, the recommendation would be to:

  1. Create a new cost code with the correct title. Refer to the above accordion. 
  2. Update any rosters or positions using the old cost code, replacing them with the new one.
  3. Delete the old cost code. This will help to ensure that the incorrect one is not selected accidentally. Refer to the below accordion.
Removing cost codes

When referring to removing cost codes, there could several places you may want to remove them from.

  • Cost code library - This will delete the cost code so that it cannot be used within the platform (unless re-added).
  • Use within an operation - To remove the cost code from one or more operations whilst still keeping it active for use elsewhere, refer to the Edit cost codes accordion above.
  • From a roster - A roster will always be used for costing. If no cost code is present, the roster name will be used. 
  • From an employee position - A cost code on a position can be set to override, fallback or to append to a roster cost code. It can be removed from the position which will then mean the roster cost code will take preference. 

Cost code library

To remove a cost code from the cost code library:

  1. Navigate to Payroll Settings > Cost Code Library
  2. Locate the cost code you'd like to delete
  3. Click the ellipsis to the right of the cost code and select Delete


To remove a cost code on a roster:

  1. Navigate to Work > Rosters
  2. Locate the roster & click the settings icon next to it.

  3. Click into the cost code field and remove the content

  4. Enter in a new cost code or leave it blank.
    • Rosters without a cost code specified will use the roster name instead.
  5. Continue through the edit roster menu and Save

Employee Position

To remove a cost code from an employee position:

  1. Navigate to the employee profile > Employee Card > Employment type
  2. On the position, click the edit icon under the Cost Code

  3. Either change the cost code to something different or change the top drop-down option to No.

Application of Cost Codes

Decide how cost codes will work for your business

Your cost code set-up is generally configured through the Implementation process initially. As your business grows you may have additional cost code requirements.

The below decision tree is a helpful way to consider your cost code needs by considering:

    • What you would like to cost e.g. cost per site, cost per position.
    • Your current set up for example, if you have your rosters set up per site and if all your employees are rostered.
  • Below is an example using Mary who is a receptionist and is rostered on the Head office Roster.

If you are using the Salaried automation for your salaried staff check out the helpful section below for additional guidance.

Cost code per employee and position
  1. In the quick menu select People > Approved People and find the employee and click on their name to go into their profile or use search to find the desired employee.
  2. In the overview, section selects the Employee Card icon and click on Employment Type.
  3. Click the edit icon next to Edit Cost Code Settings under the relevant position, this will open the Cost Code Edit.
  4. Then select the desired Cost Code and the preferred option for the existing cost code (if there was one previously) and select save to submit the change.

Note: Run your cursor over the blue information icons for a description.

There are 3 options:

  1. Fall Back- Cost code will be used if one does not exist elsewhere. For example, on the roster, timesheet, job and pay.
  2. Override- this will replace any existing cost code.
  3. Post Fix Append to exiting cost code- Adds the cost code to the existing cost code.

Note: If you haven't yet added any positions/locations, please apply these and save them before adjusting cost code settings


Cost code per Roster

Cost Codes or Purchase Order (PO) numbers can be applied to the roster upon creation, or edited to add to existing rosters.

To assign a cost code/ Purchase order to a specific existing roster:

  1. In the quick menu navigate to Work > Rosters.
  2. Open the Roster section (using the arrow on the far right) for the specific operation.
  3. Select Edit Roster.
  4. Add the PO into the Purchase Order/ Cost Code section.
  5. Click Save. Now when employees work on that roster they'll have the roster cost code assigned to them. 



Salaried employee cost code best practice tips
If your business has Salaried employees and when you set up the employee you selected the Salaried automation, this means that Salaried employee's data flows through to Pay directly instead of needing to have the hours approved by Managers in Approve Shifts.

Below is an example of the different options for Ben, who is a Salaried Manager working at head office.

You then have 2 options for your Salaried staff, like Ben, when it comes to rostering:

  1.  You do not need to have your Salaried employees on the roster.
  2. Or you can choose to add Salaried employees to the roster
    • But if you do work the hours they have listed on the roster will not impact what comes through to pay. I.e. if they work 45 hours, and their work pattern hours are set to 40 hours, 40 hours will always pull through to the payslip.

These tips are a guide only and you can adjust your cost codes to meet your business needs.

A salaried employee is not rostered, and you would like them to be allocated a cost code based on their Position.

  • This means you'll need to use Employee position cost codes so that your employee is allocated. In the diagram this means we go down the no decision, where we cost Ben's position. 
    • We then need to decide which option we want for Ben, for the cost code to show. The Override option is recommended which means that the Employee position code e.g. Managerial Staff will show for Ben, regardless if as a one-off you do add Ben (a Salaried employee) to the roster.

A salaried employee is rostered, and you would like them to be allocated a cost code based on the Roster, but also have a fall back option if you don't roster that employee (so that they're allocated).

  • This means that when the Salaried employee is on a roster it will have the cost code of the Roster e.g. Head Office
    • It's also best practice to have an additional Employee cost code. The Fall back option is recommended which means that the Employee position code e.g. Managerial staff will only show for Ben if as a once-off you don't add Ben (a Salaried employee) to the roster, but when you do add him to the Roster he will have the Head Office cost code.

Cost codes and allowances
Check out our guide on how allowances become a chameleon depending on where you apply the allowance.
Pull a list of all your current employees and the cost codes assigned to them.

You can do this via:

  1. Navigate to People > Approved people to pull a list of all your current employees.
  2. Select all the employees and select bulk actions > export, you can then choose the fields you'd like to see for example full name, cost code and manager and then download the CSV file.

You can also see cost codes on your Advanced Payroll Activity report.

  • You can use this report to identify any employees who don't have a cost code, as well as to view your processed pay data by purchase order (i.e. roster) to see how much was paid for that roster. There are also other options available such as grouping by line item and operation if needed.

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