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Glossary of Aconex Terms



Architect/Engineer; the design professional hired by the owner to provide design and design-related services.

Access Control

Access Control is a feature that's used to manage access to documents on complex projects, or within large organizations.

Accounting Period

The period of time during which actuals will be collected for transfer into the Earned Value Management System for reporting purposes. Also referred to as Reporting Period.


Accruals are defined as the difference between the estimated cost of the work performed and the actual cost of the work reported by the accounting system. Especially in the case of procurements and contracts, procured items are delivered, or contracted work performed, prior to an invoice being sent for the work completed. Many times the invoiced costs do not enter the accounting system for one, two, or even up to three months after the work is performed. Accruals allow you to estimate the cost of the work in order for Earned Value calculations to be as accurate as possible.

Actual Cost (AC)

The costs actually incurred and applied or distributed in accomplishing the work performed within a given time period. The actual costs include direct and indirect costs as well as accruals. Also referred to as the Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP).

Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP)

Cost actually incurred in accomplishing work performed. Also referred to as Actual Cost (AC).


An update or addition to a tender invitation.


A supplement to documents, issued prior to taking receipt of bids, for the purpose of clarifying, correcting, or otherwise changing bid documents previously issued.


A document setting forth the relationships and obligations between two parties, as the CM and owner or contractor and owner. It may incorporate other documents by reference.

Apparent Low Bidder

The bidder who has submitted the lowest bid for a division of work described in bid documents, a proposal form, or proposed contract.

Apportioned Effort (AE)

Effort that by itself is not readily measured or divisible into discrete work packages but is related in direct proportion to the planning and performance of other discrete effort.

Approved Bidders List

The list of contractors that have been prequalified for the purpose of submitting responsible, competitive bids.

Approved Budget

The baseline budget plus approved changes. This is the standard against which performance is measured.

Approved Budget Changes

Changes in scope to the budget resulting in an increase or decrease to its value.

Approved Changes

Changes in the contract documents that have been subjected to an agreed upon change approval process and have been approved by the party empowered to approve such changes.

Approved Schedule

A project schedule or plan that can be compared to the current schedule to measure progress. The approved schedule is the original baseline schedule plus any approved schedule changes.

At-Risk Construction Manager

Also known as Construction Manager At-Risk. A delivery method in which the construction manager makes a commitment to client to deliver a project within a guaranteed maximum price. The construction manager acts as consultant to the client in the development and design phases, but as the equivalent of a general contractor during the construction phase.


A system of tags used to classify information so it can easily be found.

Authorization to Proceed (ATP)

Official authority for the contractor to begin work. It is usually issued by the procuring contracting officer.

Authorized Unpriced Work

A contract scope change, which has been directed by the contracting officer but has not yet been fully negotiated/definitized. It includes a value, excluding fee or profit, typically associated with the authorized, unpriced change order.

Authorized Work

That effort that has been definitized and is on contract plus that effort for which definitized contract costs have not been agreed to but for which written authorization has been received.


A system that applies document numbers automatically using a predefined scheme. The auto-numbering scheme is set up by your Project Administrator at the start of the project.


By default, any transmittal your organization receives will be registered or updated automatically in your Document Register.


Text or templates that can be configured to appear by default in Project Mail.



The budgeted cost, hours, and quantities for each control account. This is the standard against which performance is measured.

Baseline Budget

A project's beginning budget of hours, cost, and quantities.

Baseline Estimate

The estimate that forms the basis of the baseline budget in the Cost Management module.

Baseline Schedule

The accepted, initial schedule is often referred to as the baseline schedule. The use of this term refers to the fact that the projected activity dates will be used as a baseline for comparing the actual, achieved dates and measuring progress.


An offer to perform the work described in contract documents at a specified cost.


Another name for “tender”. A bid or tender in Aconex is the process of submitting a proposal for new work.

Bid Bond

A pledge from a surety to pay the bond amount to the owner in the event the Bidder defaults on its commitment to enter into a contract to perform the Work described in the Bid Documents for the bid price

Bid Documents

The documents issued to the contractor(s) by the owner, which describe the proposed Work and contract terms. Bid documents typically include: drawings, specifications, contract forms, general and supplementary general conditions, proposal or bid forms, and other information.

Bill of Materials (BOM)

A listing of material items required to complete the production of a single unit. When actual or expected prices are applied, it becomes the Priced Bill of Materials (PBOM).

Block Planning

The periodic process of converting summary level planning packages into control accounts and control account planning packages into work packages. The time period chosen reflects blocks of time from a specific contractual milestone to a subsequent specific contractual milestone.


A pledge from a surety guaranteeing the performance of the obligation defined in the bond, including the completion of work or payment of the bond amount to the obligee (owner or contractor) in the event of a default, or non-payment by a principal (contractor or subcontractor), as with bid, performance and labor and material bonds.

Bonding Capacity

The maximum amount of credit coverage the lender will extend to the company.

Bridge Financing

Temporary debt financing to provide a “bridge” to a company that will eventually be replaced with permanent capital.


The dollar amount allocated by the owner for a project/program.

Budget at Completion (BAC)

The baseline budget plus all approved changes. This value is equivalent to the approved budget. Also referred to as Approved Budget or Current Budget.

Budget Estimate

An estimate of the cost of work based on preliminary information, with a qualified degree of accuracy.

Budgeted Cost for Work Performed (BCWP)

Value of completed work in terms of the work’s assigned budget. Also referred to as Earned Value.

Budgeted Cost for Work Scheduled (BCWS)

Time-phased Budget Plan for work currently scheduled. Also referred to as Planned Value, Approved Budget to Date, and Current Budget to Date.



A project is assigned a calendar when it is created. Calendars define the project’s workdays and the work hours per day. With this you can calculate full-time equivalent hours (FTEs) for each reporting period. Then you can calculate time-phased data in the cost management module. Calendars are also used to generate project reports.

Change Order

Process for modifying a construction contract when unforeseen changes occur during the planning and construction of a project, which may drive the cost of a project upward.

A written agreement or directive between contracted parties, which represents an addition, deletion, or revision to the contract documents, identifies the change in price and time and describes the nature (scope) of the work involved. Also referred to as Contract Modifications.

Changed Conditions

Conditions or circumstances, physical or otherwise, which alter the conditions or circumstances on which the contract documents were based.

Claim (US/Europe)

A formal demand for compensation, filed by a contractor or the owner with the other party, in accordance with provisions of the contract documents.

CM Fee

A form of contractual payment for services, where the CM is paid a fee for services performed.

Code of Accounts

The owner's written description of the cost elements of the project, used for the owner's accounting purposes.

Commercial Manager

Normally the custodian of the Cost Worksheet, responsible for the finances on a project.


Start up, calibration, and certification of a facility.


Purchase orders or contracts that have been issued to vendors or contractors that obligate the project for payment of the goods or services provided.

Confidential mail

Mail that's visible only to nominated recipients.

Construction Budget

The sum established, normally during the planning or design phase, as available for construction of the project.

Construction Contract Documents

The documents, which provide the basis for, the contract entered into between parties. They typically include the bid documents updated to reflect the agreement between the owner and the contractor(s).

Construction Management

A type of contract where the General Contractor acts on behalf of the Client for a fee.

Contract Variation

Changes in scope to the contract resulting in changes in the value of the contract or the duration.


Contracts are packages of work placed between two parties, normally a General Contractor and a Subcontractor, for work to be carried out on a project.

Control Account

A control account is a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) element element assigned to a single focal point to plan and control scope/schedule/budget.

Control Element

A subset of the total cost, hours, or quantity of an estimate item or a Control Account. Examples include Labor, Materials, Equipment, and Subcontracts.

Cost Engineer

Normally the custodian of the Cost Worksheet, responsible for the finances on a project.

Current Budget

The Original Budget plus any agreed changes.


Data Date

The date at which, or up to which, the project's reporting system has provided actual status and accomplishments.


An alternative use of the Document Register to track defects or issues on the project.


A project delivery method where an architect is hired to create design documents from which general contractors will bid.


Design-Build is a project delivery method, which combines architectural, and engineering design services with construction performance under one contract agreement.

Discipline List

The Discipline tag reflects a type of work, and is used to tag documents associated with that work. The Discipline List is usually defined at the start of a project.

Document Register

A repository for all current and previous revisions of documents received or uploaded on a project.


Early Budget

The time-phased budget based on the early schedule dates.

Earned Value (EV)

The approved budget for the work actually completed by the specified date; also referred to as the Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP).

Earned Value Management (EVM)

A program management technique for measuring program performance and progress in an objective manner.

Earned Value Management System (EVMS)

An integrated management system that integrates the work scope, schedule, and cost parameters of a program in a manner that provides objective performance measurement data. It measures progress objectively with earned value metrics; accumulates direct costs; allows for analysis of deviations from plans; facilitates forecasting the achievement of milestones and contract events; provides supporting data for forecasting of estimated costs; and fosters discipline in incorporating changes to the baseline in a timely manner.

Estimate At Completion

The projected final cost of the project.

Estimate To Completion

The amount of money expected to be spent between a point in time and a project’s completion.

Event log

Lists the names of project participants who have accessed or changed a document.


Fast Track

The process of dividing the design of a project into phases in such a manner as to permit construction to start before the entire design phase is complete. The overlapping of the construction phase with the design phase.

Field Order

An order issued at the site by the owner or CM to clarify and/or require the contractor(s) to perform work not included in the contract documents. A field order normally represents a minor change not involving a change in contract price or time and may or may not be the basis of a change order.

Final Completion

The date on which the terms of all construction contracts have been satisfied.

Fixed Price

A type of contract where the General Contractor bids for the project in competition with others. Normally the lowest project-cost bid wins the work based on it being a fixed price.

Forecast Cost to Complete

The amount of money expected to be spent between a point in time and a project’s completion.

Forecast Final Cost

The projected final cost of the project.


General & Administrative (G&A)

Per FAR Subpart 2.1: G&A expense means any management, financial, and other expense which is incurred by or allocated to a business unit and which is for the general management and administration of the business unit as a whole. G&A expense does not include those management expenses whose beneficial or causal relationship to cost objectives can be more directly measured by a base other than a cost input base representing the total activity of a business unit during a cost accounting period.

General Conditions

A section of general clauses in the Contract Specifications that establish how the project is to be administered. Included are obligations such as providing temporary work, insurance, field offices, etc.

General Ledger

A complete record of financial transactions over the life of a company. The ledger holds account information that is needed to prepare financial statements, and includes accounts for assets, liabilities, owners' equity, revenues and expenses.

Global Directory

The global directory is an index that lists all Aconex users who are in the same region as you.

Global Login

Aconex Global Login is a ‘master’ account that provides access to all your Aconex projects with just one login.


A legally enforceable assurance by a third party of satisfactory performance, quality or quantity of products or work during a specific period of time stated and included in the contract in the event the product or work fails to perform properly

Guaranteed Maximum Price

A contractual form of agreement wherein a maximum price for the work is established based on an agreed-to scope.



Use https when you're sending confidential information between your computer and a web-based service for extra security. If you can see 'https:' at the start of the URL in your web browser this means you're browsing via a 'secure session'.


Indirect Costs

Costs that cannot be identified specifically against a particular program or activity and must be controlled and budgeted at a functional or organizational level.

Integrated Master Plan (IMP)

An event-driven plan that documents the significant accomplishments necessary to complete the work and ties each accomplishment to a key program event.

Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)


Late Budget

The time-phased budget based on the late dates.

Late Schedule

The latest dates an activity can start and finish based on the critical-path-method (CPM) schedule calculation.

Level of Effort (LOE)

Work defined as having no practicable measurable output or product that can be discretely planned and objectively measured at the work package level.


A claim, encumbrance, or charge against or an interest in property to secure payment of a debt or performance of an obligation.

Life Cycle Cost

Life cycle costs include all costs incident to the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance and demolition of a facility, or system, for a given life expectancy, all in terms of present value.

Liquidated & Ascertained Damages (LAD)

The penalty (normally financial) for a project finishing late through the fault of the General Contractor.

Loss and Expense Claim

A claim for additional money or time by the General Contractor or Sub-contractor caused by circumstances no fault of their own i.e. Bad weather or changes to working conditions outside of their control.


Mail signature

Works the same way your email signature works in Outlook.

Mail thread

Whenever someone responds to, or forwards, a mail, their action is added into the 'mail thread'. This helps you keep track of your mail's progress.

Mail type

One of the tags applied to a mail sent in Aconex. Some examples mail types are 'request for information', 'site instruction', 'notice'. You must add a mail type to your mail before you can send it.

Management Reserve

Budget withheld for unknowns / risk management.

Master Schedule

An executive level summary schedule identifying the major components of a project, their sequence and durations. The schedule can be in the form of a network, Milestone Schedule, or bar chart.

Multiple Currency

A term used when a project has cost data tracked using more than one currency. For example, a project may require the cost of some records to be entered in US Dollars and others in Canadian Dollars.

Multiple Prime Contracts

Separate contractors contracting directly with the owner for specific and designated elements of the work.


Negotiated Contract Cost

Contract price minus profit or fee(s)

Non-Conforming Work

Work that does not meet the requirements of the contract documents.

Notice of Award

A formal document informing an individual or organization of successfully securing a contract.

Notice to Proceed

A formal document and/or point in the project's life cycle authorizing an individual or organization to commence work under its contract. The issuance of the notice to proceed typically marks the end of a procurement phase.


O&M Manual

An operations and maintenance manual. Usually collated during the construction and development phases of a construction project, then handed over to the client.

Online Viewer

Use it to review documents inside Aconex without having to download them. It's especially useful for reviewing files when you don't have an application installed on your computer e.g AutoCAD files.

Organizational Breakdown Structure (OBS)

A division of a projects technical scope according to responsible individuals, departments, and companies. The purpose of dividing the project in this manner is to assign responsibility to the work scope and to prepare reports and graphics that relate project progress and cost directly to the responsible organization.

Organizational project role

Used by Project Administrators in the project-owning organization to manage which organizations can access mail types, document types and document statuses.

Original Budget

The initial budget planned for the project.

Over Target Baseline

Sum of Contract Budget Base + additional budget approved for remaining work.

Owner Construction Management

A form of Construction Management that does not use an independent construction management organization as a team member. The owner performs all required Construction Management services with in-house staff.

Owner's Representative

The individual representing the owner on the project team.


Payment Applications (US/EU)

The process used by a sub-contractor requesting payment for the works they have completed.

Payment Claims (ANZ)

The process a sub-contractor uses to request payment for the works they have completed.


A punitive measure, usually associated with failure to fulfil a contractual obligation.

Percent Complete

Percent complete denotes in percentage terms the work that has been completed on an activity, WBS component, phase or project.


A pre-defined increment of time for planning and progress measurement. Typical period durations are 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 1 month, etc. Also referred to as Reporting Period or Financial Period.


Placeholders act as ‘envelopes' within Aconex: you can set them up at any time to hold individual documents. If you're creating a large number of placeholders at the same time consider using a bulk process to speed up the time it takes.


A list of items to cover non-construction costs like Salaries, Utilities, or accommodation.

Project Directory

The project directory is an index that shows all the users from the project you're working on.

Project Instruction (PI)

We've replaced the Project Instruction (PI) document with two documents - the Implementation Process document and the Information Management Policy document. These documents are created at the start of a new project. They define how the project's information should be managed.

Project Settings

Found under Setup. Project Settings is used by Project Administrators, and sometimes Org Administrators, to manage the way the project works in Aconex. For example, under Project Settings the Project Admin can make certain Document Fields mandatory or optional.



The degree to which the project and its components meet the owner's expectations, objectives, standards, and intended purpose; determined by measuring conformity of the project to the plans, specifications, and applicable standards.

Quality Assurance (QA)

The application of planned and systematic methods to verify that quality control procedures are being effectively implemented.

Quality Control (QC)

The continuous review, certification, inspection, and testing of project components, including persons, systems, materials, documents, techniques, and workmanship to determine whether or not such components conform to the plans, specifications, and applicable standards.

Quality Management

The process of planning, organization, implementation, monitoring and documenting of a system of policies and procedures that coordinate and direct relevant project resources and activities in a mannerthat will achieve quality.

Quantity Surveyor

Normally the custodian of the Cost Worksheet, responsible for the finances on a project.


Record Drawings

Drawings (plans), prepared after construction is complete that represent the work, accomplished under the contract.

Recovery Schedule

The schedule that depicts action(s) and special effort(s) required to recover lost time in the original Master Schedule. It can depict activities of any member of the project Team.

Reporting Periods

User-defined increments of time for reporting project status.

Request for Quotation (RFQ)

A request for a quote to perform work.


Schedule Activity

A single task that makes up one part of a project.

Schedule of Values

A list of basic contract segments in both labor and material, where each line item consists of a description of a portion of work and a related cost and the sum of the lines of the contract equals the total contract price. Generally used to determine progress payments to contractor(s).

Schedule Performance Index (SPI)

The ratio of the approved budget for the work performed to the approved budget for the work planned. The SPI reflects the relative amount the project is ahead of or behind schedule, sometimes referred to as the project’s schedule efficiency. You can use the SPI to date to project the schedule performance for the remainder of the task.

Schedule Variance (SV)

The difference between the amounts budgeted for the work you actually did and for the work you planned to do. The SV shows whether and by how much your work is ahead of or behind your approved schedule.


Identification of all requirements of a project or contract.

Status field

One of the mandatory documents fields in your document register.


The process of updating a document in the Document Register with a new version.

Supplier Documents

An optional Aconex add-on. Designed to manage supplier documents, from the initial request through to delivery.

Supplier Documents package

A container that holds documents from a supplier.


Temporary Files

Files that are not registered. They can be deleted from Aconex.

To Complete Performance Index (TCPI)

Efficiency needed from ‘time now’ to achieve a Cost Target = Budget at Completion, Latest Revised Estimate, or Estimate at Completion.

Total Allocated Budget

Sum of all budgets for work on contract = Negotiated Contract Cost, Contract Budget Base, or Over Target Baseline.

Trade Contractors

Construction contractors who specialize in providing and/or installing specific elements of the overallconstruction requirements of a complete project.

Trade-Off Study

The study to define the comparative values and risks of a substitution or exchange of a design component. The trade-off can identify both monetary and functional values. Also referred to as Alternatives Analysis.


The process of sending updated documents to the Document Registers of other organizations on the project.


The number of days a supplier has to submit documents. Used in Supplier Documents packages.


user role

User roles are used to manage permission levels within Aconex.

User roles

User roles are used to manage permission levels within Aconex.



An accurate assessment of the work completed to date.


The difference between the Adjusted Budget and the overall Project Cost.


Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

A hierarchical product-oriented division of program tasks depicting the breakdown of work scope for work authorization, tracking, and reporting purposes.

Workflow initiator

The person who starts a document, or a set of documents, in a workflow.

Workflow reviewer

The person who is responsible for reviewing documents within a workflow.