Most projects are required to report on a monthly basis. One's first thought is that this is a monthly report to the client. However, there is a requirement for a separate internal report focusing on the financial aspects and anything that exposes the company to risk.
The data that will be reviewed will usually be in a company standard format in as concise a format as possible. The manager thus gets used to seeing the same information in the same position on the report. This tends to highlight figures that are outside the norm and makes them more obvious.
1 Financial Situation
1.1 Obtain a clear summary of the project's overall cost status and financial position.
- Actual cost incurred to date with the current estimate. Check that actual cost data is up to date. Some company systems can be slow in allocating costs to a specific project.
- Change order status. The value of changes agreed and any that are in dispute with the client. What is happening with the disputed changes?
- Cost trends and variances, with explanations. It is rare that there are no changes, so be suspicious if everything is stated as being on plan.
- Forecast cost to complete compared with plan. This requires careful scrutiny since project managers are optimistic. They tend to show the forecast to complete as the original budget minus the actual costs. For example: is the forecast of productivity or monthly progress figures to complete the work consistent with the experience ...