Setting and Tracking Project Budget
Here you will learn how to quickly set, easily monitor and effectively analyze your project budget. Budget tracking can help you stay on top of your finances and maximize project profitability.
How to Set up Budget for Project
First, you need to choose a recurring budget interval. Then, select a budgeting method for a project:
- Total project hours - the total number of hours to be spent on the entire project. Both billable and non-billable hours will count toward your budget. If you choose this method, specify the budget size in terms of hours.
- Total project fees - the total amount of money to be spent on the project. Billable hours are multiplied by the project's (persons') hourly rate. If you choose this method, specify the budget size in terms of monetary units.
- Hours per person - the total number of hours for each member to spend on the project. Both billable and non-billable hours will count toward your budget. If you choose this method, specify a budget for each team member in the Team section.
Instant notifications for budget overrun
You can also configure TMetric to send email notifications when a project's budget exceeds a certain threshold. For this, check Send email alerts if project exceeds and specify the threshold value for the budget.
Email notifications will arrive immediately after a budget is exceeded and will be sent according to the following rules:
- if a project is public and its budgeting method is set to Total project hours, an email will be sent to a workspace owner
- if a project is private, its budgeting method is set to Total project hours and it has a manager, an email will be sent to a manager
- if a project is private, its budgeting method is set to Total project hours and it doesn't have a manager, an email will be sent only to a workspace owner
- if a project is private, its budgeting method is set to Hours per person and it has a manager, an email will be sent both to a manager and a member who's exceeded a budget threshold
- if a project is private, its budgeting method is set to Hours per person and it doesn't have a manager, an email will be sent both to a workspace owner and a member who's exceeded a budget threshold
Finally, you need to set the Over-budget behavior for a project.
How to Automatically Estimate Budget
TMetric allows you to estimate a total project budget automatically based on the time estimates of individual tasks.
You can estimate a budget only if a project budgeting method is set either to Total project hours or to Total project fees. So, a budget size value will be displayed either in hours or monetary units.
To automatically calculate a budget, click the Estimate Budget button in the project editor.
A dialog box will appear, which will show you a budget estimate (either a project cost or its duration). You can either accept it or decline.
If you agree with the estimate, click the Accept Estimate button. The budget value will appear in the Budget size field.
How to Analyze Budget in Reports
Columns Budget, Spent and Billable Amount are visible only to the workspace owner and assigned admin. A project manager can see columns Budget and Spent but only in projects with Total project hours and Hours per person budgeting methods.
The Project Summary report is the space where you can track your budget and get an overall picture of the profits and expenses on all your projects. To generate the Project Summary report, go to Reports on the main menu and click Projects Summary.
In the Project Summary report, all projects data is first represented in a chart and then in a table.
There is a chart for time, billable time, billable amount, and costs. When you hover a mouse over each chart element, you see a tooltip with all the necessary information about each particular project.
The Project Summary report visually demonstrates progresses on projects by means of colored budget bars.
A budget bar may be colored blue or red. The blue color indicates the growing progress on a project that does not exceed the predefined budget limit. Whereas the budget bar colored red tells you that the project is over budget. The percentage value next to a bar shows a portion of the budget that has been already spent.
If you want to see the budget details of a specific project, you can click the corresponding budget bar. It will forward you to the Detailed report on this project that provides detailed information on the time of every member of the project.
Total time and billable time
The Project Summary report shows the overall time and the billable time spent on each project. Click the blue time value of a specific project in the Time or Billable Time columns to jump to a corresponding record in the Detailed report that shows the time details of this report.
Filtering and grouping
By default, the Projects Summary report shows data on all the existing projects. You can filter the data to retrieve specific budget details. For example, you can filter by a particular user to see budget details that are specific to this user.