4/7 - Presenting the overall project budget



PRESENTING THE OVERALL PROJECT BUDGET  implies bringing all individual budget lines of a project costing exercise together and to present them in one project budget sheet.

A clear project budget matrix is a necessary reference point for project planning as well as for managing and tracking project implementation.

A project budget matrix or plan brings together all the cost items of a project over a defined period of time (from project start to project completion). This includes: staff costs, overheads/indirect costs, equipment/material costs, travel and accommodation costs, costs for external suppliers.

The tool consists of a basic spreadsheet template that presents all the main budget headings of a project costing exercise.



Who is this tool for ?When should the tool be used?

Staff who is designing the project and those with experience of implementing similar projects.

Finance officer to check overall consistency and accuracy.

Partner organisations to agree with the specified budget allocations.

After all individual budget lines have been completed.


Click on the stations to navigate throught the Costing line!

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Key challenges of this step

  • This task increases in complexity the more project partner organisations are involved in a project. Similarly for longer-term projects, when the project budget needs to be broken down into several years and across a number of partner organisations.
  • Note must be taken not to confuse a project budget table that solely identifies 'how much' it costs to deliver the project with a 'funding matrix' which identifies 'where' the money for the project comes from. Both (Budget Table and Funding Matrix) are related, but they represent entirely different perspectives of the financial profile of a project.

Main risks

  • If changes are applied to the project work plan, there is a risk that the project work plan (project description) and the various budget categories and calculations might lose their consistency if these changes are not carefully adjusted in the relevant budget calculations as well. Care needs to be taken to ensure that all elements of the project work plan are represented by a relevant budget allocation and vice versa.

Helpful tips

  • Ensure care is taken in adjusting the project budget table if and when any of the project activities and related individual project budget lines are changing.
  • Change is invariable and flexibility is needed. At the same time, attention to detail, regular cross-checking for accuracy, frequent review and re-adjustment between project design, costs of project activities and the overall budget is required to maintain a realistic estimation and consistency between project activities and project budget.
  • In consideration of the risk assessment of the project, allocate a certain budget to cover potential contingencies for the project.