Setting Up a New Project in CostTrax

CostTrax makes it easy to setup new projects – customized to your exact specifications – in just minutes.

Use the project setup module to customize the allowable costs, formulas, and markup for your cost-plus project. Then invite additional users to request or approve submissions for this project.

Click the +PROJECT button at the top-right of your screen to get started:

1. Select Account

If your organization has multiple divisions managing projects, choose the correct account from this menu.

2.  Project Name

This will be the display name for this project for all CostTrax users.

3. Zip Code / State

Enter a zip code to allow CostTrax to reference local pricing data when auditing costs such as rental equipment. Enter a state to enable regional cost adjustments within allowable costs.

4. Instructions

Text entered here will be displayed to the Requestor at the top of all request screens. Enter any pertinent directions, reference numbers, etc.

5. Add Requestors

Requestors are users you assign to prepare and submit reimbursement requests for this project. Any email address entered will immediately receive an email inviting them to the project. If the recipient is new to CostTrax, they will also receive an additional email with instructions on how to create their free login to CostTrax. There is no limit to the amount of Requestors that can be added to a project.

6. Add Approvers & Observers

In addition to Requestors, you can also invite users to collaborate on your projects. Similar to adding Requestors, all email addresses entered will receive email notification on being added to the project with instructions on how to log in. There are up to 3 roles that can be assigned to a user:

  • Project Admin: Able to modify project settings
  • Project Observer: Able to view project requests and totals
  • Manage Request: Able to approve submitted requests

7. Allowable Costs

There are 7 possible types of allowable costs in CostTrax. Uncheck any cost type on the New Project interface to disallow Requestors from submitting that type of expense. You can manage the markup and any applicable adjustments for each cost type individually:

  • Equipment, Active

This cost type covers the ownership and operating costs incurred during active use of equipment. By default, CostTrax will assume the use of the Rental Rate Blue Book hourly rate, as specified by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). If your organization requires a different standard, contact us for more information on how to modify.

  • Equipment, Standby

Standby refers to the period during which equipment is assigned to a job and available for work, but is not put into operation until needed. Only the fixed Ownership costs of Depreciation, CFC, and Overhead costs should be accrued for every hour the equipment is on standby. Overhaul and Total Hourly Operating Costs are not accrued during standby time. As a rule, CostTrax will default to the most common practice of reimbursing standby at 50% of the Rental Rate Blue Book ownership cost.

Standby is normally limited to eight hours per 24-hour period, and accrual of standby funds normally begins after the equipment is idle for 16 hours in a 24-hour period.

  • Equipment, Rental

Equipment, Rental allows Requestors to submit invoices for rental equipment as well as hourly operating cost incurred during work.

  • Labor

Labor allows Requestors to submit time and hourly wage, as well as any fringe benefits, for personnel on the project.

  • Materials

Materials allows Requestors to submit the amount and unit cost of any material. Receipts or invoices can be uploaded as proof for each line item.

  • Subcontractor

Subcontractor allows the submission of subcontractor work managed by your Requesting organization.

  • Other

Other covers any additional allowable cost, e.g. transport, bond, etc.

8. Saving Your Project

Once you’ve completed your project setup, click Save Project to create the project and notify all collaborators. That’s it! You’ll be notified by email as soon as new Requests are submitted for your project.

Note that project settings can be modified at any time by users with the Project Admin role assigned. Just go into the project and select the Settings tab to make changes, but be aware that changes will be applied to all past & future requests.