In project management, it is important to monitor and control the budget of the project during the implementation phase. Project cost tracking Excel template is used for the purpose to monitor and track the expenses for each activity of the project in detail.
To efficiently track the project costs, it is recommended to have a project budget plan in hand. Tracking the project cost from the budget plan helps to keep the expenses within the defined limits.
It also identifies the errors in the estimation of the project budget.
In the process of budgeting, it is important to allocate an estimated budget to each and every task of the project. For this purpose, the work breakdown structure is used to subdivide each major task into small activities that can be performed independently.
Project Cost Tracking
If we talk about project core planning then we can say that project cost tracking is very difficult to evaluate. However, in this tracking, we determine the expected project expenses, budgeting, establishing controls, evaluation of expected outcomes, financial forecasting or financial projections, etc.
These cost tracking elements might be resources like material or human, engineers, management, middle staff, labor cost, transportation cost, etc. So, we fix a specific budget for these constituent parts and we set timelines for work done on these elements. These milestones are based on real-time phrases.
In this type of project budget planning where we may face different types of expenses, it is recommended to make a contingency budget plan too that will help us in unexpected scenarios.
In the end, calculate the total estimated cost of the project and do further refinements for the improvement. Do set a baseline of the estimated costs and compare it with actual expenses over the project lifecycle.
The project cost tracking process isn’t just limited to budgeting based on estimation and comparison of actual cost with the estimation.
Establishing controls for the costs to stays within the limit of estimation, measuring the actual results, updating the estimation with the forecasts and continuous communication of the changing situation to key stakeholders are also target areas for project cost tracking templates.
A simple project cost tracking excel template usually includes the following parameters to display;
- Project Summary; Project name, number, start date, and project manager name.
- The summary of original and current contracts along with their gross mismanagement with budgeted and estimated costs.
- WBS of all the activities along with color-coding of activities has been performed, currently running and upcoming.
- Description of the costs/expense for the active tasks and purchase order number.
- Originally budgeted cost, cost committed, the cost to the date, freight cost, open purchase order cost, estimated cost to complete, and estimated costs of competition are the major columns used to track and control the project costs.
Process of Tracking Project Cost using Excel Templates
Let’s discuss six simple ways to effectively track the project cost using excel templates.
First, establish a system to monitor and control the expense. Define how the costs will be monitored, when these will be monitored, and who will monitor the costs.
Second, make the budget and expense sheets online for easy and quick availability of details.
Third, identify the budgeted items that are required to be tracked throughout the project lifecycle. Allocate the fixed costs or variable costs to the identified items as per their nature. Now, create the budget for these items by considering the situations that may vary our allocated costs.
Fourth, get the approval of key stakeholders and authorized persons for the allocated budgets.
Fifth, assign a responsible person for tracking the project costs. It is necessary to assign an individual for this purpose to improve its effectiveness.
Sixth, track and control the costs in real-time to effectively manage the project costs. If something found a way off from the budget should be control and escalated timely.
Format of Project Expense Tracker Excel
- In all honesty, if you are able to complete the project on time and not using an excess of assets for it you are able to increase the profitability of your project. But to tell the fact if you are not actually able to control the cost there are no other benefits for the company.
- When carrying our cost-benefit analysis the process seems complicated and you may get stuck at any end which is of course not good for the health of the projects, therefore, this free template is available which can be downloaded at any instant.
- Surprisingly this sheet is actually filled with all the important headings and the content as well. You are able to make modifications to the sheet if required otherwise you can use it in the same format available.
How to Conduct Project Cost Tracking
This cost tracking template plays a vital role from the beginning of the project development. Below there are some steps to conduct project cost tracking in a more effective way:
Pre Plan: In this step, first we make a plan of action.
Evaluation of Budget: This step involved the evaluation of a budget that tells us how much capital we need to execute the project plan.
Cost Control Prefix: In this step, we set parameters that will help us to manage and control costs under our proposed budget.
Cost tracking: This step involves tracking project cost to understand either our project is running on proposed figures or exceeding the budget limit.
Preparing Report: In this step, we make a detailed result of our cost management plan to check cost efficiency.
Forecasting: Now, after reporting, we can forecast future project cost trends according to observe results.
Improvement Plan: In this step, we make a cost efficiency improvement plan.