Every project shows you in the blink of an eye three different widgets that are visible in a clear overview: Budget spent, Profit and Time tracked. This article explains ‘Budget spent’ in detail:

  • What is ‘budget spent’ on projects?
  • How is ‘budget spent’ calculated?
    • Forecast
    • Columns in the projects overview
    • Project report
  • Main difference between ‘budget spent’ and ‘profit’ 
  • Who has access to ‘budget spent’?

If you are looking for more information on profit on projects, please read this article. 

Interested in some use cases showing how budget management works exactly? Read this article.

What is ‘budget spent’ on projects?

Note: to give you the best results, we advise you to set an external price per user or a price per work type. To also view the profit you’ve made you need to set the internal cost per user.

Budget management on projects is a way to keep track of the predetermined budget you and your customer have agreed upon. By allocating resources and estimating time on tasks, you'll know if you are going over budget. This way you can communicate transparently with your customer so both parties remain happy.

In summary, 'budget spent' displays your client's budget and how much billable hours (time) and materials are spent. Keep in mind that the external price of a user (which you set in Settings > HR) or the price per work type is used to calculate the billable hours.

How is ‘budget spent’ calculated?

When creating a project, you can add a budget. The percentage above displays how much of the client’s budget is already spent. Whenever someone tracks invoiceable hours, this will be subtracted from the budget at the external hourly rate of that employee/the work type. The same goes for materials: everything you use and decide to charge your customer will be multiplied by the price you sell it for.
In summary: Spent budget = (billable hours + material) * sale price.

When you click on Milestone budgets it’s possible to view the budget per milestone in detail. This way you can see which part of the project you’re spending the most time and materials on.

At a glance you’ll see:

  • The billing method of your milestones
  • The budget that has already been spent
  • The budget provided per milestone.
  • The forecast indicator 

Note on the budget spent: Do you also want to include your non-billable time in your spent budget? In the settings of your project (click on the pencil next to your project number to edit the project) you’ll find the slider to also include this time:

Forecast indicator:

When you plan a task linked to the project, you can add a duration. Based on that allocated time, we will give you an indication of where your budget is likely to end: in the background, the external hourly rate per user/work type is multiplied with the duration of the tasks.


  • When the task is assigned to a team, we use the highest external price of someone in that team. In that case, ‘the worst-case scenario’ is covered.
  • The time slot for a meeting is not included in the forecast of your budget

The text and the symbol in the forecast indicator display different colours depending on whether you are on track with your budget or not:

The indicator has three different colours that represent the three different statuses of the budget:

  • Green = the milestone will stay under budget

  • Yellow = your milestone is currently under budget, but based on the forecast it will go over budget. (Forecasted > provided). In the example above for the milestone ‘Ideation’ the budget provided is €80 000, but we expect you to spend €90 000 based on your planned tasks.

  • Red = the milestone is currently already over budget (the spent budget is higher than the provided budget). The red bar next to ‘milestone budgets’ will immediately alert you too if your Fixed Price milestones are going over budget. It’s also possible to let Teamleader email you when your milestones go over budget if you enable the slider in Settings > Projects > Warnings > Send email when my milestones go over budget.

Columns in the projects overview

In the general overview of your projects you can find some columns relating to the project budget. It is advised to add these to your project overview. This way, you can check at a glance what’s happening to your budgets:

  • Budget status:    

    • Red exclamation mark = over budget

    • Yellow exclamation mark = in danger of going over budget

    • Green check mark = on track

  • Provided budget (budget filled in on project level)

  • Forecasted budget (budget spent + open tasks)

  • Spent budget (budget spent on time & material)

  • Remaining budget (provided budget - spent budget)

Project report

Click on the pencil next to the number of your project above. Choose Download report. The slider ‘Budgeting’ allows you to also include budgeting information in your project report. The report then shows you your provided, spent and forecasted budget per milestone.

Main difference between ‘budget spent’ and ‘profit’

The main difference between ‘budget spent’ and ‘profit’ is that the profit also takes your internal costs into account to calculate your profit, whereas ‘budget spent’ does not take these internal costs into account.

The profit on a project is the difference between your billable amount and all of your costs. Those costs consist of all billable and non-billable hours at the internal hourly cost, plus all used materials at their purchase price. The amount of the fixed price milestones is also immediately added to the profit.

Who has access to ‘budget spent’?

Which user is able to access budget spent on a project depends on the slider in Settings > Projects > Preferences > Limit access to financial information on projects.

If this slider is OFF, then the following users can see budget:

  • Admin users

  • Users with admin access to all projects

  • Decision makers 

  • Participants in a project

If this slider is ON, then the following users can see budget:

  • Admin users

  • Users with admin access to all projects

  • Decision maker 

  • Participants in a project with access to invoices

Check this article to learn more about the different rights in a project.

Interested in some use cases showing how budget management works exactly? Then read this article.