Accounting & Bookkeeping

Metrics to Monitor Expenditure Planning Effectiveness

Written by Analytix Editorial Team | March 4, 2014

If your expenditure metrics and processes are incorrect, even the most well thought out expenditure plans can lose efficacy. Choosing the correct metrics and implementing them right are often key to getting your expenditure plan monitored for effectiveness.

Metrics for capital expenditure programs

There is no fixed formula for metrics to use on your capital expenditure program. Several factors contribute to the metric selections that will eventually guide the monitoring process correctly.

  • What is the industry your business belongs to?
  • What is the nature of projects undertaken by your business/company?
  • Understanding of finances and financial analysis within your company.

Some commonly used metrics include Net Present Value (NPV), Return on Investment (ROI), hurdle rates and payback period.

However, using them in isolation could lead to incomplete monitoring or incomplete range of vision on your monitoring.

Payback periods may be useful as a metric when it comes to highlighting the time-period; short term and long term gains can be highlighted using the payback period. However, this also highlights the drawback for the use of the payback period in isolation.

A hurdle rate is the minimum acceptable rate of return on an investment in a project. Evaluating hurdle rates alone to monitor efficiency does not help because this metric tends to measure performance by treating all projects and assignments at the same level, without accounting for differences in risk factors for each project.

Another commonly used factor is the NPV. Its use as a measurement metric for capital planning is well-known. The NPV is used to evaluate whether or not to make an investment in a project. It is most favored as a metric because it accounts for both time and risk variables.

Other metrics, such as the Internal Rate of Return and the economic margin, can be used in conjunction with each other to help measure variables like project value, cost of capital, etc.

Evaluating two or more metrics together is more likely to provide comprehensive results. Because expenditure planning is complex, a mix of metrics provides analysis in a more systematic manner, highlighting different variables of the project (time, risk, discounts, etc.) which then can be combined to create a bigger picture.

Analytix Solutions can assist companies in developing expenditure plans and identifying appropriate metrics. For more information on our services, please visit us at or email us at

Written by

Analytix Editorial Team
Analytix Editorial Team

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