Tracking Costs

Workfront allows users to track costs and expenditures for projects and tasks. Users can see estimated costs and actual costs for each task in a project and for the project itself. Workfront also calculates a cost performance index (CPI) and a schedule performance index (SPI) for projects and tasks so they can be tracked for timeliness and cost.

Understanding How Costs Are Tracked

Workfront gives you several options for tracking costs across tasks and projects.

When you create a project, you can set planned expenses for the entire project. Additionally, you can associate expenses with new or existing tasks. 

Depending on the cost type, costs can be calculated based on the cost rate per hour for a user, the cost rate per hour of the job role, or the rate you specify on a task.

For more information about calculating costs based on user and role rates, see the "Understanding Revenue Calculations for Tasks Based on User and Role Assignments" section in "Understanding Billing and Revenue."

Understanding How Planned And Actual Costs Are Calculated

Workfront calculates the Planned Cost and the Actual Cost for each individual task in a project. Workfront uses these calculations for individual tasks to calculate the Planned Cost and the Actual Cost for the project.

Planned Cost: The sum of planned costs of all expenses of the task (tracked in the Expense tab) plus the planned cost of the user or role assigned to the task.

For example, suppose that in a task’s Expenses tab you have the following 2 expenses: a $100 Marketing expense and a $50 Administrative expense. In the Finance tab, you select the User Hourly cost type. A user is assigned to the task, and the user's hourly rate is $15. The user is assigned to work 5 hours on this task. The Planned Cost is as follows:

$100 (Marketing Expense) + $50 (Administrative Expense)+$15(Hourly Rate)*5(Planned Hours Logged)=$225.

Actual Cost: The sum of Actual costs of all expenses on the task plus user or role’s actual cost.

For example, suppose that the actual cost of a marketing expense is $110, and the actual cost of administrative expense is $40. You select the Role Hourly cost type and assign a consultant job role to the task. The consultant job role’s rate is $15 per hour, and there are 6 hours logged on the task for a consultant job role. The Actual Cost of the task is as follows:

 $110 (Marketing Expense) + $40 (Administrative Expense) +$15(Hourly Rate)*6(Actual Hours Logged)= 240.

Modifying Cost Types for Individual Tasks

You can configure the cost type for individual tasks within the project. Each cost type affects the Planned Cost and Actual Cost values.

To configure the cost type of an individual task:

  1. Navigate to the task where you want to configure the cost type. 
  2. Click the Task Details tab, then click Finance.
  3. Click Edit Finance.

  4. In the Cost Type drop-down list, select the cost type that you want to apply to the task.
    The following table describes the cost types that are available:

    Task Cost Type


    User Hourly

    Planned Cost is calculated by: The rate you set for a specific user, multiplied by the number of hours planned to enter for the task. 

    Actual Cost is calculated by: The rate you set for a specific user, multiplied by the number of hours that were actually entered for the task. 

    For example, you create a user, Kevin, and you set his hourly cost at $20. If Kevin then submits 5 hours for a task on his timesheet, the actual labor cost is $100 for that task.

    Cost values are calculated based on the amount set for the user to whom timesheet hours are applied, regardless of who is assigned to complete the task. If you assign multiple resources to a task, Workfront adjusts calculations based on the percentage of the task assigned to each resource.

    Role Hourly

    Similar to User Hourly, but calculates the cost based on job roles rather than individual users.

    Fixed Hourly

    Planned Cost is calculated by: The rate you set for a specific task, multiplied by the number of hours planned to enter for the task.

    Actual Cost is calculated by: The rate you set for a specific task, multiplied by the number of hours that were actually entered for the task.

    This cost type does not take individual users into account.

    No Cost

    This type has no effect on cost. If a parent object has this setting, sub-tasks with another cost type are still applied normally.

  5. Click Save.