Find out how the Budget page in Forecast works and how you can use it to monitor your financials.
The Project Budget in Forecast is intelligently connected to make your job easier. Roles, team members, rate cards, and clients are all connected to give you the best possible estimations and budget for your projects.
There are two views available for the budget, Money and Time. Both show the same thing but from the perspective of either money or number of hours. This article focuses on the financial perspective of the Budget page. Read more here about the time perspective.
- Understand the Layout of the Budget page
- Check and change your financial preference settings
- Understand the Warnings on the Budget page
Level of Detail
Display as much or as little financial information as you want by clicking on the Eyecon. Choose to display things like Project Variances or choose to focus in on just Costs.
Transition seamlessly across Revenue & Profit to track your project's budget and get a detailed understanding of where you stand regarding; Actuals, Plan, Remaining and Forecast numbers.
Choose to track at a holistic or granular view by alternating between the: Month, Week or Day view. As you alternate, the budget chart will adjust the level of granularity selected from the dropdown menu.
Depending on the length of your project, the default view will alternate between the 3 views (day, week or month). For instance, if your project is 4 months long, and has been running for a week, the default view will be Days. As your project progresses, the default view will adjust depending on the level of progression.
Just underneath your Budget Chart are your Project Totals, which displays financial information that encompasses time entires, expenses and/or tasks that are only within the boundaries of the project.
This table aggregates your projects: Revenue, Cost and Profit each in their respective rows. Each total can be grouped into Actual, Plan, Remaining, Forecast, Actual Variance to Plan & Forecast Variance to Plan. Each one of these can be added or removed in the eye-icon depending on the level of granularity you wish to get.
Check out these articles to understand how the repsective numbers are calculated for the different budget types:
Total Price of Work & Expenses
Scrolling past project totals are the Project Tables, which display the financial information across your: Actuals, Plan, Remaining, Forecast, Actual Variance to Plan and Forecast Variance to Plan - Each of which is grouped by Revenue, Cost and Profit.
All tables are expandable and when expanded break down the financial information by each:
The flexibility on the budgets granularity allows for project managers to display as much and as little financial data as needed, allowing to track your budget at a holistic or granular level.
Use the eye-icon to decide which information you want to see in the detailed project tables.
Just like in the chart section of the budget, you can choose to group the financial information either by months, weeks or days - depending on the current duration of your project.
Work Details, Expense Details & Invoice Plan
You can also opt to view budgetary information separately and focus in on just:
- Work Details: which just displays the work and does not factor in billable expenses.
- Expense Details: which just displays the expense items in their respective Milestones.
- Invoice Plan: which just displays invoiced items
When reviewing the expenses under the Total Price of Work & Expenses tab, you will be able to view the expenses that have been attached to a specified Milestone there.
Note: If you wish to learn more about how you can create and add expenses to a project please visit this article.
When selecting between one of these will also change the chart display as well.
Rates & Internal Cost
Conveniently view the Roles, Rates, Internal costs and Team Members associated with your budget.
Expanding on Rates & Internal costs is only available for Admins. However, Controllers can now adjust rate cards without affecting any other projects or having to ask Admins to create new rates.
Cost Rate Changes
From the budget, you can opt to change the cost rate calculation of your project between:
- Calculating unassigned tasks using the average hourly cost rate of the team assigned to the project.
- Calculating unassigned tasks using the average hourly cost rate of everyone in the company.
- Setting a fixed hourly cost rate for the unassigned task.
Changing the Budget Type
Even after a project budget type is determined you can change it by simply visiting the settings section of a project and scrolling down to Project Budget Type and click Change Budget Type and choose to change between:
- Fixed Price
- Time & Materials
A fixed price agreement is a one sum contract where the service provided/project is completed within the agreed-upon sum. This budget type is mainly used in cases where specifics, requirements and rates are predictable.
This type of project/budget is ideal for small projects, where the project scope is limited, the requirements and deadlines are clear.
In Forecast effortlessly add or adjust a fixed price to your budget, after you have planned it out. You can opt to add in a fixed price, as displayed below by either entering a value in the Fixed Price field or alternatively add in a percentage markup.
Once you have determined the Fixed Price value of your project you can then choose to adjust your rate card or keep it as it is. Keep in mind that you cannot alter your fixed price if your budget type is Retainer.
Adjusting the Rate Card associated with the project. In choosing to adjust your rate card, the system will provide you with a new set of rates across all of your roles that are derived from the Fixed Price associated with your project. This does not make changes to the actual rate card, it merely makes a copy that only affects the current project you are adjusting it for. You can also just keep the Rate Card as it is.
If needed, you can always switch back to the Original Rate Card at any time.
If for any reason you were to have a mistake in your project or something was be missing, the budget will display the following warning, singling that your attention is required.
Click on the warning will detail what the issue is and will enable you to make the necessary adjustments without having to leave the budget page.
Budget Chart Display: Outside of Scope & Time Registrations
Scoping a task outside of the start and/or end date of a project would result in the chart displaying this as follows:
The same would apply if a team member would register time on the project/task before the start date or after the end date of the project. Or if an expense item has been logged outside the scope of the project as well.