Project Management

The Money Files

A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from

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Recent Posts

3 Levels of Project Work Authorization [Infographic]

What goes into a Control Account Plan?

2 unexpected benefits of risk management [Video]

Establishing the Budget in Earned Value Management

How to Monitor Risks

When does project budgeting activity happen? [Infographic]

Categories: budget

Let’s look at what tasks happen when during the project life cycle. Different budget requirements fall into different parts of the project, from start up through to delivery and closure, with different tasks required every month and then different tasks again every couple of months.

The infographic below explains what to be focused on at different points in the project life cycle. What would you add? Let me know in the comments!

budget calendar infographic

Posted on: February 16, 2021 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)

How to Handle Management Reserves [Video]

Categories: budget

management reserves

Ah, the mythical management reserve. This hits project managers who have sponsors that are poor at following through on their promises. The sponsor says that there is some kind of ‘contingency’ or ‘management reserve’ that can be spent at their discretion if required, say, in the event of an unplanned project disaster.

Said disaster happens and suddenly they don’t have authority to access those funds, or another project has used them, or you need to write a business case to access them…

How to fix it: You will struggle to fix this one in advance but your best bet is to make sure that you have full confidence that any pot of money that is being held outside your official project budget does actually exist and is there for you. Of course, the best thing to do will be to manage the project so you don’t need to tap into additional reserves.

I explain more about how to handle management reserves in this video.

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how to handle management reserves

Posted on: September 02, 2020 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

5 Key Financial Dates For Projects [Video]

Categories: budget

In this video I give you a quick overview of some of the key date-driven milestones you should be aware of on your project and why these are important. Budgeting is so driven by business timescales. If you miss a date, the implications could be huge – especially, say, if the date is to submit your budget requirements for the next financial year!

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key financial dates for projects

Posted on: July 07, 2020 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

What tool do I use for tracking a project budget? [Video]

Categories: budget

tracking budget tools

If I had a pound for every time someone asked me what tool I use for tracking my project budget…

Unfortunately, it’s one of those questions where the answer isn’t as clear cut as you might hope. In this video I talk through the challenge of choosing a tool and there’s a teeny rant about why ultimately it doesn’t much matter as long as you get on with tracking somehow and just make a decision!

What tool do you use to track your project budget? Let us know in the comments section!

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Posted on: June 25, 2020 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

What are sunk costs? [Video]

Categories: budget, cost

sunk costs

In this video I explain what sunk costs are and why they are so emotive on projects, especially when projects are challenged or no longer viable.

I try to give you some background on sunk costs so that when you’re faced with execs who are looking at sunk costs as a reason to continue with a project, you’re armed and ready to at least debate with them about why that isn’t a good idea!

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sunk costs pin

Posted on: April 23, 2020 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

"One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity there ain't nothing can beat teamwork."

- Mark Twain