Budgets and Finance
A budget outlines costs that are anticipated throughout the lifetime of a project. It is useful to create a spreadsheet with income and expenditure itemised to ensure that the funding allocated is well managed. Budgets often contain a contingency amount of 5% or 10% of the total project costs to cover unforeseen expenses or costs overruns.
It is often useful to develop your budget and schedule together. In this way you can plan what resources are required, when and for how long they are required, and how much they will cost throughout the lifetime of the project.
Running Spend Spreadsheet
A running spend is separate to a budget. It is an account of the expenditure as it is made. By comparing it with the budget on a regular basis, it is a means of monitoring what is being spent, informing decisions about what could be spent in the future and making adjustments along the way to accommodate emerging needs balanced against resources.
A freelance worker will need to submit an invoice in order to draw down payment. Typically, invoices should include the following:
Date of invoice
Name of invoice sender
Address of invoice sender
Invoice Number that you create yourself
Purchase Order Number provided to you by the payer
IBAN and BIC information
PPS number or VAT number
It is advisable to keep copies of your invoices for your own records. Clients such as a local authority may need you to include a Purchase Order Number on your invoice in order to be able to process a payment. They may also need to set you up as a supplier. if your payment or cumulative payments in one year exceeds a certain threshold, you may need to supply the payer with Tax Clearance Certificate which you get from the Revenue Commissioners.
Expenses Claim Form
It is useful to have a template to reclaim expenses in the event that compensation is needed for outgoing payments. Projects that involve travel may require a Mileage Claim Form. An alternative to payment of expenses in retrospect would be to set up a petty cash fund from which to draw them as needed. Instead of an expenses claim form, a receipt system could be set up to keep a record of the withdrawals.