Setting Up Costs

Setting Up Costs

Budget planning and cost allocation are vital aspects of project management, and Merlin Project equips you with the tools to handle these efficiently. Here's a concise guide to get you started:

To begin, select the activities, milestones or groups you want to assign budgets and costs to in the main view. Click on the inspector and go to the third tab - the one with the image of coins and a dollar sign. Within the finance inspector, you see three tabs: Budget, Cost, and Balance.

The Finance Inspector in Merlin Project

Budget Tab

The Budget Tab in Merlin Project

On the Budget tab, you manage and control budgets for the selected items. Distinctly, you can set both requested and approved budgets.

Tip: If you don't have a budget and want to enter basic project costs, use the FinancesCost tab.

Cost Tab

The Cost Tab in Merlin Project

On the Cost tab, you can enter basic costs for activities and assignments. Enter a cost position by clicking on the arrow to open of the field. Then press the plus symbol to enter a new position. To add multiple cost items, click the plus symbol repeatedly. Merlin Project will automatically sum up these costs for you in the "Base Cost" field.

Tip: For cost due dates, also known as "Accrual," choose from options like "Accrue Immediately," "Accrue at the Start," "Accrue prorated," or "Accrue at the End" based on your project's needs.

Balance Tab

The Balance Tab in Merlin Project

On the Balance tab, you will get an overview of costs, categorized as Expected, Planned, and Actual - in each segment separated by base costs, work costs, and attachment costs and subtracted from the approved budget to calculate the balance. These costs are based on your selection - whether you inspect the costs for a group or activity.

Tip: Click on the project in row #0 and switch to the Inspector for FinancesBalance to view the total sum of all project cost items categorized by expected, planned, and actual budgets.

Example of how costs can be inserted in the Open Day event in Merlin Project

In examining the cost drivers for VitaLeaf Botanicals Inc.'s Open House Event, several financial considerations emerge:

  • For the 'Venue and Logistics' aspect, the most significant expenses will likely stem from leasing the event space, which must encapsulate the brand’s verdant aesthetic. Additional outlays in this domain include the rental of furniture, staging, and cutting-edge audio-visual equipment to create an immersive experience. Production costs for signage and information displays are also key, not to mention the essential provisions for weather-related contingencies, which may involve hiring tents or other protective gear.

  • Moving to Guest Management, the financial commitments encompass the creative design and printing of invitations, alongside postage for a traditional mail-out. The investment in a reliable and efficient registration system to handle RSVPs, coupled with the staffing required for on-the-day guest reception and coordination, represents another cost center.

  • Marketing and promotion efforts will incur expenses through targeted social media advertising, production of high-quality promotional materials, and potentially, the engagement of public relations services to garner local press coverage.

  • In the Activities and Engagement sector, budgeting for interactive sessions and workshops may include hiring expert speakers or facilitators, procuring materials for live demonstrations, and perhaps costs associated with special features or attractions to engage attendees.

  • The Catering and Amenities category involves not just the catering service fees but also considerations for a diverse menu that aligns with the botanical theme, including organic and plant-based refreshments that reflect the company's values.

  • For the Brand Experience, outlays will be directed towards the creation of high-quality product displays and informational booths, with an additional budget set aside for complimentary samples and promotional giveaways designed to impress attendees and leave a lasting brand impression.

  • Lastly, Post-Event Management will generate costs associated with feedback collection and analysis tools, as well as the production of personalized thank-you communications to guests, which will contribute to a comprehensive and professional follow-up process.

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