Managing Financials

This article covers the Financials Tab (formerly the Budget Tab) that tracks the financial information for your Project.

Updated over a week ago

The Financials tab in BuildBook allows you to track your job costs while keeping your clients up to date on the status of the Project Budget, including any Expenses, Change Orders, Credits, and Payments. As you start adding Budget Items, everything rolls up into your Summary and shows both the original Cost to Date, the Estimated price, and the final Price (taking into account change orders, selections, etc. in the remaining balance).

The Financials consists of six sections:

  1. Summary

  2. Budget

  3. Bills & Expenses

  4. Change Orders

  5. Credits

  6. Invoices

Budget Summary

The Summary is broken down between Costs to Date, Estimated, and final Price. The total includes all items and selections along with any additional markup, taxes, and/or management fees.

Change Orders and Credits are included in the Summary beneath the Total and added or subtracted from the Total Price. Any Payments made by the client will be reflected beneath the Total Price.


The Cost column in the Financials Summary totals all expenses broken down by Item Costs and Selections, which allows you to track your costs against your Estimated Price and final Price. Learn more about tracking expenses.

Estimated and Price Columns

Estimated refers to the amount approved in your contract. Price reflects the final price after any unplanned changes, most likely via a Change Order or Credit.

  • Item Costs: This is the sum total of all budget items (Ex: Masonry and Carpentry cost codes.)

  • Markup: This is the sum total of any items that have markup

  • Selections: This is the sum total of all Selection Category allowances, i.e. how much you’ve planned to spend on selections.

Pro tip: If the individual Selection Item amount in a Selection Category is lower than the allowance AND all items in that Category are marked as Complete, the Price column updates to reflect that value. i.e. Once all items in a Selection Category have been selected, the final values are used.

  • Management Fee: Add either a Fixed Fee or Cost Plus Percentage to be added to your Summary. This is the total of the Management Fee applied to the sub-total of the Items.

  • Tax: This is the sum total of any items that have a tax percentage added to them.

  • Unassociated Costs: This is the sum total of any Bills or Expenses not linked to a Budget Item.

  • Change Orders: Displayed in the Price column, this shows the sum total of all Change Orders that have an "Approved" status.

  • Credits: Displayed in the Price column, this shows the sum total of all Credits.

  • Total Price: Total of Item Costs, Selections, and Change Orders, minus Credits.

  • Payments: The sum total of all Invoices marked as "Paid".

  • Balance Remaining: Project Total minus Payments made.

Create the Budget

The budget is edited within the Budget tab, where you can also add new items or create a budget from scratch.

The Budget tab gives you a comprehensive look at the Items that are associated with your Project. Items are organized by Cost Code Category.

There are a few ways you can create your Budget:

  1. Convert an Estimate to a Project

  2. From your Price Book

  3. From Scratch

See how you can convert an Estimate into a Project a populate your Project Financials and Selections with the Estimate here.

From the Price Book

Add frequently used items to your Budget easily through your Price Book. Clicking on '+Add from Price Book' will bring you to a list of items you have stored there. You can choose items from your Price Book that already have data like the Cost Code, Type, Quantity, and Price.

If you need additional information on Cost Codes and the Price Book, head over to this article.

From Scratch

To start creating your budget from scratch, click 'Start from Scratch" and fill in the details:

  • The book icon to the left of the "Name" field pulls up your Price Book to prefill the Budget Item

  • Associate the applicable Cost Code or leave as 'Uncategorized'

  • The 'Type' chosen will automatically associate the correct 'Unit' options beneath the Description




Flat Fee



Hours, Days, Weeks, Months, Each, Cubic Feet, Cubic Yard, Gallons, Linear Feet, Linear Yard, Pounds, Square Feet, Square Yard, Squares, Tons, Cubic Centimeters,
Cubic Meters,
Linear Centimeters,
Linear Meters,
Square Centimeters,
Square Meters,

Each, Cubic Feet, Cubic Yard, Gallons, Linear Feet, Linear Yard, Pounds, Square Feet, Square Yard, Squares, Tons, Cubic Centimeters,
Cubic Meters,
Linear Centimeters,
Linear Meters,
Square Centimeters,
Square Meters,

No Unit

No Unit

  • The bottom line is where the Unit, Tax, Quantity, and Unit Cost are taken to calculate the item Cost

  • The Price reflects the Cost with or without any applicable Markup

Currently, items added using + Add Item do not yet save to your Price Book. We recommend adding it to your Price Book if you feel it's an item you will use in other budgets.

Edit the Budget

Click on the blue hyperlink in the name of the item in the Budget tab to make edits. You can make changes to the Item Name, Cost Code, Type, Status, and description.

Budget Items include Cost to Date, Invoiced, and Estimated tabs.

Cost to Date displays any expenses associated with specific budget items.

The Estimated tab is the amount that was originally presented in your Proposal and/or approved contract. The Price is always the same as the Estimated amount unless you choose to override it.

Delete the item by clicking on the ••• menu in the top right corner of the item. These edits in the item will auto-save.

Note: Edits to items within the Budget do not transfer to items in the Price Book and vice versa. If you want to permanently edit an item, do so in the Price Book first and then make your edits within the Budget.

Spreadsheet View & Category View

There are two views for your budget that you can choose from, depending on how you'd like to view and edit the budget.

Category View

The Category View is organized by your Cost Codes, beginning with the Cost Code Categories followed by each individual code. These are listed numerically. This view includes Cost to Date, Price, and Estimated columns.

Spreadsheet View

The Spreadsheet View allows you to create and edit items directly in line, reorder lines via drag and drop, and quickly delete items.


Track both the original allowance as well as the actual amounts once selections have been made. Your Selection costs will be managed per Item in your Selections tab or by clicking on a specific Selection.

Adding an item with the type Selection to the Budget will create a Selection Category. The Selection Category is the container for similar finish items that need to be selected by the Client. Selection Categories are tracked on the Budget while the individual items costs are tracked within the Selection Items. Once all items in the Selection are completed, the Price on the Budget will reflect the actual allowance amount.

If you haven't already, take a look at Setting Up Your Client Selections. Selections can be added to your Budget by procuring an item from your Price Book, adding an item with Type as a Selection, or adding a Selection Category to your Selections.

Create a Selection Item

Add the Selection item either from your Price Book or by clicking on + Add Item in the Budget:

From there, add the items name, cost code and type. Once you select the type as Selection, you'll notice Units, Tax, Quantity and Markup are removed so you can add in your Allowance amount.

Once a Selection item is created on the Budget, you'll notice the Selection Category is created in the Selections tab:

Deleting a Selection Item

If you want to delete a Selection item, click on the ellipsis menu next to the item and select delete. When you do, this will trigger an additional message asking you to confirm:

Deleting a selection from the Budget will remove the entire Category from the Selections tab including all of the items within.

Change Orders

As we all know, it wouldn't be construction if things went exactly according to plan!

Change orders can be created by going to the Change Order tab within the Financials. Simply select + Add Change Order in the top right corner. Within the Change Order, you'll have the ability to:

  • Specify who the CO is from (this defaults to your company information)

  • Specify who the Change Order is going to (you can select a contact or add a new one)

  • Specify the date of the Change Order and when it is due

  • Add line items to specify what is changing (including cost code, markup, and tax)

  • Attach related documents

Only approved change orders have an impact on the Budget Summary.

Change Orders created before Approvals were released will fall into the new workflow. If it was previously approved, it can be unapproved using the new controls.

Approvals for Change Orders

Getting approval on a change order has never been easier. Our approval workflow allows you to create a draft, and then send it off to the client for approval.

Credits and Invoicing

Track any discounts, write-offs, or other items that you need to reverse out of your budget.

Create and send out Invoices to your Client to let them know a payment needs to be made, and track payments through your Invoices tab. Invoices marked as paid will be reflected in the "Payments" section on the Budget Summary.

This allows the client to always see an accurate view of their outstanding balance in the budget summary. You can set up a full payment schedule upfront, or you can add payment items as the project progresses. To learn more about invoicing, head over to this article: Create and Send Invoices

Client Visibility

The Financials are client-facing and you can choose what information you want to be visible to your client by clicking the "Client Visibility" dropdown in the Budget tab of your Financials.

Here you'll see the same settings that are included in the Estimate. If you created your budget from an estimate, the visibility settings from the estimate will carry over to your budget.

Clients do not see the Cost to Date or Expense details

You can customize which item details you would like to share including:

  • Categories (this is only applicable from the "Detailed" Total vs. the "Summary" Total

    • Category Totals

  • Individual Line Items

    • Descriptions

    • Price

      • Qty, Unit Price

There are two options to display the total:

  1. Summary with lump costs, taxes, and fees in a single total sum:

  2. Detailed with costs, taxes, and fees as separate line items in the subtotal

Once you've applied the visibility settings you'd like, you can preview what the client sees by clicking on See what the Client sees at the bottom of the Client Visibility dropdown.

You will notice that the client is unable to see any markup and management fees, allowing you greater flexibility in your pricing. The client will be able to keep track of any change orders, credits, or payments applied.

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