Budget and Controls - Overview
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    Budget and Controls - Overview


      Article summary

      The 'Budget and Controls' feature lets general contractors maintain a budget for the entire project and track the expenses. The budget includes the contract-based cost allocations for various divisions of work covered in the scope. Cost tracking and management is a significant and critical function for a general contractor's project manager. Once the original budget is set, any subsequent additions to the budget can be made only by the change order process. This function allows a general contractor to be on top of project costing all the time.

      Each line item in the budget requires the amounts allocated under various cost types like the material, labor, equipment, and overheads, linked with the cost code corresponding to the work or task mentioned in it. Each line item is assigned to the respective subcontractor in order to keep track of the estimates given by the subcontractor on the respective cost code. Linarc accepts the estimates from the subcontractor only if the total estimate value is less than or equal to the sum of funds allocated for the items assigned to the respective subcontractor. If any discrepancy occurs in the estimate, the subcontractor is advised to revise the estimate to keep the sum within the allotted funds in the original budget.

      Linarc's Budget module allows you to create the original budget by importing from an Excel file in a prescribed format. The project manager can download the template and enter the values in order to create the budget exhaustively covering all the work required from various trade/specialty contractors. 

      The completed budget can be saved to the console as a draft. The PM can make necessary changes, like adding new line items, adding sub-line items and reallocation funds between the sub-line items, assigning line items to respective subcontractors, and more. Once the budget is finalized, it can be locked to serve as a baseline.

      Once the budget is locked, you cannot edit the original budget values, add sub-line items, change the assignee, or delete any line items. Any further modifications to the budget can only be done by adding change orders with their estimates.  The estimate is added to the budget upon approval of the COs by the general contractor and the owner/developer. This lets project managers keep track of deviations, make necessary decisions at various stages and predict the cost at the time of completion should the project overrun the budget. 

      Prerequisite

      The 'Budget and Controls' feature only accepts the budget if the cost code for the work in each line item matches with the corresponding entry in the master task code list at the company level. In usual practice, the category/task codes in the CSI 50 division master format are used to define cost codes at the company level. However, some companies use their custom cost code structure. Please contact your company administrator to ensure that all cost codes you apply in a budget are present in the master task code list.

      Note:
      The 'Budget and Controls' feature is available only to the general contractor project managers.

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