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Use the "Forecast to Complete" Feature

Objective

To actively manage your budget over the lifetime of a project. 

Background

It's important to actively manage the budget to ensure that all cost projections are both accurate and consistent. It's common for the person in charge of managing a project's budget (e.g. Accountant or Project Manager) to provide a detailed report on a weekly/monthly basis that clearly accounts for all billable and projected costs where one of the key data metrics is explaining the forecasted total cost to completion.

One of the key features in the Budget tool is the "Forecast to Complete" column, which allows you to more accurately estimate the Projected Over/Under for each line item in the budget, so that the total estimated cost at completion is both accurate and consistent with previous weekly/monthly projections. You can either have the column automatically calculate the remaining costs based on the difference between "Projected Budget" and "Projected Costs" in order to maintain a net zero ($0) Over/Under value for each budget line item, or you can manually add items and amounts to define a more realistic forecasting number based upon key job insights.  Additionally, you can also record a helpful note that documents the reasoning for the forecasted value for each budget line item.

Things to Consider

  • Required User Permissions: 'Standard' or 'Admin' on the Budget tab
  • Forecasting is only available from the Cost Code Detail view. For more information on different Budget views, see Switch Budget Views.
  • The "Forecast to Complete" column setting (manual or automatic) is configured on a per line item basis.
  • A lightning bolt icon () in the "Forecast to Complete" column denotes an automatic net zero calculation.
  • A forecasting note can be added to each line item and will be preserved if you switch from automatic to manual entry (or vice-versa).
  • If you switch from manual to automatic entry, all previously added items will be deleted.
  • An 'admin' user can configure the "Forecast to Complete" column to have an automatic net zero calculation under the Budget tool's configuration settings. However, this setting will only affect new line items that are added to the budget. 

Steps

Automatic Entry

Follow the steps below to the auto-populate the "Forecast to Complete" column with the difference between "Projected Budget" and "Projected Costs" in order to maintain a $0 Over/Under value for each line item.
 


 

  1. Click the hyperlinked value for a line item under the "Forecast to Complete" column.
  2. Select the "Automatically calculate $xxxx" option.
  3. (Optional) Leave a descriptive note about the change.
  4. Click Update.
  5. View your changes on the budget. In the example above, you should see the lightning bolt icon next to the value in the "Forecast to Complete" column and a net zero "Projected Over/Under" value.

Manual Entry

Follow the steps below to manually create line items for the "Forecast to Complete" column.

  1. Click the hyperlinked value for a line item under the "Forecast to Complete" column.
  2. Select the "Manual Entry" option.
  3. Click the + Add new line item text link and the required information.
     


 

  • Description - Provide a helpful description about the new line item.
  • Quantity - Add a number.
  • Units - Add a unit label. This is an arbitrary value. (e.g. ls, lump sum, hr, hours, etc.)
  • Unit Cost - Add a per unit cost. (e.g. 100) (Default = 0)
  • Subtotal - Total cost of line item. (Units * Unit Cost)
  1. (Optional) Leave a descriptive note about the change.
  2. Add more line items, as necessary.
  3. Click Update.
  4. View your changes on the budget.

 

Budget Configuration Settings


Users with 'admin' permissions on the Budget tool can configure default behavior for the "Forecast to Complete" column. By default, any new projects are configured to autocalculate the column. However, if you are using a project template to create new projects, you must set your forecasting preference in the template itself because a template's settings take precedence over a tool's default settings.
 

 


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