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Tracking Costs for Subcontractors

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    • #537708
      David Simon

      We build construction schedules and work with subcontractors with fixed cost bids. What would be the best way to track costs in the schedule? I.e. I have a plumber under a fixed cost contract. And I have multiple task entries in the project schedule. I would like to enter one cost that could be assigned to multiple entries. i.e plumbing rough in, plumbing trim. Now I could just put in a value for each task in the Cost column. But that would force me to split up the cost for each task. I looked at trying to use the resource module. But doesn’t seem to have a way to assign a fixed cost to that resource. And have it automatically divided across the multiple tasks that the resource is assigned.
      Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • #537710
      Avatar photoCommunity

      I don’t know that I have a specific technique/answer on this, but I might suggest that you look at the agreed upon payment schedule within the subcontractor’s contract. Is it 50% up front and 50% at completion? For something like that it may be very easy to simply add two payment milestones with associated costs and when payments are made, the tasks are marked complete. Having worked in similar environments, the key is to look at when specific costs are paid. Is it monthly, is it when a specific deliverable is provided, etc. The detailed tasks and interim work to get to those points are irrelevant because it’s a fixed bid amount and the same payment amount will be made regardless of the subcontractor working 90 hours on 50 tasks or 4 hours on 2 tasks. So think simplicity and try to match how the contract is structured. (assuming there is some form of payment schedule/structure)
      I hope that helps.
      Daryl Deffler

    • #537713
      David Simon

      Hey Daryl, Thanks for the suggestion. I agree it’s probably best to keep it simple. Perhaps I could model the same thing with the Fixed Cost Accrual column. And change it from the default “Prorated” and use “End” for install of work. And use “Start” for procurement/fabrication. Add the dollar amount in either the “Cost” or “Fixed Cost” column. See what I get in a Cost Overview, or Cash Flow Report. With the end goal having data that can be compared with what the accounting department is tracking.
      I am currently doing a simple version of earned value with no cost data in the schedule by assigning divisional numbers to tasks (Steel Div 5, etc.) using a custom text column. Then grouping by that information to give me a %complete by division to compare against our cost to complete summary generated by accounting. Not exact but seems to be close enough to see any large variances. Thanks again.

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