Fluid refers to all non time driven costs as Non-Resource Costs.
This can cover anything from advertising costs, hardware purchases and even fixed price resource engagements.
In this article we will look at how forecast and actual data can be maintained within the Fluid application.
Who can make changes to forecast and actual data
The Financial Administrator will have the primary access to manage these costs, for both actuals and forecast.
Project Administrators and Project Managers can also add/edit forecast data providing that they have the Financial Access role associated to their account.
Depending on how the instance is configured, actuals can also be updated by the Project Administrators and Project Managers. Each organisation has therefore the ability to determine how this is managed, and reflected in their processes.
Where the PM is allowed to edit actuals, they will see the Edit Actuals button in the Financials section as shown below. If this is not visible, actuals need to be maintained by the Financial Administrator role.
It is important to note that once a period is locked by the Financial Administrator, changes to the non resource costs in the locked period can only be made by Financial Administrators. This ensures that the data is secure for tax and audit purposes, and therefore any changes made after that time are only performed with the agreement and full knowledge of the finance organisation. These controls are set to maximise the financial integrity of the data, and ensure the organisation has appropriate controls in place to manage and report their portfolio.
Managing Non-Resource Costs in Fluid
Let's look first at setting up a forecast - in the Project workspace, click on the left menu bar and select Financials.
Fluid Team Tip - The items will show as greyed out where no information has yet been populated. In this case, there is no financial information yet shown in this project.
You will then see the Financial Details within the project workspace.
Creating Non-Resource Forecast data within an open month
Click on the Edit Forecast button - this will navigate you to a page called Manage Financial Forecast as shown below.
Click on the Add New Line button to display the Add Financial Forecast Item dialog.
The options on this page will all have been configured by the Financial Administrator. Using the drop down, select the correct Expense Category and Expense type, check you have the right currency, you may also add a brief description here.
For this example I am going to add a forecast for a December Marketing Campaign - then press Add.
The following screen will then show, allowing you to add a monthly forecast amount.
Please note, in this example January-October are greyed out, indicating those months have been closed, and so only November and December are open to forecasting at this time.
Below you can see I have added $50,000 to November and $100,000 to December.
then click Save and Close.
We have now added financial information, and so you see the left hand menu shows financials in bold.
You can see now the forecast of $150,000 showing against Marketing Expenses
Note, you can expand this view to show the breakdown by expense types, and show the monthly amount.
If you click on Expense types, you'll see the expense forecast shown against advertising.
If you scroll to the right you'll also see the detail by month.
Updating the forecast here, will also update the Project summary details (at the top of the project page).
Below you can see the forecast updated for both the total project and the current fiscal year on the left of the project.
On the right you can see the Estimated Project Completion costs, and also the full year view for the current fiscal year - both of these figures will also include actuals for closed periods
Editing Non Resource Forecast Data
Once the project is underway, it is important to maintain a curent view of the forecast, so that the overall project data reflects the true expected view of what is needed to complete the project. Reviewing and maintaining this forecast will often be within the Project Manager role, and may also be supported by the Financial Administrator.
For Non-Resource data, this is done in the Financials workspace.
Select Edit Forecast. This opens the project forecast detail page, and will only allow you to edit the open months. In the example below I have scrolled to the right to show the later part of the year available to edit (the labels for each line show to the left).
You can either amend an existing cost, or select the Add button and add a new cost. Then Save and Close.
Creating Non-Resource Actuals within an open month
Now we'll look at how the project can be updated for non-resource actuals.
This is a Financial Adminstrator role primarily, but the organisation can opt to allow PMs to do this for open months. That setting is controlled within the configuration settings.
It is important to re-iterate that actuals can only be added to current open months, once the month-end process has been run, the month becomes locked (or closed) and edits cannot be routinely made.
NB - should adjustments to actuals be necessary in a closed month, this does require Financial Administrator permissions. This will be covered in another article.
To add actuals in the Fluid system, go to the project financials section of the project workspace, and select the Edit Actuals button.
Select the expense category and expense type, and then click on Add New Entry.
Here you are able to add a date, amount and currency, reference and description, and Save.
You are now able to see the actuals in the project, and by hovering the mouse over a figure, you'll be able to see both the actuals and forecast, plus the variance between them highlighted in dark blue.
Editing Non-Resource Actuals within an open month
To edit an existing actual, before the month is locked, go to the financials tab, select Edit Actuals, and select the expense category and expense type you wish to edit from the drop down options.
Click on the pencil item to edit, which will open the financial actuals dialog.
Change the data as required and save and close. The new data will now update throughout the project.
The above steps enable you to fully manage forecast and actual data within the Fluid user interface.