You want the best reference document for when you manage future productions… do you look to the Budget or the Final Costs Report?

Round 1… The Budget displays the calculations, so you know how each line item was created, the Final Costs Report does not. Round 1 to the Budget.

Round 2… The Final Costs Report show you what was actually spent, the Budget shows you estimates from the before the fact. Round 2 to the Final Costs Report.

Round 3… The Budget is an electronic file in the software you are going to use to write other budgets, the Final Costs Report is not. Round 3 to the Budget.

Round 4… The Budget has a contingency budgeted, whereas the Final Costs Report has the contingency spent on line item(s) unique to the that particular production – and in time you may not remember on which line item(s) or on how many line items are affected. Round 4 to the Budget.

Round 5… The the Budget were poorly written, the Final Costs Report would expose those weaknesses with large variances. Round 5 to the Final Costs Report.

Hmmm. 3 to 2 for the Budget. Can you think of any other rounds these two could go?

Happy budgeting!