Cost reporting is a critical function carried out by quantity surveyors to make sure our clients do not run out of money.
That's all it is in a nut shell.
At the end of the day, if the client is choosing to build something they need to know if they can afford it and whether they can pay the liabilities.
Quantity surveyors provide cost reporting services at both the pre and post contract stage. During the pre-contract phase, we are essentially reporting on the estimate itself - some call this a cost plan report. We take the client on a journey, emphasising the purpose of the project, what need is it covering for the client, we provide an elemental breakdown of the costs perhaps with some benchmarking.
In the post contract world, we report on the costs of live projects. This gives the client assurances about funding. Often we report a period or a month in delay - currently we are in January, my cost report for a project cover the costs up to December.
Cost reports need to be wholistic documents - this is why is such an important aspect of our role. Before we even begin reporting we need to find out the clients needs, and this needs to be reflected within the structure of the report.
For example, some clients would like a section on their own internal staffing costs related to this project. They may give you access to their accounting system for you to analyse and extract costs. Depending on your aptitude for software learning, this can be a simple task.
The point of this post is to emphasise the importance of the cost reporting activity - it can literally make or break a client which is why it needs to be executed with care and diligence.