Introduction


Fluid refers to all time driven costs as Resource Costs.

This relates to all time forecast or spent on projects, and is achieved by applying a rate card hourly rate to the time forecast, or booked via timesheets.

In this article we will look at how Resource forecast and actuals data can be maintained within the Fluid application. 




Who can make the changes to forecast and actuals data


Forecasting time needed on a project is primarily the role of the Project Manager.

The Financial Admistrator will also have access to manage these costs, for both actuals and forecast.

Project Managers can add/edit forecast data.

Actual time is booked through the individuals working on a project recording their time via timesheets.

If necessary, actuals can be edited during an open month by the PM, the project administrator or the project editor.


It is important to note that once a period is locked by the Financial Administrator, changes may only be made by the Finance Administration team. This ensures the data is secure for tax and audit purposes, and therefore any changes made after that time are made only 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 a Resource Forecast in Fluid


The first step to having a resource forecast is to assign the team to the project.

Let's look first at creating the forecast - in the Project workspace, click on the left menu, Community.


Fluid Team Tip - The items greyed out are visible, but show as greyed where no information has yet been populated, in this case, there is no resource information yet shown in this project.



You will then see the Community Details within the project workspace.



Adding a Team Member at this stage will add someone who needs access to the project, but they do not need to record time.


If the Resource needs to book time, the first step to adding a resource is to select Edit Allocation.

This opens a page called Manage Allocation Plans and shows you any resource already added to the plan. 


In the example below, the PM has already been added as a resource, when he was assigned to the project. At this stage no time has been added.



To add a resource, click now on the Add Resource button, and the following dialog will open.



You can type in the name, if known, and the system will find the resource, or alternatively, you can use the filters to find the resource you want to allocate. Please click here to learn how to use the filters.


You must select a role within the project, as this is a mandatory field. Note that it is possible to configure the application to automatically set the project role to the role value set on the resource record. Please ask your system administrator to learn more about this settings.  


When you select a resource, Fluid will then associate any time booked or planned with the rate card assigned within the resource profile. This is how the monetary value is the calculated and will update in the financials section of the project.

We will explore that more later in this article.


In the example shown below, Ellen Woods has been added, as a business analyst on the project. The months up to October are greyed out as locked. Therefore you can only forecast the resource from November onwards. Using the scroll right options would also allow 2022 forecasting to be be done, but do remember to save each year as you go.



Now let's look back at the Financials tab - you can see below that the Financials now show Resource Expense forecast of 16,000 USD for 2021. This has taken the time forecast for Ellen, and applied her rate from the resource rate card associated to Ellen's user record.



Note - you can expand this view to show you expense types, and show a month by month view.



If you click on Expense types, you'll see the expense forecast shown against contractors, which is driven from the rate card.



If you scroll to the right you'll also see the monthly forecast amount.



Updating the forecast here will also update the project summary details (at the top of the project page). These summary figures combine the Resource and Non-Resource figures to give a total project view.


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 include actuals for closed periods and forecast for open months.






Resource Actuals


Now we'll look at how the project can be updated for resource actuals.

This is achieved by the individuals working on the project booking their timesheets.


In the example below, Ellen has submitted two timesheets so far for the month of November and this is reflected by the community section showing that the allocation for the current month is so far 48% and the actuals amount 4000USD. The total project cost won't reflect the actuals for November until the month is locked, usually after month end. 



It is important to re-iterate that actuals can only be added to currently open months, once the month-end process has been run, the month becomes locked (or closed) and edits cannot be routinely made, and requires Financial Administrator permissions.




Editing Actuals within an open month


Actuals are driven through timesheet activity, and therefore the first recourse to any changes to actuals in open months should be by adjusting the timesheet for the relevant resource and period. This can be done by recalling the timeshets and then resubmitting once corrected. 


There is another option, which is a parameter driven setting, which allows corrections to timesheets. Due to the complexity of this topic, it is covered in another article.