FAQ

Want to learn more about 4castplus? We’ve collected some common questions below. If you have any questions or would like to contact us to learn more, please don’t hesitate to ask on our Contact Page.

 

Yes, 4castplus has a robust Request For Quote module for soliciting and managing vendor bids and contracts. There is additionally a cloud portal for managing the documents and interactions during the bidding process. There’s also a full bid evaluation component built-in.

 

Yes, you can import from MS Project and Primavera. You can also synchronize budget and actuals back to MS Project.

Yes, you can forecast anticipated trends in both schedule and budget. 4castplus separates out your baseline, current and forecasted schedule and budget lines for reporting.  You can enter potential quantity or price increases for any labor, equipment, materials – or add additional resources or cost to any part of the project.

Yes, you can pre-define customized milestones for each workpackage on the project for rules of credit. You can define a percent complete for each milestone, along with documents, comments, etc. When project managers enter their progress measurements, they can simply check-off the milestone – with any comments and other documentation – and the system will apply that percent complete to the progress measurement.

 

Yes, 4castplus has Labor, Equipment and Materials tracking modules so that you can track all the construction activities, crews, equipment, materials, 3rd party expenses, site conditions, daily log information, etc. All tracking is immediately available to project controls and project management to run reports and get an instant view on project health & status.

Yes, each user can be configured with multiple disciplines/roles. Each role can have its own cost and billing rates. So, if you work as a mechanical as well as a civil engineer – and the rates are unique for these – you need only pick the role you worked at on the timesheet and the correct rate will fire in the background.

Yes, 4castplus has very powerful expediting capability.

Yes, once material is received or services completed, you can enter the receiving document into 4castplus. This will recognize an Incurred Cost on your project at the time of receipt. This is critical for providing a real-time cost and accrual picture so that you’re not waiting for the vendor invoice to register costs.

You can record location information including Location Stored to run reports on total materials available in a yard.

You can also record overages, OS&D, condition information, etc.

Yes you can record vendor invoices. Everything recorded is compared against the original committed amount from the purchase order. Any approved additions on the invoice will be registered as an “Adjustment”.

Yes, you’ll have constant visibility into project costs and accruals. You can, for example, use the PO-Receiving module to track real-time incurred costs from vendors without having to wait for an invoice. You can also track daily costs through the LEM tracking modules that enable jobsite entry of activities, receipts, crews, equipment, progress, etc.

Yes, there’s full bid spread analysis and evaluations capability as part of the Request For Quote module. You can establish your own evaluation criteria – along with weighted values – and score each vendor proposal for a side-by-side comparison. Vendors can upload their pricing through the RFQ E-Portal or send you their pricing which you can upload yourself (if you’re not using the portal). The unit prices for each vendor can be compared side-by-side. It all can be exported into a formatted report that you can use to present to your internal stakeholders or client.

 

Yes, 4castplus has very robust purchase order management workflows that enable buyers to easily build the contracts, attachments and specify the materials, services and equipment for a PO. You can approve, commit and issue purchase orders and subsequently Revise the PO if necessary. Numerous reports are available for auditing and tracking every aspect of all purchase orders on a project.

Purchase orders can be created from scratch, or created through a Request For Quote (RFQ/RFP) Award process that auto-creates a PO from the RFQ.

Purchase orders and all the detail resource items can be Expedited through the built-in expediting module.

 

Yes, you can Programs and roll-up multiple projects into the program. There are numerous program-level reports & charts that are available in a single-click that show performance, productivity, status, etc. at the Program Level.

 

The cost-codes management in 4castplus is very flexible and powerful. You can pre-configure a very rich cost code structure for your CBS – uniquely for each project.  Additionally, there are both Internal as well as Client cost codes you can configure. This way, you can track your internal codes, while at the same time, adhere to your client’s requested coding structure for billing.

Cost codes can be used for budgeting and tracking down to very specific activities, disciplines, material and any accounting code you may require to report on in your project. The codes can be synchronized with the code of accounts in your accounting system to ensure apples to apples reporting between what the project managers see compared to what the finance personnel see.

 

4castplus has robust change management capabilities built-in to the system. Once you baseline your initial budget, you can add Change Orders at any time that represent scope changes to the project. You can build a full budget for a Change Order that includes all the detailed resources, hours, materials and costs involved with the change. There is an approval process that will move a Change Order from “Proposed” to “Approved” or “Rejected”.

There are three types of Changes available in 4castplus:

  1. Change Order – this represents an approved scope and budget change
  2. Change Forecast – for change trends and anticipated outcomes that are based on observed potential trends and forecasts
  3. Budget Transfer – this is a tool used to make a zero-sum, auditable move of funds between workpackages on the project. Budget Transfers have an approval process.

Each change type is reported separately and can be viewed on timeline charts and reports.

 

Yes, you can create a full WBS for a project. The WBS, Schedule and CBS create the foundation for the project. Costs can be budgeted and tracked to any item and cost code on the WBS. Each WBS task has a schedule, resources, budget, cost codes, rules of credit, and deliverables (or commodities). The WBS can be broken into phases. Each task can be progressed for earned value calculations, and budget vs. actual vs. earned value measurements are calculated by the system at all levels

Yes, 4castplus has full support for users banking time, and then using that banked time. The software allows you to configure the parameters around the banked time rules according to your local labor standards. The system keeps a continuous tally of accrued banked time earned, used and/or paid.

Yes, you can create your invoices in 4castplus and push the invoice details over to your financial system. If you use Quickbooks, 4castplus has a built-in App that directly syncs invoicing data.

Yes, 4castplus can manage invoicing for the following project billing types:

  1. Time & Materials (Cost reimbursable)
  2. Fixed Price
  3. Cost Plus
  4. Unit Price

You can also mix billing types within the same project. If, for example, you have a Fixed Price project that has a section of it that you’re billing as Time & Materials, 4castplus will enable you to estimate, track and invoice that scenario.

Yes, there are multiple reporting options for invoice backup.

Yes, customer invoicing is built-in. All billable timesheet transactions are directly available for invoicing. There are full financial controls in the invoicing module to ensure all billable time is captured and is never invoiced more than once.

Yes, there is a full approval workflow built in. You can set the approving manager to be the project manager and/or the “Reports-To” manager. When a timesheet is submitted, the approving manager is notified via email that he/she has timesheets to approve. They can approve/reject the timesheet with comments.

Yes, you can create multiple rate sheets (we call them Billing Rate Tables) and apply them uniquely to each project. If, for example, you have a unique rate structure for each client, you can apply that rate table to the respective project/client.
For further flexibility, you can additionally override individual tasks within the project with a different rate table than the one set as the project default. You can also pre-set the start date for a rate table and stack your rate tables so that they automatically switch to the new rates at the predefined time.

Yes, every project and every task has Resourcing Permissions so that you can be very specific as to who has access to what project & task. This way, you can reduce the number of options available for people to select to enter their time – this limits the chances for erros. You can, of course, open it up to allow users to access everything if you configure it that way.

Yes, you can enable users to pick anything on the work breakdown structure to allocate their time to. Each project, task, phase, discipline, etc. can be structured with a specific cost code according to your preferences. When the users enter their time, both cost and billing transactions are created on that task and cost code in the work breakdown structure.

4castplus customers come from industries such as: Construction, Oil & Gas, Utilities, Mining and Engineering. 4castplus is used to manage the finances, contracts, resources and risks of construction projects. 4castplus can be used by any business that needs to gain control over cash-flow, project estimating, changes, procurement, and real-time visibility of their projects. Whether they run revenue-generating or capital projects; 4castplus is ideally suited for businesses running projects that have many moving parts: labor, equipment, materials, expenses, full Work Breakdown Structure, complex cost codes, phases, etc.

Click here for more on Project Cost Management.

 

4castplus is licensed on an annual subscription using a SaaS model. Click here for more on SaaS delivery and licensing. Licenses are granted on a named user basis. 4castplus has preset user profiles, each with their own license fee: Time Entry, Time Entry Plus, Project Manager Plus, Business Intelligence, Procurement Plus, Project Manager Pro and Administrator.

4castplus is upgraded on a continuous delivery model of regular releases. Upgrades typically happen every 4-6 weeks and are transparent to the user and included in the license fee. Click here for more on SaaS delivery and licensing.

You can log in to 4castplus at https://4castplus.com/ to access the software from anywhere.

 

We have taken all reasonable measures to ensure that the data input into 4castplus by our customers is safe and secure.  Click here for more details on 4castplus data security and monitoring.

Including:

  • All data entered and retrieved is transmitted over secure protocol (https) so that no information is at risk of being compromised
  • All access is governed by strict password security policies, and all passwords are encrypted
  • Customer Administrators assign data security rules which determine which data and product components users can access
  • 24/7 Server Security Monitoring
  • Nightly backups including weekends
  • 99.99% network and server uptime
  • Disaster Recovery Services and Procedures
  • Customers are at liberty to export their data from 4castplus at any time

 

Projects can be easily setup to have very granular control over which resources have access to it. 4castplus additionally comes equipped with multi-level permissions that enable administrators to grant or revoke access to all components of the application.

4castplus is designed to reduce the burden of re-keying data into your financial system. This saves time, effort and reduces the likelihood of data-entry errors.

Exports:

  1. 4castplus provides hooks to integrate the data captured in 4castplus with other enterprise applications like financial or payroll. Some integrations are available out-of-the-box.
  2. Excel/PDF: 4castplus allows you to export a variety of reports, lists, Quotes, Estimates, WBS, and all other data into Excel or PDF format. Our motto of One Step to Excel ensures users always have a way to massage or manipulate their data in ways specific to their own business processes
  3. Invoices: Invoices can be created and printed directly from 4castplus . Invoices can also be exported directly into your financial Accounting system.
  4. Financial Export Documents: 4castplus provides a rich filter and query interface to create summary or aggregate information on project transactions occurring in 4castplus. This data can be directly imported into the GL of your Financial Accounting system; it can be printed; exported to CSV format (for importing to payroll or other system), and exported to Excel. Reverse Invoicing for Contractors is easily supported with this tool.

Imports:

  1. 4castplus provides tools to import projects from MS-Project
  2. 4castplus provides data import capability to import historical project transactions

Yes, you can export to Excel just about every piece of data in 4castplus, including lists, timesheets, reports, estimates and forecasts. In addition, there is capability to import lists that may be kept in Excel (customer, supplier and employee lists).

Absolutely. 4castplus is a data intensive analytical application that provides a multitude of ways to view and analyze project cost management data. Nevertheless, offering a quick export to Excel from everywhere in the app extends the range of what our customers can do with that data.

Any resource with an assigned profile and email address can enter time into 4castplus. Sub-contractor labor resources are handled separately from Employee Labor. There are 2 reasons for this:

  • Permissions. You may want to restrict individual contractor access to certain areas of the system
  • Apply control rules on Contractor input based on contract terms
  • Payroll vs. Accounts Payable. Contractor cost/billing transactions can be handled separately and exported to AP (for reverse-invoicing) whereas employee transactions can be exported to an area to be used by your payroll solution.

4castplus has extensive reporting, dashboards and charts scattered throughout the system. We’ve taken an approach that reports should be intrinsically available everywhere and in context to what the user is currently doing. Reports are on-screen and interactive so users can group, sort, filter and drill-down to deeper details of information. Exports to Excel and to PDF are always available.

Reporting on current, historical and forecasted information is always available in quick reports; as well as trend and variance analysis.

Further examples include:

  • Cashflow reporting over time
  • Resource reporting
  • Accrual reporting
  • Up to the minute project reports including details on transactions, costs, revenues, margins
  • Resource reports: Including costs, utilizations, allocations, activity
  • Customer, Supplier and Contractor reports
  • Trending reports: for performance metrics over time
  • Utilization reports for Labor and Equipment resources
  • Budget vs. Actual & S-Curve
  • Progress Reports

As a project progresses, changes naturally occur that were not anticipated during original planning. To manage the controls around this, in 4castplus, a project’s Baseline Estimate can only be changed with the creation of a Change Order. This is to ensure that changes are tracked explicitly and can be reported on to show project progress details. More about how Change Orders are handled:

  • In 4castplus, changes to a Baselined project’s WBS will require the user to provide a Change-Order number to make that change to the WBS
  • Change Orders can be created easily and an approval process can be applied to the Change Order
  • These changes will only be reflected in the current Forecast forward. This controls the progress reports of when the change occurred.

4castplus can assist you to predict and manage your project cash flows better. You can set up the billing frequencies for your projects, with critical alert notification to ensure that you don’t miss an invoicing deadline. Improved turnaround on invoicing means cash comes into your business more quickly. And having a better idea on when you can expect cash inflows will put you in a better position to manage your cash outflows.

Earned Value Management is a critical tool for measuring how well a project is performing to plan. With 4castplus EVM, users gain early, predictive insight into a project’s potential for success. This enables project managers to make timely, corrective actions where necessary to ensure a project completes on budget and on schedule. Click here to read more on 4castplus EVM.