There is this old saying – “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail”. We thinking it is very apt when it comes to executing a project profitably. The very first step to doing so, is to plan the project profitably.
Seegad now has a budget planning feature to allow you plan exactly how you intend to execute the project, cost-wise.
Ideally, you should plan the project before submitting a bid. With proper planning and budgeting, you know exactly how much you should bill/charge.
And even better, Seegad recommends a bill for you, and tells you the minimum amount you can bid to avoid a loss.
Budgeting is very simple.
You only need answer 3 questions. Questions you would usually have to answer when preparing a bill.
- How many people will be working on the engagement?
- How long (in hours) is each person supposed to spend?
- Are their other expenses, like hotel, flight, meals, vendors, purchases etc that will be required on this project?
To begin budgeting an engagement, you must first go to the engagement page (i.e. view the engagement). On the engagement page, you will click on Create Budget link as shown below.
When you do this, you are taken to the budget plan page where you can add/remove consultants or expense as you wish. Always remember to Save Budget before exiting this page.
As an example, the engagement [ in the screenshot below] shows the budget plan for engagement “Auditing Blue Ray Limited”. We have 3 consultants on the project, all with 0 hours budgeted. This means there is no budget and we are just starting to create a budget.
Now, let’s set 10 hours as the estimated number of hours John Hopkins should spend on the project.
Click on the Edit icon right beside John Hopkins’s bill (See screenshot below)
Enter the number of hours needed and click on the Save icon. You can follow the same step for the other consultants.
If you need to add more consultants, you will see simple form that allows you to select a consultant, enter the number of hours and click the “ADD CONSULTANT” button.
The steps to set budget for cash expenses is similar to that of consultants.
The form to add expense budget will ask you for 4 things.
- Expense Category – This is basically the type of expense. For example, Airline Tickets, Transportation, Lunch etc. If you do not find you an the appropriate expense category, Save the budget, then go to Activity->Expenses page to add the missing expense category. Then return here.
- Cost – This is how much a unit of that expense will cost.
- Number of Units – How many units of the expense will be required or purchased.
- Service Charge – This is you own service charge, and it is a percentage. You could also think of it as a small margin on the expense to handle market fluctuations.
For example, you could select “Lunch” as the expense category. For cost, you enter “$20” which is the cost per plate of food. For Number of Units, you enter “15“, which is 3 people having lunch for 5 days. And for Service Charge you enter “10%“, which in your estimation should handle fluctuation in cost.
As you budget expenses and consultants, your total bill is automatically generated. Remember, you must Save Budget if you want it to stick.
When you are done with the budget, you should click on “SUBMIT BUDGET”. Doing this will send a notification to your manager to approve it. Any executive or partner may also approve your budget.
If you need additional support with the budget planning feature, please get in touch with us through the in-app chat tool located at the bottom right on Seegad software.