The Recovery Act brought many new grants to the EERE, which greatly expanded the project portfolios of Technical Project Officers (TPOs). To help manage his workload, a TPO overseeing a suite of hydroelectric projects has developed a straightforward, Excel-based spreadsheet to track monthly financial data in both numerical and graphical forms.
The value of this tool is that it helps the TPO identify monthly variances between actual and budgeted amounts, thus providing a near real-time picture of a project’s financial performance. Additionally, a quick analysis of the trends provides a forecast of what is expected to happen in the upcoming quarter. Furthermore, this tool helps identify potential issues – such as a Recipient being over or under budget, or a project exceeding its original scope.
Preparing and completing the file typically only takes a few minutes. Recipients are sent an updated version of this tracking tool ahead of monthly scheduled conference calls to facilitate discussion.