Cost management software
That companies carry out projects to earn money is nothing new, but doing it is usually not that easy. It is quite common for projects to end up with margins below the planed value. That is why having cost management software is essential in modern project management. A financial management program allows you to budget and control the costs of the projects, their income, their billing, and have a clear vision of the project’s status and its projection.
Best Cost Management Programs
There is a wide variety of cost management programs, but since this page is focused on project management, here we are going to highlight those cost management software that best suit the specific needs of the projects.
Characteristics of cost control software
By emphasizing the cost control tools applicable to managing project costs, these are usually project management programs with good functionalities for budgeting and cost control. For this reason, we put aside accounting programs or programs solely designed for financial control.
But what characteristics or functionalities must a project management program have in order to be considered a good cost management program? Well, we would highlight the following:
One of the key points to obtain benefits in the projects is to be able to estimate their costs accurately. A good project cost management program can be of great help in creating budgets; and therefore it is one of the characteristics that we must look for.
Due to the fact that they include the planning of the tasks and the scope of the projects, these programs allow us to budget the project by the bottom-up method, starting from the simplest work units. These are added up to complete the total budget.
This methodology has the advantage of being more precise when considering smaller tasks that can be compared with similar tasks done previously, taking advantage of the company’s knowledge base to get better estimates. In this aspect, the best cost management programs help us by being able to incorporate databases of the most common tasks or concepts.
Integration with the company’s accounting and time control programs
No tool can work properly if it is not fed with correct and updated data, and the best way to do it is by integrating this tool with the available information sources.
It is quite common for companies to have an accounting and time control tool, which can be used to feed the new project cost control tool automatically. In this way, cost control is automated and streamlined, resulting in more efficient and faster cost management, avoiding at the same time duplicating the input of information.
As you can see in the programs shown above, the best project cost management software already considers the possibility of integrating with the most common business programs. Therefore, it is only a matter of seeing that the chosen option can integrate well with existing tools and software in your company, and make sure that the software company can give you the necessary technical support to carry out this task.
Consider both costs and revenue
When we talk about cost control in project management, we tend to focus on controlling the outflow of money, forgetting the inputs.
Assuming that the end customer is going to pay us, controlling expenses is usually enough to guarantee the final benefit; but it is not to control the cash flow and the self-financing capacity of the project.
For this it is necessary that the cost management tool of the project allows to include the payments in the planning.
Ability to make reports
Among the functions of a project manager is to keep management and clients informed of the status of the project; which usually involves reporting.
For this reason, the fact that the new cost management software includes the generation of automated reports, with the calculation of the most common metrics, is something that takes a lot of work and facilitates the task of reporting.