Designing a Cost Register


A Cost Register consists of a main body and an optional header block. In order to design a cost register report you will need to consider some or all of the following:

a)   the level of detail to be included in the report

b)   the fields that you want in the main body of the report

c)   the contents of the header block, if any

d)   the cost items you want included in the report

e)   the order in which you want cost items to appear

f)   the formats associated with each field and with the report as a whole

g)   headers and footers on the printed report


Level of Detail

A cost register can show individual cost items, or it can show cost rolled up into larger groupings. You can show costs rolled up to a given level in the cost breakdown structure, or rolled up according to the values in a particular identification field.


Main Body

The cost register main body can contain two types of field, cost fields and non-cost fields. A cost field is a field containing a cost value, or some quantity that can be directly related to a cost value, such as labor hours. A non-cost field is any field, such as the Cost Item Name field, which does not contain cost-related values.


Cost Fields

It is possible to define more than a billion different cost fields in Mandrel. Consequently, cost fields cannot be selected from a single, comprehensive list but are selected instead by defining the individual characteristics that you wish to see.


Non-Cost Fields

Non-cost fields are selected in a two-part process. In step one you select the general field category, in step two you select the specific field within that category.


Header Block

A cost register header block contains general data only, i.e. data which is not specific to a particular cost item, such as unit prices or tax rates.


Selecting Cost Items

You can include every cost item or a limited subset of them. If the latter, you will need to specify a selection process.


Cost Item Order

Cost items are shown by default in cost breakdown structure order, so there is normally no need to define the display order. However, for special purposes you may wish to show them in some other order. A sorting capability is available for this.



Three levels of formatting are available in cost registers:

1.   Individual field formats. Each field (column) can have its own format.

2.   Overall report formats. Some formats, such as font type or row coloring, are applied to the report as a whole.

3.   Conditional formatting. A format can be applied to a particular field which will only be activated if a certain condition holds.

Overall report formats will override individual field formats, and conditional formatting will override all other formats.


Headers and Footers

The printed version of a cost register can have any or all of left, center and right headers and left, center and right footers.