Once you have an approved Price Quote and have established the baseline budget with which to measure job progress, controlling costs is the next step to LevelUp to proactive project management.
You may already be using WorkBook to track job costs, but if you’re not empowering your Project Managers or Client Teams to fully manage those costs throughout the month, then the Finance Team is forced to do all the heavy lifting, which can cause bottlenecks that have a negative impact on cash flow. But by delegating authority and establishing approval workflows, your team can work together to streamline cost control, ensure timely invoicing and promote steady cash flow.
It can be challenging for Project Managers and Finance Teams to work together efficiently to control costs, especially for a distributed team, but by empowering your team to understand their responsibility to the big picture and providing them with the right processes and tools to get it done, it is exponentially easier to control costs and manage projects proactively, regardless from where your team members are working.
Empower Your Project Managers and Client Teams:
As jobs take flight, Project Managers and Client Teams play a crucial role in monitoring and tracking every cost applied to the job. The Cost Tab gives them the transparency to measure progress against the budget by tracking all transactions that have impacted the job, including time, materials, and third-party costs. As costs are incurred and time is submitted, those values are applied directly to what was budgeted, giving Project Managers the ability to identify red flags and take proactive action before it's too late.
One of the ways you can empower your Project Managers to take control over these costs is by establishing an approval workflow for timesheets. As an approver in that workflow, Project Managers can ensure time is being registered correctly and spot potential issues much earlier in the process. That way, they can make adjustments if time was registered to the wrong task or job and take proactive action if over-servicing or scope creep is evident.
Limit Extraneous Costs
Another way Project Managers and Client Teams can control project costs is by establishing a process for raising Purchase Orders (POs) so that they can limit extraneous costs from impacting the job, which could lead to write-offs. Allowing them to raise PO’s for things like freelancers, can speed up process while informing the Finance Team’s budget, and most importantly, gives them full transparency of the progress of the job.
If they spot time incurred for an activity that wasn’t in the budget, or the client requests a deliverable that wasn’t in the original scope, the PO process provides a systematic way to correct for unexpected scope creep and ensure that the budget accurately captures the true effort required.
Timely invoicing is the key to maintaining proper cash flow. Enabling your Project Managers and Client Teams to be responsible for initiating the invoicing process establishes their ownership over the full lifecycle of the project and makes them accountable for their role in the cash flow process.
By creating an invoicing plan for each job, Project Managers and Client Teams can avoid bottlenecks and ensure that invoices are raised and approved on schedule, so the agency gets paid in a timely manner. Once the invoicing process has been started, a notification routes to the appropriate Finance Team member’s Inbox, prompting them to take action, which ensures that invoicing and payment deadlines are not missed.
Empower Your Finance Team:
Verify and Approve Costs
As the ultimate gatekeeper of all financial transactions, the Finance Team is responsible for making sure data is verified and accurate. By empowering your Finance Team to delegate cost control to other members of the team, they can be confident the data they receive has already been verified before it reaches their desk. And by utilizing approval workflows for financial activities, they can improve the quality of that financial data, while maintaining total control.
Streamline Financial Management
Because the Finance Team plays a valuable role in driving agency operations through proper financial management, it’s important that the process be as streamlined and efficient as possible. When Project Managers are accountable for raising POs and initiating invoicing, it streamlines the purchasing and payment process, promotes steady cash flow and saves the Finance Team valuable time, especially during month-end.
By empowering your team to work together to control job costs you can:
- Ensure the accuracy of all costs
- Maintain cashflow by ensuring invoicing and payment deadlines are never missed
- Limit extraneous costs by utilizing a PO process
- Improve the quality of your financial data
- Save valuable time without losing financial control