Many reports in BillQuick, like Budget Comparison, have a column titled Cost or Spent but the figures in the column are actually based on billing rates. The Budget-Cost Comparison report utilizes Actual Hours and Cost Rate of the staff in the Spent columns, but nothing appears in the Budget column. Users find this misleading.
BillQuick reports have cost and spent values based on billing rates because it follows the premise that when an employee works on a client's project, the cost associated with the project is his full billable value, not his cost/salary value. There is a school of thought that considers the cost of a project being the actual expenditure of funds on it (employee’s salary + benefits). But in BillQuick, these are actually expenses for the project and not cost.
When a project manager prepares an estimate or a budget for a project, he can multiply hours by Cost Rate or Bill Rate, depending upon the company practice and project type. The real issue of Cost Rate versus Bill Rate lies in the type of contract that we have with a client. If we have an Hourly agreement, then it makes sense to budget using an hourly bill rate. For lump-sum or fixed projects, it can be different. We have a feature in BillQuick 2009 and above where you can budget by cost and then have the Budget Comparison report show budgeted cost amounts compared with spent cost amount.