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QB - 04.00 What are "Masters" or Master Tables?

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Masters is a word we use to describe the records your organization uses to build its Estimates. Things such a Items (Material, Labor, both), Equipment, Contacts, Manufacturers, and organizational terms such as Project, Item, or Condition Types, Job Statuses, and Cost Codes, along with labor groups, templates, and Employees/Estimators are all stored in the "Masters". These Master records are used over and over again - saving you from having to enter the same information into Quick Bid for each Project or Bid.

The Master menu provides access to all your master database tables. Master list dialogs are labeled "Master" in the title bar to indicate database-level information (project/bid level lists always show the name of the Project/Bid). See Related articles for more information on dialog boxes. Please pay close attention to any modifications you make in Master dialog boxes as they can affect existing and will affect future bids. 

Some database tables are synchronized with On-Screen Takeoff when you use the programs together. Tables such as Condition Type, Job Type, and Job Statuses are synched. This is why you must maintain a 1:1 connection between OST and QB databases, see Related Articles for more information.
If you use Digital Production Controlâ„¢, your Labor Cost Codes and Payroll Classes tables are also synchronized between the two programs.

You can open a Master Table by clicking the Lookup button next to many fields in the program. From here, entries may be added, modified, or deleted - this allows you to build the database "on-the-fly" as you are bidding. As time goes by, the database becomes more complete - no need to setup all your information before you start bidding. You also can access any Master table/list from the Master menu.

Click Master in the menu bar to access the list of Master Tables.

Payroll Settings, Wage Types, and Burdens are part of a database's settings but are not included in the database's Master Tables. Learn more about modifying these settings in Related Articles.

Things to know about Masters

Usually, making a change to a Master record affects all Bids in the database, although there are several, notable exceptions: 

Changing Items, Payroll Classes, and Assemblies (that have been used already in a Bid) will not affect existing Bids.

  • For example, if you modify a Master Item those changes do not affect existing uses of that Item. The first time you 'drop' an Item into a Condition in a Bid, a copy of that Item is made and used throughout that Bid. That bid-level Item is insulated from the Masters (although changes to the bid-level Item can be saved to the Master, if you have sufficient rights/access to the database).
  • The same goes for Payroll Classes and Condition, Equipment, and Other Assemblies - Assemblies are just templates of a sort so changing an Assembly would never update existing Bids anyway (unless you add the Assembly to a Bid/Condition again). You can delete Items and Payroll Classes, even if they are used in Bids, as long as they are not used in another Master record such as in an Item, Mixture, Chain, or Assembly.

Estimators used in any Bid in the database (as Lead Estimator or part of the Estimator Team) or listed as the owner of any Assembly cannot be deleted.

Different Master Tables are interdependent - for example, to build an Item, you must use Payroll Classes, Labor Codes, Item Types, and possibly Manufacturers, so those records must be added - this can be done 'on-the-fly' as you are working in the database. This also means, that those 'related' or inter-dependent records cannot be deleted from the database, if they are "in-use".

It is important to review this entire Chapter to understand the various Master Tables before attempting to use the application. Masters keep records available for re-use when creating/pricing Bids. 

Changes made at the Master-level are immediate and permanent. Proceed with caution when deleting entries from the Master menu lists - records deleted from the database Masters cannot be restored (no "Undo").

You can "synchronize" databases to transfer Master tables from one database to another, see Related Articles for more information.

previous article arrow Selecting "Active" Bid Sections Finding and Replacing In-Use Records So You Can Delete a Master Record next article arrow

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