Many services organizations need to see the true project costs, taking into account allocation of costs from overhead activities and other costs not specifically identifiable with a single project. This is especially true for government organizations working on Cost Plus type projects, but Time & Materials and Firm Fixed Price projects may also require separate reporting of these costs.
Customers have identified the following key benefits of project costing in Unanet:
Provide project managers with the tools they need to report on fully burdened costs (direct and indirect) in real time, so that actuals can be compared with budget and funded amounts.
The ability to generate reports in real time will drive more timely data capture and thus improve DCAA compliance. In other systems, project managers have to wait until timesheet and expense reports are posted to receive reports from their accounting system which may be weeks or even months late.
It provides additional leverage for training the project/program managers and pushing accountability to them.
Report formats and usage are familiar, accessible, and easier to use for project staff than reports available from other financial systems.
Provide roll-up of Net Margin, cost, revenue across all projects, across select customer(s), or across given department(s).
Forward visibility of under or over performance is particularly key for Fixed Price contracts to see costs versus billings as funded amount, and contract end, is approached.
A real-time future view of project spending as resource loading and project plans change is valuable.
- This functionality allows Unanet to be used for project estimating and pricing on government contracts, avoiding the need for third-party tools.
- Plans and budgets are integrated with detailed actual costs in one system.
- Deliver project costing information outside the Finance and Accounting departments.
- By providing improved information to program management, faster resolution of potential problems will be achieved. As with other Unanet reports, all information is presented based on real-time data.
- Accounting will not have the burden of producing Job Summary Reports (JSR) and other project costing information for managers, saving time or avoiding the need for project managers to have access to the accounting system.
- The organization as a whole can rely on a sole source from which to pull job costing information.
- System specific:
- Accounting systems typically used by smaller government contractors do not provide Project Costing Reports. Using Unanet to provide this capability removes a driver for them to go through a complex and costly migration from their existing accounting system.
- Three sets of indirect cost rates are supported; Target, Provisional and Actual, providing additional reporting options and planning flexibility compared with many other accounting systems which only offer two rates.
- There is no limit on the number of cost structures or indirect cost elements. Some systems have limitations such as only seven pools, and the inability to accurately calculate rates from multiple cost structures.
- Unanet allows a descriptive label to be specified as well as an account number for a cost element. This improves ease of use by not requiring a coding system to accommodate the cost elements; for instance, users having to memorize an alpha-numeric code to mean Direct Labor or Subcontractor, etc.