Financial Tracking

What is Financial Planning?

Financial Planning in Kiplot encompasses a comprehensive approach to managing an organization's financial activities to achieve its business objectives. It involves forecasting, planning, and tracking actual expenditures to ensure effective financial management.

  • Forecasting allows users to predict financial spend per month, adjusting as more information becomes available or as situations evolve, ensuring agility in financial management.
  • Planning captures a snapshot of forecasts at a specific time, serving as a baseline for approval and comparison. Users can create multiple plans for better financial oversight, reflecting a strategic approach to financial management.
  • Actual Expenditures track the real spend per cost item per month, offering transparency and enabling adjustments to stay on budget.

The distinction between Operational Expenditure (OpEx) and Capital Expenditure (CapEx) is crucial in Kiplot, allowing for accurate financial reporting and strategic investment decisions. OpEx covers daily operational costs, while CapEx represents long-term investments in assets, with provisions for depreciation to reflect asset value over time.

Furthermore, Kiplot’s financial features include detailed configurations for General Settings and Optional Fields, enhancing the customization and relevance of financial data to specific organizational needs. This includes setting financial year starts, currency symbols, and default allocations for CapEx, among others.

The platform also allows for the management and configuration of cost and benefit items, enabling users to tailor financial tracking to their unique project and organizational requirements. This level of detail extends to initiatives, where users can add financial information, including budgets and cost/benefit line items, highlighting the importance of precision in financial planning.

Cost/Benefit Types

  1. Forecast – The forecasted spend per financial month. This value can be changed by the user as more information becomes available or situations change.
  2. Plan – The plan is a snapshot of forecasts at a point in time. The user can copy a forecast to a plan. Previous plans cannot be changed. Plans can be used as approval points and forecasts/actuals are compared against the plan. The user can create and view multiple plans.
  3. Actuals – Actual spend per cost item per financial month.

Expenditure

Kiplot has functionality to distinguish between Operational and Capital Expenditure.

  • Operational Expenditure (OpEx) also referred to as Revenue Expenditure (RevEx) – refers to day-to-day expenses incurred in the regular operation of a business, such as salaries and utilities.
  • Capital Expenditure (CapEx) investments in long-term assets like buildings, equipment and investments in software systems, providing benefits over multiple accounting periods. CapEx is usually depreciated over several years to spread the cost over the useful life of the asset.

The user can define on initiative and/or cost item level what percentage of the cost is considered CapEx.

Depreciation

Depreciation is an accounting method that spreads the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life, reflecting its decreasing value due to wear, obsolescence, or usage in a business. In Kiplot the Useful Economic Life and date the Asset available for use can be specified. In combination with the cost items specified as CapEx depreciation calculations can be made.

Only users with the Administrator role can view and edit financials configuration

Configure General settings

On the Configuration page navigate to the Financials tab there are configuration options for General settings and Optional fields.

General settings apply to all financial features:

  • Financial year start (month) – the month the financial year starts. The tables on initiatives and reporting outputs will be aligned to financial years.
  • Currency – The currency symbol used to format the cost items.

Configure Optional Fields

When enabled Optional Fields are added to the initiative:

  • External reference – Unique identifier for initiative in external system
  • Default CapEx allocation – When set default CapEx allocation is used when a new cost item is added to an initiative
  • Asset useful economic life – The length of time an asset is expected to be useful. Used in depreciation calculations
  • Asset available for use – The date when an asset is available for use in operations, or when it is in the desired location and condition. Used in depreciation calculations

Configure available Cost/Benefit line items

On the Configuration page navigate to the Financials tab. There are two sections one for Cost Items and one for Benefit Items. Here new cost/benefit items can be added and managed.

Add cost/benefit items

To add a level 1 cost/benefit item click the button to “add cost/benefit item” on the top right of the section. To add a child cost/benefit item click the 3-dots button on the parent item and click “add child cost item”

Manage cost/benefit items

On the configuration page the user can rename cost/benefit items as well as reassign the items to other parents to change the hierarchy of the tree. Cost/Benefit items can also be disabled. When disabled, users cannot select these items for financial profiles on initiatives.

Configuration of hierarchy of Cost and Benefit items.

Manage costs and benefits on initiatives

Users specifically require the Financials Access role to view financials. In addition, users need to have Edit permissions on an initiative to edit financial values.

Add basic financials information

On the Financials tab on the initiative the user can add information for Budget and the optional fields External reference, Default CapEx allocation, Asset useful economic life, Asset available for use. Optional fields are only shown when they are enabled in the configuration. Optional fields can only be enabled by users with the Administrator role.

Add cost/benefit information information

On the Financials on the initiative the user can add line items for Costs and Benefits. The available options for costs/benefits are managed by a user with the Administrator role in configuration.

When a cost/benefit item line is added the user can add Forecast or Actual values for a month.

In the table the forecast or actual rows can be hidden from view and the navigation is used to go forward/back through financial years.

Adding cost and benefit items with forecast and actual values on the initiative detail page.

Financial Plan values

The user can create a Plan by copying all forecast values to a Plan. In the action menu (3-dots) in the top right select “copy forecast to plan”. Add a name for the plan and click “copy”. This creates a Plan.

Plan values cannot be changed. Plans are used to compare current forecast and/or actual values against. Users can create new plans from an existing forecast at any time.

When plans are available the user can select which plan to use to compare values against.

Highlight overspend

There is an option to “highlight overspend”. Which compares Forecast and Actual values against the Plan. When no plan is selected the “highlight overspend” option compares the Actual values against the Forecast.

Financial profile on initiative showing plan values and highlighting forecasted overspend against the plan.

Move all forecast values

The user can add or subtract a specified amount of months to all forecast values. This will change the assigned months for all forecasted values. This can be useful to assist with re-planning activities. Please note that Plan and Actual values are not changed.

Lean Budgeting, APM and LPM

Within agile portfolio management, the relationship between budgeting, forecasting, actuals, estimates, lean business cases and time tracking requires evolution of a number of business processes.

For more information on the relationship between financials, lean portfolio management and agile portfolio management, have a look at the resource below.

Lean Project Accounting Whitepaper

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