CONSOLIDATION PROCEDURE calculates Total Project Costs and generates reports comprising histograms and S-Curves of the total PROJECT. These total costs - distributed between the Project Periods - are obtained by adding periodic costs of every Project Account. One project period is usually one calendar month, but it can be also one year quarter (three months) if the project is of a very long duration. This procedure considers the current status of all Project Accounts, referring to the date and time when the calculation are done.
The calculations involve costs comprising FORECASTS, ACTUALS, BOOKINGS and COMMITMENTS distributed between the Project Periods. Excepting FORECAST, this distributions is based solely on posted Journal Entries, and without any need on part of the Cost Engineer to do any data retrieval or calculations. The distribution of FORECAST costs is performed according to the current data remaining in Project Cost Accounts - such as Start and Finish Date, and the distribution factors F1: F2, where the Cost Engineer's input is required; (see our Article #5). All calculations of the dollar figures related to each Project Period of individual Project Accounts and to the Total Project are done by TECA, the project accounting computer program.
Let us summarize: During this consolidation procedure, TECA calculates the sum of all FORECAST values of each Cost Account within each Project Period, where the Start Date and Finish Date and the Distribution Factors of the Project Cost Account define the distribution shape. Then TECA does the same with the ACTUALS, BOOKINGS, and COMMITMENTS, except that here the dates of posted journal entries govern the allocation of the sums to related Project Periods. These calculations require several seconds for TECA, whereas if the Cost Engineer would do the same manually, say with the help of the Excel software, his job would require hours.
The consolidation procedure creates special program tables. These tables have current (read at the time of consolidation) cost figures obtained from the Cost Ledgers (verified by the automatic Trial Balance) and from Time-Cost Ledgers, all referring to the total project within the project time frame, period by period. The data contained in these tables are used by TECA to generate financial and time-cost reports, inclusive of histograms and S-Curves.