Why wasn't a Project Status readily available?
- "The PM never submitted a design budget."
- "The time won't be posted until pay day. Do you want it anyway?"
- "It's going to be off because the engineers haven't sent a bill yet."
The point is that getting a timely project status was a lot of work to keep up with.
I am happy to report that bookkeeping solutions don't require all of that.
Here's all you do...
In Harvest, all you do is complete five boxes when you create a project.
- Do you want a budget?
- What do you want to measure?
- What is the budget amount?
- Does the budget include expenses?
- Do you want alerts? And when?
I am slightly oversimplifying, but not much. Let me show you what I mean.
- Turn on "Budget".
- Select what you want to measure.
- Specify the amount of dollars or hours.
- Specify if the budget includes expenses (for dollar budgets).
- Specify if you want alerts and at what percent of the budget.
I did a more detailed article about budgets in Harvest here.
Here is what those five clicks will get you with just one click - any time.
- A list of your projects arranged by client.
- The amount of the budget that you have set.
- The amount of the budget that has been spent, shown numerically and graphically.
- The amount of the budget remaining, shown as an amount and as a percent.
- The costs that have been charged to the project for time and expenses.
By clicking on a specific project, you will see a detailed view like this.
- A graph of activity. (not much going on here)
- The hours spent to date.
- The status of the budget. The 'info icon' indicates more info available.
- The total costs charged to the project as time and expenses.
- Any amount that hasn't been invoiced yet. You can click here to start an invoice.
- Note that you can edit the project from this view. Say the scope has changed.
Farther down in the project detail view you will find a task/team area. If you have set budget for tasks, this is where you will see the status of each one. It is similar to the project overview. Note the status bar turns red for any portion of a task that is over budget.
One of the things that makes this reporting so valuable is the cost calculation. If you want to get close to seeing project profitability, then you need to have your time cost include not only the labor rate for the staff member, but also the overhead allocation. You can find an explanation of how to determine your overhead rates here.
Here's where you set up the cost rate in Harvest.
- Open the MANAGE tab.
- Open the Basic Info form.
- Set a standard Billable Rate. This can be overwritten project by project.
- Set the Cost Rate that you have calculated for the staff member.
As I have said before, Harvest pays for itself if you just use it for timekeeping. Using it to capture all your expenses and monitoring your projects' status are basically free benefits.
Give Harvest a try, and if you decide to sign up after the trial period, use my discount code, ARKWIKI50, to save on your first month.
Cheaper. Faster. Better. TIMEKEEPING for Architects
Customized Project Management
BUDGETS IN HARVEST
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