Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
When will this hit the bottom line?
In business, you rarely get to choose when you pay your own bills. In Project,
however, you can choose when your costs hit your budget.
Resources can be set to accrue at the start or end of the task that they’re
associated with or to be prorated throughout the life of the task. So, if a
three-month-long task begins April 1, a $90 cost resource could be added to
your actual costs to date on day 1, on day 90, or at a dollar per day until the
end of the task.
This isn’t exactly a purely realistic reflection of how you have to pay for
costs, because face it: Most bills come due 30 days after they hit your desk.
It’s more a factor of when you want that cost to show up for the purposes of
tracking costs and reporting expenses on your project.
Pay Day: Assigning Resources
to Your Project
Most projects involve a combination of cost types: cost, work, and material.
You have to do your homework before you can enter the information at the
task or resource level. You have to find out the fixed costs as well as the
hourly or unit rates for all your resources.
During the planning stages, you might not be able to anticipate exactly what
a particular cost will be or know every resource’s rates. If you have to, build
the resource or fixed cost with your best estimate. That way, at least some
cost will be reflected in your plan, and you can go back to enter more
accurate information as soon as you know it.
Use a field in your Resource Sheet, such as Code, to designate resources as
having estimated rates or costs so you can easily go back to those tasks and
update the estimates as your plan progresses.
There’s no avoiding fixed costs
Maybe it’s that huge fee for the consulting company your boss insisted you
use, even though you knew that the report wouldn’t tell you a thing you
didn’t already know. Or perhaps it’s the $2,000 for a laptop computer you
talked your boss into getting you so you could manage your project when
you’re on the road. Whatever it is, it’s a cost that won’t change no matter
how many hours the task goes on or how many people work on the task. It
has no unit cost or rate per hour. It’s a fixed cost.