There’s so many ways to approach this in ERPNext. I think you’re on the right track here. Cost centers (and projects) might not be necessary for your use case, either. Where I see them being useful is either if you had several really distinct areas of your business or perhaps managing individual branches.
For distinct areas of your business, let’s say you have one location but it does three really distinct things:
- Ocean tours
- Land tours
- Kayak and ATV Rentals
In this scenario, if you broke each of these three things into cost centers, you could look at all their financial statements and reports individually or all rolled up for the overall view (you could also select two of the three, but that’s probably an edge case that’s not terribly useful).
The other scenario regarding branches might look something like this. You have 4 locations, and you want to see their revenue individually. Again, there’s multiple ways to accomplish this, but you could assign each branch a cost center, and you could look at the financial reports for each branch and also the company as a whole.
If you do end up having a use for cost centers, you can create additional types (say, one called “cost center” for the three areas of the business defined above and one called “branch” to track different branches). This is called accounting dimensions. You can read more about it here.
However, I think what is sounds like you want probably doesn’t require cost centers at all. You can do this by just assigning each item you’ll put on the invoice a default account in the chart of accounts. If you create an item, there’s a section called “Sales, Purchase, and Accounting Defaults.”
If you click on “Edit,” you’ll be given this dialog.
Here you can set the default income and expense accounts for the item. When you add it to an invoice, it will automatically dump income and expenses in the accounts you select from the Chart of Accounts, and these will show up on financial reports.
To go a step further, maybe you want to account for each of the areas you listed above, if you wanted to add a cost for each of your major areas of expense but you would rather the invoice appear as just “4-Hour Bay Snorkel Tour Package” instead of line items for fuel, docking rental, etc, you could make a “4-Hour Bay Snorkel Tour Package” a product bundle.
I’m no expert on ERPNext accounting, either, but I hope this gives you some ideas on how to structure it.