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Main Contractor

Financial Management User Guide


For Main Contractors

This user guide provides main contractors with information about how to use Procore's Project Financials tools to streamline your financial business processes across your project's lifecycles.

Some of the things you'll learn in this guide include:

  • How to set up your Work Breakdown Structure. Procore provides you with a default Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that includes the cost code, cost type and optional sub job segments. With WBS you can create a company and/or project level budget code structure for use with Procore's Project Financials tools. To learn more, see Work Breakdown Structure Setup.
  • How to add or import an accurate project budget. Learn how to add budget line items to your project, configure and assign budget views to your project and how to set up a forecasting view to identify and track critical project costs. Use data collected from the field to track your project's labour costs and to log production quantities in your budget. Learn how to create budget changes to reallocate funds from one budget line item to another. See Budget Setup.
  • How to create one (or multiple) main contracts for your project. Set up your main contract tool and learn about the considerations to keep in mind if your project has multiple funding sources or delivery methods. Manage the owner payment application process and create a payment received log. See Main Contracts Tool.
  • How to manage your project's purchase orders and subcontracts. Learn about the Commitments tool's configuration settings and how to create purchase orders and subcontracts. Designate payment application contacts on your contracts and create a payment issued log. See Commitments Tool.
  • How to improve oversight and management project changes. Choose between managing variations with or without the Change Events tool. Configure your variation tier settings for your contracts. Bring change management to the field––facilitating faster approvals, more accurate communication and eliminating the need to proceed at risk. See Change Management Tools.
  • How to administer the payment applications process for your project's subcontractors. Define your billing periods and choose your project's desired method for creating and submitting subcontractor payment applications. See Payment Applications Tool.
  • How to manage your project's direct costs. Learn how to manage costs not associated with your purchase orders and commitments. See Direct Costs Tool.


Work Breakdown Structure Setup

The first step when setting up Procore's Project Financials tools in a Procore project is to create your company's Work Breakdown Structure. You also have the option to create a unique project level WBS. 


Procore's default Work Breakdown Structure includes two (2) default segments: cost code and cost type. It also includes an optional sub job segment that lets you add sub jobs to a project. Segments are the building blocks that define your company's budget code structure. To learn more about segments, see What are segments and segment items?

  • Default: Cost Code Segment. Procore's default 'Cost Code' segment is a tiered segment that aligns with the 17 Division cost code structure of the icon-external-link.png CSI MasterFormat®. See What are Procore's Default Cost Codes?  You can use the default cost codes or you can customise your cost code segment by adding cost codes manually as segment items. You can also import your cost codes using the Procore Imports app. The import process allows you add or edit segment items but cannot be used to delete any existing segment items.
  • Default: Cost Type Segment. In Procore, cost types are a way to identify and classify your project's job costs. They can also be used to generate reports. To learn more, see What are Procore's default cost types?
  • Optional: Sub Job Segment. In Procore, a sub job allows you to compartmentalise job costs within a project. Once they are added to Procore (or imported via an integrated ERP system) you can monitor your project budgets and costs against them to help you better determine if you are making money on your project.
  • Optional: Custom Segments. Your company can name custom segments anything you want. You can also define the number of alphanumeric characters you want to represent each segment's coding scheme. Custom segments can also be combined with Procore's default segments when configuring your company's budget code structure. 

Many companies design their budget code structure to align with the CSI MasterFormat. Other companies decide to implement a budget code structure that is unique to their industry, organisation or project environment. Regardless of the structure, you can perform your own imports using the Procore Imports app. You can also Request to Import Segment Items for WBS.

To learn more about WBS, see the Work Breakdown Structure landing page. We recommend reading About Work Breakdown Structure and reviewing the steps in Create Your Company's Default Work Breakdown Structure and Create Your Project's Work Breakdown Structure with your team. 

Budget Setup

Procore's Budget tool helps your project team efficiently manage your project's budget. It is designed to help your team make informed financial decisions, track expenses against your budget in real-time, analyse historical snapshots, input detailed forecasts and offers deeper visibility into the financial status of your project.  

  • Add Your Project's Budget Data. When getting started on a project, the first step is to Set up a Budget in a New Procore Project. You can choose from two methods: (1) Add a Budget Line Item directly to the budget tool or (2) Download and complete a budget template and complete the steps to Import a Budget
  • Configure Your Project's Budget Views. After adding your project's budget data, your Procore Administrator might want to explore our dynamic and customisable budget views. For details, see Set up a New Budget View. You can set up one or multiple budget views, along with a wide variety of data columns, such as Original Budget AmountBudget ChangesRevised BudgetPending Budget Changes and more. You can also actively manage and monitor your project's budget using the 'Forecast to Complete' feature. For details, see Use the Forecast To Complete Feature
  • Identify and Track Trends with the Procore Forecasting View. Designed for owners (and contractors) who want to avoid cost overruns, your Procore Administrator can also request to enable the forecasting view in Procore. This lets you view how your construction project's cash flows over time by spreading the 'Project Cost to Complete' column value (or any column you define) across a time period. You can then perform line-by-line analysis to make informed adjustments to your budget allocation. To learn more, see Set Up a New Forecasting View
  • Utilise Data Collected in the Field to Track Labour Costs and Production Quantities. For customers that have purchased Procore's Workforce Management and Field Productivity tools, your budget can be set to automatically  Add a Budget View for Real-Time Labour Costing and Set Up the Procore Labour Productivity Cost Budget View.
  • Reallocate Funds from One Line Item to Another Using Budget Changes. After you've locked your original budget and set up the other tools listed in this guide,  you can use the budget changes feature to transfer money between budget codes. For example, if you have cost savings related to one budget code because it came in under budget, but expect another budget code to come in over budget, you can reallocate funds from the first budget code and add it to the latter budget code as a contingency. Budget changes only appear on the Budget tool, so your vendors will not see your internal adjustments. For details, see Create Budget Changes

To learn what else you can do with the Budget tool, see Budget.

Main Contracts Tool

After setting up the Budget tool, you can begin creating one or multiple main contracts for your project. With the Main Contracts tool, your team can replace stacks of paper and expensive printer costs with a central location for digital contract management. 

  • Set Up Your Main Contracts.  While most Procore customers create a single main contract for a single construction project, project teams do have the option to create multiple main contracts in the Main Contracts tool. For details, see Create Main Contacts. Similar to budget, you can also choose from two methods for setting up your main contract: (1) You can manually Update the Bill of Quantities on a Main Contract or (2) you can Import a Main Contract BOQ from a CSV File. When finished with the initial setup, simply approve it. See Approve a Main Contract.
    Does your construction project have multiple funding sources or delivery methods?  Learn why some Procore clients decide to create multiple main contracts on their Procore project. This is helpful when you have a need to divide the scope of work on a project into multiple phases or stages, however, doing so does present a few considerations.  For more information, see Are there any system limitations when projects have multiple main contracts?
  • Create and Manage Main Contract Payment Applications. After your main contract is set and you've set up the Commitments tool as described below, you can also create and manage your main contract payment applications. An owner payment application is an itemized record of a financial transaction between a project owner and a company responsible for completing work. Typically, it is issued by a main contractor and submitted to a project owner to signal that a payment is due for completed work. See Create Main Contract Payment Applications.
  • Create a Payments Received Log.  After you receive your payment, you can also create a log to track the payments you've received. Your budget and budget reports are automatically updated to reflect your entries. For details, see Create a Payment Received for a Main Contract.

To learn what else you can do with the Main Contracts tool, see Main Contracts.

Commitments Tool

After your contract(s) are approved and completed in the Main Contracts tool, you can begin setting up your project's financial commitments. In Procore, you can create two types of 'commitments': subcontracts and purchase orders. 

  • Set Up Your Contract Configuration, Dates, Distribution Lists and Settings. Your company's Procore Administrator can work with you to define your project's default contract configuration. This is an important step before you start creating commitments on a project. You can choose the number of variation tiers for your commitments. You can also enable a variety of dates to use on your contracts by default. Settings also include default distribution list settings, your default accounting methods, setting a retention percent (if applicable) and deciding to enable financial markup or payments by default. For details, see Configure Settings: Commitments
  • Create Your Project's Purchase Orders. In Procore, a Purchase Order (PO) is a documented financial commitment that details the types, quantities and agreed-upon prices for products or services. As part of the procurement process, purchase orders are created by a 'buyer' (for example, a main contractor) and issued to a 'seller' (for example, a subcontractor) to cover the cost of a contract. Once accepted by the 'seller,' a purchase order represents an agreement between the two parties. See Create a Purchase Order.
  • Create Your Project's Subcontracts. A subcontract is a contractual agreement between a general contracting company and the subcontractors who perform the scope of work. In Procore, there are two ways to create a subcontract: (1) You can Award a Winning Tender and Convert it into a Subcontract or you can (2) directly Create a Subcontract in the Commitments tool. 
  • Create Subcontractor Payment applications and Manage Payment application Contacts. Using the Commitments or Payment applications tool, you can also Create a Payment Application on Behalf of a Payment Application Contact or you can provide your subcontractor's payment application contacts with the appropriate permissions to access their purchase orders and subcontracts. See Add Payment application Contacts to a Purchase Order or Subcontract. Users with 'Admin' permission on the Commitments tool can also use those permissions to manage payment applications with the Payment Applications Tool
  • Create a Payments Issued Log.  After you start issuing payments on your project, you can create a log to track the payments you've issued. Your budget and budget reports are automatically updated to reflect your entries. See Add Payments Issued

To learn what else you can do with the Commitments tool, see Commitments.

Change Management Tools

Next, start learning about Procore's change management tools. There are two options for setting up these tools: (1) Enable the Variations and Change Events tools or, (2) Enable only the Variations tool. 

Variations with Change Events

Change events are created for anything on a project that looks like it may create an additional cost. Creating a change event allows you to prepare for the cost of a change before it becomes an actual cost. After creating a change event, you can then create an RFQ (Request for Quote), which is sent to the appropriate subcontractors for pricing. When RFQs are created and responded to by the assigned subcontractors, variations can then be created based upon the submitted quote.

To learn what else you can do with the Change Events tool, see Change Events.

Variations without Change Events

If your team decides not to enable the Change Events tool, you can still use the Variations tool to account for additional costs. For most Procore customers, this change management workflow starts off by creating a Potential Variation.

  • Create a Potential Variation. Use a potential variation to manage any additional costs affecting the main contract. When creating a potential variation, you can only enter a monetary amount. Later, when you update the Bill of Quantities (BOQ) for the potential variation, you'll have the option to select a budget code. Ideally, the potential variation will affect a budget code already on the project's budget. This allows you to see the budget increase in the project's Budget tool. See Create a Potential Variation for a Main Contract.
  • Create a Commitment Variation. After the potential variation is created, you move on to create a commitment variation. The commitment variation acts as a request for pricing from the subcontractor who will be responsible for completing the scope of work that you outlined in the potential variation. You can compare the commitment variation to the corresponding potential variation and view your variance between the two. To learn more, see Create a Commitment Variation from a Main Contract Variation.
  • Create a Variation Request. After you've created potential variations, you can package one or multiple potential variations into variation requests. Variation requests are typically the documents that are submitted for approval and can be used for submitting either individual potential variations or for grouping potential variations in order to streamline the review and approval process. See Create a Variation Request (VR)
  • Create a Main Contract Variation.  Next, you can begin creating variations. Note that when you set a variation's status set to Pending, it appears in the 'Pending Budget Changes' column of the Budget tool. After the main contract variation is set to Approved, the total monetary amount change is reflected in the 'Approved VARs' column of the Budget tool. Approved variations can be added to main contract payment applications. For details, see Create a Main Contract Variation.
  • Create a Commitment Variation. A commitment variation outlines variations in costs that affect the contract between the general contracting company and a vendor or subcontractor. Once you have marked the commitment variation as approved, the monetary change will be reflected in the "Committed Costs" column on the Budget tool. Commitments and potential commitment variations with a status of "Pending" will show up in the "Pending Cost Changes" column on the Budget tool. See Create a Commitment Variation.

To learn what else you can do with the Variations tool, see Variations

Payment Applications Tool

Procore's Payment Application tool uses the user permission granted in the Commitments and Main Contracts tool. As your project progresses and the contracts have been created and approved, subcontractors can bill you for completed work via subcontractor payment applications. You can also create main contract payment applications, which can then be emailed to the owner or the party that is being requested for payment.

To learn what else you can do with the Payment applications tool, see Payment applications

Direct Costs Tool

In Procore, the term direct cost is used to refer to a cost on a construction project that is NOT associated with a commitment. Using the Direct Costs tool, you can create these items:

  • Payment Applications. Create a direct cost for a paper payment application from a non-contracted vendor for items such as printer ink, computer paper or postage. 
  • Expenses. Create a direct cost for expenses that might include computer equipment, telephones or internal equipment rentals. 
  • Payroll. Create a direct cost for monthly payroll costs classified by cost code, so that payroll amounts reflect each month on the budget. 

To learn how to create a direct cost, see Create a Direct Cost

To learn what else you can do with the Direct Costs tool, see Direct Costs