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Capital and Expense Costs RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am working on a Project Professional Gantt.  My company uses gantts less for planning resources and more for timeline.  I am also responsible for tracking capital and expense spending for my projects.  I frequently end up with a spread sheet tracking each capital or expense line item with a column telling me which gantt line that item is, then updating the dates in my spreadsheet of when that money will be spent based on gantt chart updates.

    It seems to me I should be able to put a cost assocaited to a gantt chart line item into my gantt chart and make a report.  I envision this allowing me to quickly and easily update quarterly expense and capital spend estimates as I update my gantt chart.

    Any suggestions on how I might do this?

    As an example:

    Task Name Duration Start Finish Predecessors Notes
    Equipment 255 days Fri 1/4/13 Thu 12/26/13
       Write Equipment Specification 4 wks Fri 1/4/13 Thu 1/31/13
       Request for Quote 4 wks Fri 2/1/13 Thu 2/28/13 2
       Vendor Selection 1 wk Fri 3/1/13 Thu 3/7/13 3
       Place Purchase Order 2 wks Fri 3/8/13 Thu 3/21/13 4 Capital = 20% Due
       Fabrication 30 wks Fri 3/22/13 Thu 10/17/13 5
       Design Review 0 wks Thu 5/2/13 Thu 5/2/13 5FS+6 wks Capital = 20% Due
       Pre-FAT 1 wk Fri 10/18/13 Thu 10/24/13 6
       Pre-FAT Modifications 2 wks Fri 10/25/13 Thu 11/7/13 8
       FAT 1 wk Fri 11/8/13 Thu 11/14/13 9 Capital = 20% Due
       Delivery 2 wks Fri 11/15/13 Thu 11/28/13 10 Capital = 20% Due
       Installation 2 wks Fri 11/29/13 Thu 12/12/13 11 Expense = $20,000
       SAT 2 wks Fri 12/13/13 Thu 12/26/13 12 Capital = 20% Due

    I feel like the expense and capital should be in different columns with the actual $ amounts if possible so that I could run a report of some sort.

    Any help is appreciated.  Thanks.  Oh and I am using Project Pro 2010.

    SW.

    Friday, January 4, 2013 8:52 PM

Answers

  • Hello Scottishwench,

    You are right. You should use different columns for this. The process is simply enough:

    1. Go to Project tab and click on Custom Fields
    2. Create a Cost custom field at Task level and name it "Capital".
    3. Make sure Custom attributes is set to "None" and Calculation for summary rows is set to Rollup and use Sum
    4. Repeat 2 and 3 to create "Expense" field.

    Now you can add the fields to any task view (or create a custom one to show them) and you can enter data for those fields.

    If you need to analyze capital and expenses by quarter, year and so on, I recommend the use of Visual Reports. Just go to Project tab and click on Visual Reports and it will take Project info to Excel (or Visio) where you can analyze it by using Pivot Tables and Charts.


    Rene Alvarez

    • Marked as answer by Scottishwench Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:26 PM
    Saturday, January 5, 2013 12:14 AM
  • Hi there. In Project - like many other applications - there are multiple ways of doing most things and you choose which meets your needs most conveniently. I'd like to expand a bit on the method that Hartmut suggests.

    You don't say how the expense or capital costs are calculated, so let's assume that they are calculated in a spreadsheet and can be entered directly against relevant tasks/dates in the project. (I assume you do in fact know the total Capital cost?) As you get more comfortable you may want to derive these numbers in Project based on the quantity of material, etc. - but that's for another post.

    Define two Cost resources in Project - call them Expense and Capital. As you define them, make sure the resource type is Cost (not Work or Material). For each relevant task (e.g. Place Purchase Order, Delivery, Installation), assign the resource Expense or Capital (or possibly both) entering the cost amount for that resource. Now you have a way of viewing the cost per task per period identifying the cost type (in the task usage view) - and the cost per cost type per period identifying the task (in the resource usage view). As a bonus, the information is in a form where it can be baselined, where the timing will change as the project schedule changes and where you can record actual cost amounts for variance analysis, totalling, etc.

    There's lots more you could do once you start with this approach (multiple resources for different types of expense, budgeting the total expense and capital at the project level, etc.).

    Sealbh math dhuit

    Graham

    • Marked as answer by Scottishwench Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:26 PM
    Saturday, January 5, 2013 3:07 PM

All replies

  • Hello Scottishwench,

    You are right. You should use different columns for this. The process is simply enough:

    1. Go to Project tab and click on Custom Fields
    2. Create a Cost custom field at Task level and name it "Capital".
    3. Make sure Custom attributes is set to "None" and Calculation for summary rows is set to Rollup and use Sum
    4. Repeat 2 and 3 to create "Expense" field.

    Now you can add the fields to any task view (or create a custom one to show them) and you can enter data for those fields.

    If you need to analyze capital and expenses by quarter, year and so on, I recommend the use of Visual Reports. Just go to Project tab and click on Visual Reports and it will take Project info to Excel (or Visio) where you can analyze it by using Pivot Tables and Charts.


    Rene Alvarez

    • Marked as answer by Scottishwench Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:26 PM
    Saturday, January 5, 2013 12:14 AM
  • Hi,

    Did you try to use cost ressources? (2 cost ressources Capital and Expanse)? You can assign these cost ressources to each task and enter the amount (botton pane"Cost"). Costs will be spread over the duration of the tasks. Updating the task will update actual cost and remaining cost. So updating your project, you will get an actual view to your cost.

    Hartmu


    Hartmut de Jong

    Saturday, January 5, 2013 11:56 AM
  • Hi there. In Project - like many other applications - there are multiple ways of doing most things and you choose which meets your needs most conveniently. I'd like to expand a bit on the method that Hartmut suggests.

    You don't say how the expense or capital costs are calculated, so let's assume that they are calculated in a spreadsheet and can be entered directly against relevant tasks/dates in the project. (I assume you do in fact know the total Capital cost?) As you get more comfortable you may want to derive these numbers in Project based on the quantity of material, etc. - but that's for another post.

    Define two Cost resources in Project - call them Expense and Capital. As you define them, make sure the resource type is Cost (not Work or Material). For each relevant task (e.g. Place Purchase Order, Delivery, Installation), assign the resource Expense or Capital (or possibly both) entering the cost amount for that resource. Now you have a way of viewing the cost per task per period identifying the cost type (in the task usage view) - and the cost per cost type per period identifying the task (in the resource usage view). As a bonus, the information is in a form where it can be baselined, where the timing will change as the project schedule changes and where you can record actual cost amounts for variance analysis, totalling, etc.

    There's lots more you could do once you start with this approach (multiple resources for different types of expense, budgeting the total expense and capital at the project level, etc.).

    Sealbh math dhuit

    Graham

    • Marked as answer by Scottishwench Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:26 PM
    Saturday, January 5, 2013 3:07 PM
  • Rene

    Thank you.  This seems like the most straight forward method to me, based on my skills with project at this time.

    SW


    Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:20 PM
  • Hartmut & GMcH

    Thank you.  I do not currently do resources in Project so I need to sit down and spend some time working through this option to make sure I understand it.  It sounds like it offers more long term flexibility but also more up front understanding that I need to gain.

    When I am setting up an initial gantt, I may not know the exact capital cost of a piece of equipment but I can make a reasonable estimate.  Later, once I have a quote in hand a purchase order placed (with terms & conditions) I would be able to go back and revise each of the capital payment milestones to be the correct cost.  Typically the capital is accrued after the completion of the task (plus time for the vendor to invoice plus 60 days for us to pay because we are mean like that). 

    Some of my expense estimates are more nebulous. They usually fall into 2 categories.  The first being tied to the equipment (shipping costs, spare parts, instllaiton costs - If I am unable to capitalize these things).  The second category of expenses production builds.  Once I have the piece of equipment installed I have to run product through the equipment.  There are specific types of builds I must plan for.  One build might require 3 lots at 1000 pieces each with a Standard Cost of $20 / part.  So now I need to plan for $60,000 in expense.  Each build is usually a line item in my gantt and when builds get pushed out for various reasons, it plays havoc with my budgeting.

    Thank you again.


    Saturday, January 5, 2013 9:26 PM
  • SW, glad you got an answer that works for you. I'd recommend getting morefamiliar with resources (and their costs) if only to reassure yourself thta you're using the most effective method for your circumstances.

    Graham

    Sunday, January 6, 2013 4:57 PM