The Task Net Profit drilldown from the Project Net Profit screen in Dynamics SL provides net profit and budget analysis for all or selected tasks of a project.
A partial task value may be entered for selection purposes. Matching tasks may be rolled up into one line per account category by entering a number in # of Summary Characters.
If this value is zero, the display shows one line for each account category (An account category is similar to a PM’s chart of accounts) of each task.
Also available in this screen is a graphical representation of the data and, in conjunction with the Analyzer module, the ability to export the contents of the grid to a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet for further analysis.
Subtotals of the revenue and expense account categories within each task (or rollup record) and the net amounts are calculated and may be displayed.
A variance is calculated as Total Budget minus EAC (Estimated at Complete) Amount.
Although any period may be input and inquired into, project-to-date actual information is not available for inquiries into future fiscal years (until the current year has been closed and the balances rolled forward).
Commitment information for subcontracts is available. Commitment information from unposted timecards is available too.
A single row or column may be graphed by selecting it from the grid and clicking the Graph button.
Clicking the Communicator button opens Send Messages in the Communicator module to notify someone about the profitability of a task.
Of special note is the Drill button that opens Transaction Detail Inquiry or Commitment Detail Inquiry, depending on which column is highlighted in the grid. If the focus is on the Commitment column, Commitment Detail Inquiry appears. In all other cases, Transaction Detail Inquiry appears in order to view the individual transactions that make up the amount for the selected project and account category.
This screen may be accessed from the Project Controller menu by clicking Task Net Profit in Project Analyzer in the Analyzer Module or by clicking on the Task Net Profit button from the Project Net Profit Screen. The Task Net Profit screen is pictured below.
We implement Dynamics SL and Dynamics GP. The products are very mainstream Microsoft accounting or ERP programs. Often when we review our projects’ profitability at the end of the project we learn that certain tasks don’t perform as well as others.
Converting client data where a client is not data savvy or able to clean up their own data (while preserving the integrity of the format) occasionally causes us to go over our estimates on data conversions at times.
With tools like the Project Net Profit Screen and Task Net Profit Screens, it is easy to see where we may need to do time and materials work on a fixed fee engagement. It is sometimes hard to control other tasks in terms of hours because we are often relying on the competence, availability, and work ethic of the client. Nothing is as difficult to control however as a client’s aptitude and ability to fix their own data.
Configuration, Training, Conference Room Pilot work, Go-Live support are all areas where we are less reliant on the client. Still it is nice to be able to compare where we typically struggle or at least have a wider disparity in hours on tasks we estimate.
I hope this wraps up for you the usefulness of the screen along with a concrete example of how we do our analysis at the task level on a project.