Scott, there a number of questions contained within the “big” question. I’ll offer what I generally do with regard to a) updating and 2) status reports.
As far as updating the schedule (again, just looking at the simple picture of obtaining “% complete” status), use whatever rhythm the program requires; i.e., weekly, bi-weekly, monthly. First, I use indicators (plenty of information on MPUG about creating formulas) for the most simple status events: late start, late finish, early start, future start, completed. Secondly, I create an Excel extract using basic schedule information; e.g., Unique ID, Task Name, Start, Finish, Duration, % Complete, Program Key Indicators (PKI) as stated previously. “Update”/”Input” columns are added for start/finish/% completed and any notes the PM/CAM/Lead would like to add. Then this spreadsheet is distributed to the appropriate person for updating. Many schedulers with whom I have worked used a similar process.
Schedule views can be created to distribute PDFs, for example, and oftentimes people like to have a copy of the schedule to manipulate for their own needs. “OnePager and “Milestones Professional” are some 3rd party reporting apps.
Updating costs and baselining changes are separate subjects, though a process needs to be used to capture them as well.