Morality at work

I work as a manager in construction. One of those responsibilities is to code invoices meaning for every job that is done there is a specific budget for that job. When I code the invoice I have to write down one sentence of what work was done and what phase of construction it went to. My question is if I have extra money in other areas of my budget is it lying to use it? For example, I may have $100 for my trim carpenter. However, I spent $120 dollars. Therefore, I code the $20 differential to a different phase.

This practice is discouraged. If you leave detailed notes on what was done supevisors dont have a problem with it. The majority of the guys, if not all of them, just use the extra money they have even if it they’re not being 100% honest about the work. In my opinion as long as I’m making sure everyone is getting paid for the work they’re doing it is ok. However I want to make sure I’m not in the wrong morally.

I can try to better explain if need be. Somewhat difficult to explain and keep relatively short.

You need to discuss this with your own manager at work, not with us.

We can’t tell you “oh yeah, it’s just fine for you to engage in a ‘discouraged’ practice”.


It seems to me you want to be fair and honest, making sure the workers get paid, while turning a profit for your employer. If you find a particular phase of construction is consistently going over budget, I would bring this to the attention of your supervisor or estimator so that adjustments can be made going forward. That said, I personally would not have a problem juggling manhours, provided I knew that an overage in one area would be offset by a surplus in another area.

I was an electrical construction foreman for a large company for many years, and thankfully, my situation was different from yours. I only kept track of manhours, and I never had any idea how much money had been allocated for any particular task.

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Yes. I would ask for more guidelines, such as, “You can ‘code’ the additional money as something else, but not more than ten percent of the amount.” And if it’s a larger job, not more than five percent. Exact figures, definite limits. And get a written memo from your boss about this–and hang on to it.

This definitely feels more like an internal company decision than a moral one. Presumably the company uses the information to adjust future bids. The customer isn’t being charged more, no one is being paid more/less than they should, so as said above I’d just get clarification from supervisors.

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