MS Project has this strong feature of “Accure At” which supports different type of clients & contractor arrangements a Company could have during its Project Cycle. Accure at option provide option of assigning costs at 3 different levels :
1) Prorated – Depends entirely on the progress report on the Work. So, as and when a resource updates his % Complete cost is accured and payment could be release accordingly.
2) Start – These could be used for resources / vendors which needs to be paid right at the begining of the assignment. It is like you pay before and use later, this accumulates to Project cost to refelct that a cost has already been expensed and added to over all Actual Cost of the Project.
3) End – These resources get paid after completetion of a task; their cost gets added up to the Actual Cost only when a task is 100% Complete, so this is not getting added to the Actual Cost anytime before marked as done.
1 ) Created 3 Tasks and 3 Resources as following : 3 Resources without table as Prorated, Start & End.
2) Assigned them to tasks named accordinlgy.
3. Baseline the Schedule, and mark all tasks as 50% this will now add to EV Calculations, see the ACWP of Start Accured is the total value and for End Accure it is 0.
4 )Looking at Resource Usage View with Actual Cost inserted into the sheet view you will notice that it remains front-loaded for Start Accure and 0 for End Accure.
As, you can see here AC of Start Resource get accumulated at start itself while for end accure it shows towards end of the task.
5) Now I increase the Duration of Start and End Accure to 5 days from 4 days and make both the tasks as 100%, find impact on EV :
It generated a Cost Varince for Start Accure by -8$, while End Accure doesn’t have impact in CV but both shows the updates in VAC -8$ when made 100%. This is the most exciting option, you can always get a Variance for already planned Cost (it behaves same in Start and Prorated) while the cost which you decided to pay at End doesn’t accumulated in CV. This feature is excellent in giving factual CV but there can be still an exception when a PM says that even though resource was End Accure and not budgeted in terms of cost at start, but was budgeted for Work at least and that should generate CV. But the tool assumes that a cost which was not budegeted ahead, shouldn’t be part of Cost Variance as it shows BCWP – ACWP, yet the EV reflects the deviation exactly as required in VAC.