Detailed Tracking of Change Orders

The team at 4castplus has listened to a great many project managers and cost engineers express their need for better control and reporting around change orders. As an area of project management that poses a great deal of risk and potential for cost overruns, providing powerful data capture and reporting on change orders was a top-tier priority for us.

Tracking costs directly to a change order is a critical way to monitor progress, budget and hours on change orders. This enables project managers to achieve precise and tight controls at all levels – and micro-levels – of a project.

4castplus facilitates deep project cost transparency with its built-in project tracking for actual costs & revenues. What you may not know, is that there is an additional level of tracking, also built in, that leverages the tight connections between 4castplus Change Orders and its labor, equipment and materials tracking module. Users can identify a specific change order against which they are able to apply their labor time, equipment usage, materials consumption, purchase order incurred costs, invoices, etc.  By making these connections, 4castplus enables explicit micro-tracking of any change order for reporting on estimated versus actual on the change order.  In addition to that, all underlying cost codes on the work breakdown structure are implicitly updated with the details tracked against the change order. In other words, with a single tracking entry, cost and hours information is propagated to multiple places so that, regardless of how you want to pivot your project reporting, the actual costs and hours will be reflected.

Under the covers, a change order in 4castplus is treated a bit like a project-within-a-project. It has its own budget, resources, timeline, cost codes, status, etc. Treating it like that comes in handy for the project manager. He can report on both the project as a whole – which will aggregate all the planning and tracking details of all change orders in the project – or alternatively drill-down to isolate pieces of the project. These project pieces can include resources, disciplines, cost code elements, work packages, and of course, change orders.

In the 4castplus screenshot to the right, you can see a change order dashboard that shows the list of change orders that have been recorded thus far on a project. Detailed in that report is the total estimated cost, actual cost, estimated hours and actual hours. For the selected change order, a detail report displays below that itemizes the workpackages included in the CO, along with a chart visualization that illustrates how far along the change order has progressed. This progress data includes all tracking from any purchase orders or timesheets.
Construction change order management
In this next screenshot, you can see how the 4castplus timesheet system enables users to identify the change order beneath the WBS cost code activity. This brings the granular tracking to the forefront. Seeing the change order on a timesheet is restricted by explicit permission, so you can control who gets to have that level of access. A timesheet override feature that enables administrators the power to move entered time is also available.
Construction project management software
This next screenshot shows the 4castplus purchase order receiving module. Change orders are deeply connected to procurement, so all purchase order receiving and invoicing are automatically connected to any relevant change order. In other words, there isn’t any option or room for mistake – if it was purchased through a change order, it will be received and invoiced on that same change order. This delivers ultimate control and peace of mind for the project manager and buyer.
Construction project management software
The screenshot to the right shows the 4castplus customer billing area dashboard. Each invoice created shows whether or not any change orders have been included in that billing cycle. The next screenshot below shows the individual billing transactions – and which of those were applied to which change order.
Construction project management software
In this final screenshot, invoicing backup information is shown to illustrate the individual transactions that have occurred; and which have been charged to a specific change order.
Construction time and billing software
 
If you’d like to hear more, or would like to tell us about how you manage the detail costs, revenues and activities on change orders, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us on info@4castplus.com.