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Title: How to Budget/Plan by ODC

Brief description:

This document illustrates how to use Unanet to budget or plan by ODC categories like Travel, Equipment, etc. instead of the more granular budgeting/planning against Air, Mileage, Lodging, etc. and instead of larger scale budgeting against total Expense Cost $ in the project or task. Many people say "we don't budget for airfare or hotel, we budget for Travel."

What’s covered in this document:


Overview of Process

  1. People charge actuals at the granular expense type level such as Air, Mileage, Lodging.
  2. Expense Budgets or Plans are created at the ODC level, against Expense Types explicitly used for budgeting/planning only.
  3. The Project Costing ODC Details report will show the comparison between actuals and budgets or plans (drill down of Project Cost Summary/JSR).

Initial Setup

  1. In Admin > Setup > Expense > Expense Types, create Expense Types that represent your ODC level budgets/plans. For example, you may likely now have Expense Types of “zBUDGET-EQUIPMENT,” “zBUDGET-TRAVEL,” and “zBUDGET-SUBCONTRACTOR.” You may choose to set these expense types to be disabled so that they do not show up as an option for charging in expense vouchers. Disabled expense types may still be budgeted/planned via +Budget or +Plan as well as via import. 
  2. Note on naming convention: If you preface the name with a "z," then in the report it will always sort nicely to the bottom of its category (see report below).

  3. Associate the Expense Type with a new Cost Element as follows:
    1. Ensure that you then go and map that new Expense Type to the appropriate Cost Element in the Cost Structure. For example, an Expense Type of "zBUDGET-EQUIPMENT" should be mapped to the Cost Element of "EQUIPMENT". If this step is skipped, the expense budget/plan against the Expense Type will not appear in the Project Accounting reports at all.

Creating Budgets/Plan at the ODC Level

Either in the Project Profile > Expense Budgets area (screenshot below) or Forecast > Expense Budgeter/Planner, create Budgets/Plans against those ODC Level expense types such as Travel, Equipment, Subcontractor.

Charging Actual Expenses to the Granular Expense Type

People charge their actual expenses as they normally would to air, hotel, rental car, etc.

Comparing Actual Expense Costs to ODC Level Budgets

The Project Costing ODC Details report shows the actuals to budget/plan variance. You can run this report on its own, or via drill down in the Project Cost Summary Report (JSR).

  • The TO-DATE columns shows Actuals.
  • The BUDGETED and % BUDGET INCURRED columns show budgeted ODC amount (against an Expense Type used only for Budgeting).
  • The BACKLOG columns show the resulting variance.

  • By clicking the ODC Details heading in the Project Cost Summary report, you will be taken immediately to the Project Costing ODC Details report.
  • The Project Profile Budgets which display in this column are the macro level project budgets, and not the ODC Expense Budgets which are available when clicking to drill down.

To prevent people from charging actuals to the generic ODC level Expense Type such as "zBUDGETING-EQUIPMENT," you can take the following steps:

  1. Preferred method: Disable the Expense Types in Admin > Setup (uncheck the ENABLED box). This allows you to budget/plan against this Expense Type, but it does not show up in the dropdown menu.
  2. Optional other method: Prevent people from having access to the Travel expense type via Employee Type Expense Types.

Additional Information

Help Docs - Project Expense Budgets

Help Docs - Project Cost Summary Report (JSR)

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