Setting Up Your New Project

It’s easy to set up new projects in CostTrax. Click the new project button at the top-right of your screen to get started:

The ‘New Project’ screen will walk you through the steps to customize the project to your specs.

Adding Project Information

  • Account: Select the internal account that will be managing this project.
  • Project Name: This will be the name of the project shown to all users.
  • Requesting Organizations: The contractor that will be performing the work.
  • Contract Number: Contract number can be used to tie multiple projects together.
  • Location for Rental Rate Blue Book: Selecting a location will allow you to apply a regional adjustment to the hourly ownership cost portion of the blue book rate.
  • Location for Rental Pricing: Used to compare submitted expenses for equipment rental invoices against local market pricing.
  • Project Instructions: These instructions will be viewable in Settings and displayed only to users with Project Admin permissions

Adding Users to the Project

Add new users to the project by entering clicking ‘Add User’ and entering an email address. Added users will receive a welcome email. First-time CostTrax users will also receive a separate email to set their password.

There are four roles that can be assigned to a user:

  • Project Requestor: Allows user to prepare and submit requests.
  • Project Manager: Allows user to adjust project settings.
  • Project Observer: Allows user read-only access to submitted requests.
  • Project Approver: Allows user to modify, approve, and reject submitted requests.

You can assign multiple roles to a single user. Imagine you want to use CostTrax for internal estimation. By assigning yourself as both Manager and Requestor, you can quickly create requests that serve as T&M estimates customized for your project.

Setting the Allowable Costs

Use the Allowable Costs interface to choose which expense types can be submitted for your project, and what adjustments/markup should be applied for each. Any cost type that remains checked will appear on the Request interface:

  • Equipment, Active: CostTrax exclusively integrates with the Rental Rate Blue Book from EquipmentWatch to provide industry-standard charge rates. By default, hourly rates are determined according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) standard formula: (Monthly Ownership Rate)/176 Hours x Age Adjustments x Regional Adjustments plus Hourly Operating Cost).

Looking to use a different schedule of rates for your project? Contact us to discuss custom options.

  • Equipment, Standby: Standby refers to a situation where equipment is on the job and available for work, but not put into operation until needed. Standby rates are meant to reimburse the contractor for fixed costs such as depreciation, cost of facilities capital, and indirect equipment costs. By default, CostTrax adopts the standard formula for standby as 50% of the Rental Rate Blue Book ownership cost.

Looking to use a different schedule of standby rates for your project? Contact us to discuss custom options.

  • Equipment, Rental: Enabling rental equipment will allow Requestors to add equipment along with invoice and vendor information. Operating expenses can be included as a separate input. Receipts or invoices can be digitally attached for this cost type.
  • Material: Material costs require the Requestor to include description, unit, cost per unit, vendor, and invoice number for the expense. Receipts or invoices can be digitally attached for this cost type.
  • Labor: Hourly rates along with fringe benefits can be input into CostTrax to determine reimbursable labor costs. A time multiplier is used to account for any overtime. Name and trade fields are available for inclusion as well.
  • Subcontractor: The subcontractor cost can be used to document lump sum, invoice-based expenses. However if the subcontractor is performing T&M work, they should be setup as an individual CostTrax Requestor on the project.
  • Other: Use this cost to allow for any non-standard, miscellaneous reimbursable expenses. Receipts or invoices can be digitally attached for this cost type.

Saving Your Project

Choosing to ‘Save Project’ will immediately create your new project within CostTrax. At this point all users added to the project will receive an email notification with instructions to access. If you need to change any project settings, navigate to the ‘Settings’ tab within your project.

Note that settings regarding Allowable Costs can not be changed once a project is saved. If changes are required mid-project, we suggest creating a new project in CostTrax using the same contract number.