Tracking Budget versus Actual
Does anyone have a method they use to track budget versus actual hours? I need to at a project level see when a project is approaching 90% of its budget or goes over budget. It would be nice to get an alert or have the status change based on this trigger. How do other people do this?
Hi Vincent! I spoke to one of our Customer Success Managers about this and her suggestion is to use Custom Fields.
How to do it:
1. Create a Custom Field called "Planned Budget" and apply it at the Project level.
2. Create a Custom Field called "Actual Budget" and apply it at the Project level.
3. When a new project starts, enter information in the Planned Budget field. You shouldn't need to update this field again, it'll just serve as a reference point.
4. As the project progresses, update the "Actual Budget" field. I would recommend setting up a schedule for how often to update this field. For example, at the end of the day, end of the week, or immediately after time/money is spent.
You'll be able to use the fields to compare how the budget is tracking compared to what you planned.
Reports could help you take a quick look and check the status of project budgets, but in terms of alerts, there's no way to have automated alerts or for statuses to change automatically. If you do want to create a report, you could make a Project level report and include all the projects whose budgets you want to track. Then make sure the report shows the Project name, Planned Budget field, and Actual Budget field.
It would be nice to be able to look at variance between a budget and actual hours. Not at all possible today.
Hi Vincent, you're right, this isn't possible today. I can put in a feature request about this though if you like?
We would die for that :)
Double die here!
@Ryan and @Vincent, Please don't die, I'm adding a +2 to the request to have calculations available for Custom Fields.
I agree — these would be great additions!
Our current band-aid is to use the Table View to compare budget vs. actual hours. When a project kicks off and we set up the folder structure in Wrike, we breakdown the budget in a custom column. Then, at any point throughout the project, you can quickly compare the "Time Spent" against the "Hourly Budget" (our title for said customer column). Just be sure to move the columns side-by-side and make sure your filter is set to "All Tasks".
While this works ok for hours, it does nothing for $$$. We added another custom column called "Hourly Rate" but because the table doesn't do any math across the columns, it never ended up providing much help from that aspect. Being able to manage by the hours (as described above) has been helpful though and is a step above what we had been doing.
Yes please - crucial for any project management to see how much of the initially estimated time has been burnt, how much is still remaining and how the workload situation looks like to accommodate for the remaining hours.
For example I know that Steve is allocated to 3 different projects, we have 100h allocated for each of the projects.
So how can I get the following pieces of information?
How much time (hours) have we already spent in each of those projects?
How much of my time budget is still remaining?
How many working hours does Steve still have in each project?
How many working hours does Steve have assigned at any given date/week/month?
Completely agree with Kristian's request. We track time spent via the native time-tracking feature in Wrike, but there are 2 shortfalls:
1) As Kristian points out - you can't accurately compare this to planned time spent because Wrike doesn't allow you to allocate a percent of someone's time. So comparing time logged in Wrike to Total task duration does nothing for you since a person may only be 30% allocated to that task.
2) Wrike does not roll up time spent from sub task up to parent task. When you want to compare actual time spent vs planned time spent, you often want to roll it up to a higher "task" level and not just look at the granular sub task level. Wrike does not add up time spent on sub tasks and populate it into the task level. It only rolls up time spent to the top "project" level. This would need to be fixed to be able to adequately use the time spent features of wrike for project planning.
I agree with Jeni and Kristian. Big shortfall here. Hopefully they will pay attention to the PSA space and add more functionality we can use.
@Kristian, thank you for those details! I've added your vote to this feature request. Just in case it helps, I wanted to suggest using the Time Tracking feature together with Custom Fields for the first two points you mentioned.
The data from the Time Spent column is automatically rolled up to the Project level, so you can easily compare how much of the allocated time has already been spent. By using filters, you can further refine the Report to pull tasks assigned to certain users or for a certain period of time.
The Time Spent column is not rolled up from the sub-task level. When I have time logged at the sub-task level, there is no way to see it when looking at the task level.
For example, if you have a task with 5 hours logged on sub-tasks, but only 1 hr logged on the main task, the main task in table view (sub-tasks collapsed) will show 1 hr and the total project will show 6 hrs, but you don't know which task has hrs logged at the sub-task level. The only way to see where the 5hrs is coming from is to expand all sub-tasks and locate which task has hrs tracked. Why doesn't the time spent data roll up to the task level (from sub-tasks)? When you are reporting time-spent, managers often don't want to look at all the sub-tasks. They just want to know the time spent at the task or project level.
Hi Jeni! The interaction between tasks/subtasks is something we talk about a lot. Many teams need to be able to track task data separately from subtask data which is why time spent data doesn't roll up now. You can't roll up time from subtasks to tasks, but I think there is a workaround that may help. I recommend using only the parent task to track the total time or add entries there manually. You will be able to differentiate between who made an entry in the Timelog View. For each time log entry users can add a comment specifying what they worked on and they can add subtask names here.
I agree Wrike needs calculations available for Custom Fields. Is this soon in the works?
Hi Kaitlyn! While it's too early to share a time frame, I wanted to let you know that our Product Team is currently looking at ways to enhance this functionality, and all of the ideas being discussed here are really helpful. I also wanted to mention that we recently launched a dedicated Product Feedback section, which is the perfect place to discuss new requests and ideas :)
I'm glad I found this post. I don't think we can go ahead without the ability to compare budgeted to actual hours easily (including subtasks). It's one of the main reasons we would want to start using project tracking software.
I too vote for calculation functionality. Would be great to add the hourly cost rate for each person. In our company the rate is different for each type of task. (Photography, graphic design, marketing task etc.). Maybe this rate could be added to ones profile which is then connected to the time spent and a sum is calculated.
@Pernille, thank you for sharing this! I'd love to see this idea and info about your use case (I think it's really interesting) in our Product Feedback section :)
Is there any movement on adding this capability?
Hi Russell, thanks for commenting here! Our Product Team is internally discussing possible enhancements, and I wanted to point you to a few Product Feedback threads they're actively monitoring - it would really help if you could add your vote/comment and share your thoughts there too:
Hi - I haven't seen an update on this thread in a long time. We are deciding on Wrike versus Scoro this week, and this is a critical item. I would love to know the if the feature has been added to the pipeline and what the timing is for completion. This is a critical feature of any project management tool. I think Wrike has everything we need, except the cost tracking component which Scoro does very effectively - so if you are looking for a way a use case, you should look at what your competitor is doing. I hope you have added this feature as Wrike is the best everywhere else.
Hi Justin, thanks for posting and welcome to Wrike!
I can confirm that the Product Team is discussing this feature, however, I have no concrete details to share at the moment. Once I do, I'll be sure to update you here 👍
Hi. I'm glad that we are all asking for the same feature here. Wrike lacks on Budget Vs. Actual calculation capability and am also debating whether we should continue with using Wrike or move on to a different platform. It's been sometime without any update plans or actionable steps put in place besides "discussing". It's really unfortunate.
Still no Movement - we built this ourselves for now but our patience is getting thin on this. I think they are building something but PSA is an important segment and they need to pay attention!
Vincent, could you please share how you went about building yours? custom fields? So far, I can do budget hrs and actual hrs using custom fields but that's far as I went. Can't get any useful reports automatically generated using those data.
Yes I use a custom field for Budget and I track it at the task level making sure it aggregates to the project level. I then export the project information using a report to excel. I get the Time Spent for my actuals which then you need to manipulate since the format comes out in Time format and you need decimal for reporting. If you multiply the column of Time Spent by 24 in a new column and then change the format of the column to numeric - you then have a decimal format for Actuals. I then take the spread and put it into Qlik and create my Project Burndown graphs.
Hope the helps!
We're in the same situation here, this would be a make it or break it feature for us wrt. making a decision to keep on using Wrike or switch to someone who offers this feature.
@Stephen, any progress on this?
Commenting here to voice my support for Vincent's original request. Our team definitely needs a feature like this.
@Håvard I know this is very late, but no update to share at the moment.
Yes this is definitely needed. Plus 5 from me! 👍👍👍👍👍