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The cost overview report in MS Project

Cost overview report

The Cost Overview Report shows four areas with cost information about your project.

The upper left corner of the report shows the Forecasted Cost (‘Cost’); this is the actual cost + the remaining cost for the entire project. It also shows the Remaining Cost separately as well as the % complete of the project. Note that this percentage refers to the duration that has past. It does not say anything about the work that has been done, actual cost being incurred or the actual physical product being finished.

Progress versus cost chart

The Progress Versus Cost chart shows if your project is over budget or not. If the blue line is below the orange line, your project may be over budget.

Cost status table

The Cost Status table shows you the Actual Cost, Remaining Cost, Baseline Cost, Cost and Cost Variance for every top-level task (outline level 1). These are your main deliverables in this case. Here we can see for example that the final assembly cost $200,- more (the fixed price painting job) and the preparation cost $ 998 less than we have baselined (cheaper building package and less required man hours).

Cost status chart

The Cost Status chart is a combination chart that show the Actual Cost and Remaining Cost in stacked columns for each top-level task as well as a line for Baseline Cost. In the example it is clearly visible that the preparation costs less than the baseline cost (Actual Cost + Remaining Cost vs Baseline Cost), and that the preparation is almost entirely finished.

The cost overview report in MS Project

Your report?

Do you make use of the cost overview reports or do you prefer another tool (Excel)?
Share it in the comments below.

2 Comments

  1. Ferdi Berendsen

    What i mis in MSP is a dashboard with progres of time and cost in one sheet.

    1. Sander Nekeman

      Hi Ferdi,

      By default these reports show part of the information, I totally agree. In our courses, we have made a template that combines this information and gives you the dashboard you are missing now. Have a look at http://ms-project-elearning.com/save-time-with-ms-project-pro/ if you want to know more.

      Note that members can always ask us to look to their own schedule (needs) and help you out, using Skype for instance!

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