There’s nothing you need to set up before you start using Costlocker. When creating the first project, you’ll define:

  • people and their roles, including their salaries, commitments and rates

  • client

  • tags – words or phrases that you can use to label projects (read why tagging projects is important)

  • roles or activities on the project (e.g. coordination, design, coding,…)

  • hourly rates of your team’s activities that you invoice the client for

Costlocker remembers what hourly rate you charge that client for e.g. design, so you won’t have to enter it next time (unless you want to adjust it, which you can, of course).

That being said, when more people start creating projects, it’s good practice to set Costlocker up in a certain way and define some basic rules for using it in your company.


All users with Manager or Admin roles can create projects, as well as tag them. If everyone starts using their own tags because the existing ones don’t suit them, you can run into either of these issues:

  • there will be a large number of tags, making it hard to select the right ones

  • some tags will share meaning (Web vs. Websites)

That’s why we suggest to regularly revise the tags you and your people are using. You can do this comfortably in Tag Management.

Pro tagging tip: We’ve found that the best practice is having nobody create their own tags. Instead, everyone chooses from the tags a single person designated as “Costlocker admin” had created beforehand. This ensures that the Costlocker admin has control over tags and keeps them in order.

Hourly rates

Make creating cost estimates easier for everyone by defining individual clients, along with the roles, activities and hourly rates that you invoice them for.

Why is this helpful? When a project manager will be creating a cost estimate, they will know that the pre-entered hourly rates are correct and that they reflect the contract you have signed with the client.

Start with making sure that there are only those activities or roles in Activities, which you really offer to your clients. Then, move on to editing clients one by one, making sure that the individual activities or roles have correctly defined hourly rates.

Read more: How to add a new client and enter their rates

Overhead costs (fixed, monthly company running costs)

Entering your monthly running costs is crucial for getting accurate reports. Included in your overhead costs are all monthly payments related to running your company, such as rent, utilities or transportation. These will be distributed among your team’s man-hours, leading to much more accurate reports on the cost of your worked hours, and, in turn, your project profitability as well.

Read more: What are overhead costs and where do I enter them


Make sure that you added all your people, along with their correct salaries, hourly rates or commitments. Only an Administrator can add new people, so when Managers will be creating projects, they can only choose from the ones that the Administrator has added.

Keeping your people and their salaries and rates in order will ensure correct calculations of worked hour costs, as well as project profitability.

Read more: How to create or edit a person

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