How to Keep Track of Profit and Loss for Business Projects

By Linda RoperMarch 6, 2023

Keeping track of profit and loss with your business projects is one of the most important things you can do as a business owner.

The information you have about your profit and loss statements can help you make smarter business decisions, plan for the future, and make sure that everything is running smoothly.  

This guide will teach you all you need to know about profit and loss in business projects. We tell you how to keep track of your project’s profit and loss effectively so that you have all the information you need to make informed choices about your business moving forward.  

Handwritten profit and loss chart 

What is Profit and Loss in Business Projects? 

In terms of business projects, profit and loss refers to the difference between the money you make on a project, and the money it costs to complete that project. When you have a profit, you're making more than what was spent on something; conversely, when you have a loss (or negative profit), then more was spent than earned. 

If you spend more than what you earn, then you’ll want to consider if there are ways that you can reduce your costs so that next time around, it doesn’t happen again. Alternatively, if your project is profitable, then this gives you some insight into how successful your business is overall. 

Why is Keeping Track of Profit and Loss in Your Business Projects Important? 

Keeping track of your profit and loss is one of the most important things you can do for your business. This is because, if you don't know how much money you are making or spending, it's impossible to tell if your project is on track or off track. Keeping on top of these numbers will also help you make informed decisions about whether or not something needs changing or improving so that everything continues running smoothly and profits continue rolling in. 

Don't Forget to Keep Track of Expenses

In addition to keeping track of your profit and loss, you should also keep a record of the expenses you incur during the course of your project. This is especially important if you are using a grant or other type of funding for your business. The grant provider will want to know exactly how much money went into the project and how much came back out in profits, so they can ensure their investment was well spent. 

How To Keep Track of Profit and Loss for Business Projects

How Should You Keep Track of Business Project Profit and Loss? 

It's critical to have real-time tracking when recording the profit and loss of a business project. That is why you should think about implementing an online cloud-based system that is easy to use and provides you with an overall look at your project expenditure when and where you need it. 

With real-time expense reporting, you can also see where your project is in terms of spending in comparison to where it should be. Additionally, it makes cross-collaboration between different departments effortless. 

A project is rarely started with a single objective in mind. Milestones are established along the way to help determine whether the project is on track. Having software that is always up to date with your latest data, while also allowing for simple reporting at any point, can be critical to knowing if your goals are being met. 

Profit and loss statement with pie chartWhat is a Profit and Loss Statement? 

In short, a profit and loss statement is a financial statement that shows how well your business is doing. It details the revenues and expenses of your company, as well as any other income or expense items that may have occurred during a given period. 

As a result, a profit and loss statement is one of the most important tools for measuring the effectiveness of your projects, as well as for determining whether or not they are profitable. 

What Should a Business Project Profit and Loss Statement Include? 

When creating a project profit and loss statement, you'll want to include the key metrics that are used to measure the performance of a project, for example: expenses, revenue, net profit or loss and ROI.

To start, outline the project name and description. This is important for two reasons: first, it helps you identify what project you're talking about if you have multiple projects going on at once. Secondly, it allows you to track how each project is performing over time by comparing the metrics from one period to another. 

How To Keep Track of Profit and Loss for Business ProjectsYou'll also want to include the start and end dates of the project. These are essential for understanding when your project began and ended, as well as which months are included in the financial statement. 

Other key metrics to include within your project's profit and loss statement include: 

  • The total amount of money spent on the project (expenses)  

  • The total amount of money generated by the project (revenue

  • The net profit or loss of the project (revenue minus expenses)  

  • The ROI of the project (net profit divided by total expenses) 

  • The total amount of time it took to complete the project (in days/weeks/months)  

  • The average revenue per month generated by the project 

  • The average cost per month to operate the project 

How Can ExpenseIn Help You Track Your Project’s Profit and Loss? 

Whether you're running the business yourself or working with a team of people, it's important to know exactly where your hard-earned money is going. By tracking your expenses and revenue on each project, you'll be able to see how well each one is performing and whether or not it's worth continuing.  

Software like ExpenseIn provides an accessible platform that allows your employees to see expense updates in real-time. Powerful reporting tools enable you to make sense of your project’s raw data and approval flows help you to keep spending where it should be.