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Cross-reference Formula (Simple?)

A few days ago I started toying around with the cases and contracts area, trying to link them together using a custom "hours" field in order to total all billed hours for that particular contract.  I have been trying to use the Account associated with both the contract and the case to accomplish this without any luck.  At the very basic level, I want to accomplish the following:


1) Create a custom formula in Account which totals the hours used for the current month.

2) Cross reference that formula in several reports leveraging contract data.  Since I have full access to the Account object from Contracts, I assume this will be easy.


I finally gave up after creating a custom lookup field from Case to Account and not being able to total the hours field.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!