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I would like to create a spreadsheet to generate graphs about cost items (anything with a cost, doesn't matter what) in order to have:

  • expected values: these would be created using some formulas to simulate future costs.
  • actual values: these would be put in manually based on actual costs after billing.

At the end of a given time period (weekly, monthly...) the user would "freeze" the expected value that was calculated earlier, and add the corresponding actual value (and these should never be changed again).

The process would repeat itself for the next time periods while re-using either the same or new calculations for the expected values.

Over time, graphs will show the evolution of and different between the expected and actual values so as to allow for improvements (are the input values for calculations too optimistic / pessimistic?, were any cost items forgotten or not properly defined?...).

Can someone point me to a template from which I could create such a spreadsheet?

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Does this work for you? These kinds of things are so particular to your line of business that using a pre-canned template is rarely acceptable, and a proper financial forecasting system is often the best solution, rather than using Excel/OO. –  allquixotic Nov 28 '12 at 16:20
    
Thanks. The idea is there but that model is way too static (if I want to add an item I have a lot to update for it to work): I'm gonna continue my quest and will post whatever I find in an answer. –  user359650 Nov 28 '12 at 16:41
    
Most likely anything that is not "way too static" is an information system -- before you start looking at MS Access, maybe investigate real financial software first. –  allquixotic Nov 28 '12 at 16:53

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