web analytics
Skip to content
Budget at Completion vs Variance at Completion

Budget at Completion vs Variance at Completion

If you enjoyed reading this post, check out all of our post on PMP Concepts Learning Series.

Designed to help those that are preparing to take the PMP or CAPM Certification Exam, each post within this series presents a comparison of common concepts that appear on the PMP and CAPM exams.


Budget at Completion vs Variance at Completion

The budget at completion (BAC) is determined at the start of the project. As the project progresses the BAC may need to be revisited based on the project forecast (the estimate at completion – EAC).

As PM you will be responsible for communicating regarding the BAC, the EAC, and the resulting variance at completion (VAC).

Budget at Completion

Budget at completion (BAC) is the total anticipated and budgeted spending for the project based on the project estimates and assumptions.

Variance at Completion

The variance at completion is determined by subtracting the EAC from the BAC:


A negative VAC indicates that the project is forecasted to not complete with the approved budget. A negative VAC may require either an additional funding allocation or the elimination of some of the project scope.

A positive VAC indicates the project will not utilize the allocated budget. This may allow for additional components to be added to the scope of the project.


The bathroom remodeling project has an approved budget (BAC) of $1,500. Based on your analysis, the forecast (EAC) is $1,885.

VAC = $1,500 - $1,885 = ($385) <-- Indicates the project will exceed the budget by $385.


Variance at completion (VAC) is a comparison of the original budget at completion (BAC) and the revised forecast (EAC). A negative VAC is an indicator that the project may exceed the BAC.

See all posts in our PMP Concepts Learning Series


  1. Llewellyn Holloway on March 21, 2016 at 8:39 am

    This is a great explanation, helps me to understand budget after completion and how it’s applied to earned value management.

  2. Solo on February 27, 2017 at 3:29 am

    This is a wonderful explanation. You’re gifted. Well done,

Leave a Comment

PM Learning Solutions

  2550 W Union Hills Dr

Suite 350-302

Phoenix, AZ 85027

  (888) 871-PMLS (7657)

  Mon - Fri | 9:00 - 5:00 MST