Frequently Asked Questions


KOSMA requires Adobe AIR and Acrobat Reader as well as a KOSMA user account.

For Apple: Mac OS Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor, Mac OS X Version 10.6 or higher 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)

For Windows: x86-compatible processor with 2,33 GHz or Intel® Atom™ with 1,6 GHz or higher, Microsoft® Windows® XP Home, Professional oder Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 3, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate or Enterprise (also 64 Bit) with Service Pack 2, Windows 7 or Windows 8, 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)

KOSMA was designed to work without an online connection so the software can be used in any situation. Most functions can be used without limitation:

  • view and edit projects in all modules
  • print projects, export and import data etc.

The server functionality requires a working internet connection for the following features:

  • create a project
  • start KOSMA for the first time
  • license changes
  • synchronizing data to and from the KOSMA cloud
  • invite other users to your project

We want to improve KOSMA with your support. If you have a feature request please create a support ticket on the website under Support/Support ticket. Thank you.

  • Cmd & S: Save Project
  • Cmd & W: Close Project
  • Cmd & Q: Quit Application
  • Cmd & P: Print
  • Cmd & Shift & S: Synchronize
  • Cmd & F: Activate search field
  • Cmd & C: Copy (on Mac: ctrl+click)
  • Cmd & X: Cut (on Mac: ctrl+click)
  • Cmd & V: Paste (on Mac: ctrl+click)

  • Tab: Jump from field to field / to next item
  • Ctrl & Tab: Jump trough Navigation area, Editing area, Macro area (editing) or from tab to tab (settings)
  • Cmd & 1: Open Settings
  • Cmd & 2: Open Budgeting
  • Cmd & 3: Open Financing
  • Cmd & 4: Open Cashflow
  • Cmd & 5: Open Cost Control

  • Cmd & -: Expand/Collapse all
  • Arrow up, arrow down: Up, down one item
  • Enter: Open/confirm item
  • Cmd & N: New account / new additional charge / new source / new cost item
  • Cmd & G: New Group
  • Cmd & Shift & N: New subtotal / New Category
  • Delete: Delete selected element
  • Cmd & M: In Cost Control: Move selected cost item

To combine formulas, numbers and variables you can use the four standard operations:: +, -, *, /

In Budgeting, Financing and Cost Control you can use the following formulas:

  • SUM_PROD(„producer“) = the sum of all costs assigned to "producer" in the producer panel
  • COUNT_PROD(„producer“) = the number of accounts that have "producer" assigned in the producer panel
  • SUM_TAG(„tag“) = the sum of all costs with "tag" in the tag panel
  • COUNT_TAG(„tag“) = the number of all accounts with "tag" in the tag panel
  • ACCOUNT(„account_number“) = the value of the account with the number "account_number"

In addition you can use all variables and numbers.

In Additional Charges you can also use:

  • Subtotals as variables, whereas the variable name equals the subtotal name with underscores instead of spaces (e.g. sub total => sub_total).
  • NPC = Net Production Costs

In Financing you can use:

  • NPC = Net Production Costs
  • GT = Grand Total
  • DFFF = DFFF Value
  • Variables
  • ACCOUNT(„account_number“) (this will get the value of the account of the linked budget)
  • TAG and PROD Formulas work as well, but the don't get the values from the budget, but from the financing plan itself. If you want to link a position in the financing plan to the expenses of a producer, you have to do it manually or create a variable in the budget and then use it in financing.

In Fringes you can use:

  • AccountTotal = the total of the account
  • Fringe1, Fringe2, FringeXXX = the value of the first, second, x fringe
  • Variables

Use cmd-c,cmd-x and cmd-v in most places to copy, cut or paste. You can also use right-click on your mouse to open the context menu.

Hold down the CTRL key, click with the mouse in the desired field and choose the action from the context menu. On Mac, keyboard shortcuts for copying are not supported by Adobe Air.

Make sure you have the latest AIR version installed.
Right-click on the KOSMA application icon and select "Get Info". In the resulting dialog, select the checkbox "Open in Rosetta".

Fringes are defined in the settings tab "Fringes & Extra Costs" and are assigned through the macro area in the budgeting module.

To define fringes or adapt them according to your needs:

  1. Got to Settings->Fringes & Extra Costs
  2. Fringes can be organised in groups to separate by countries or artists, technicians etc.
  3. Add a fringe by pressing "Add Fringe", enter a fringe name
  4. Formula name is an automatically generated reference you can use in the column "Base"
  5. Percentage is the actual fringe percentage.
  6. Maximum per Day is the maximum amount per day as applicable in certain countries.
  7. Base is the amount on which the fringe is calculated. You can add a formula here like "AccountTotal" or "AccountTotal+Fringe2+Fringe3"
  8. In BudgetAccount you need to add the budget account where KOSMA writes the fringe into.

To assign a fringe to an account:

  1. Choose the account.
  2. Click on the blue pen icon in Fringes & Extra Costs in the macro area.
  3. Mark the fringes and extra costs you would like to add. Note that if there are subaccounts you have to select fringes for each subaccount.
  4. Click OK

Accounts with assigned fringes or extra costs are marked with a purple dot. You can also filter the budget for accounts with or without fringes.

You can calculate additional charges in the Additional Charges area by selecting Summary in the Categories overview.

Click Add Charge. Additional Charges are defined by a base and a percentage. The base can also be a variable like "NPC" (net production costs) or a formula.


  • To add a markup of 20% on the net prodcution costs add "NPC" in Base and 20 in %.
  • To add a fixed amount, enter 100% and the amount in Base.
  • To calculate a charge based on the spend of a certain producer use the following formula: SUM_PROD("Producername"). All accounts will be summed up that carry the "Producername" in the producer field.
  1. Click on the small blue "+" in the "Categories" navigation area to create a first category.
  2. Click on Add Group in the Toolbar to add a group to this category.
  3. Click on Add Account, to create a first account within the group.

Budgets consist of categories, groups, accounts and subaccounts.

  • 1. Category
  • 1.01. Group
  • 10101 Account
  • 10102 Account
  • 10103 Account
  • 1.02. Group
  • 10201 Account
  • 10202 Account
  • 10203 Account
  • - Subaccount to 10203

The numbering of categories and groups is automatic and can't be customized. The numbering of accounts can be adjusted manually.

Make sure you no active filter or search is limiting the visibility of your data.

  • Cancel the search by clicking the "X" in the search field.
  • Reset an active filter by clicking the reset arrow in the filter area.

Most likely you are on "Summary", the budget top sheet.

You can access the categories and the groups and accounts by clicking on a category in the area CATEGORIES on the left. If there are no categories available click on the blue "+" to create one.

To prevent certain accounts from being included in the calculation of additional charges you can use formulas:

  • Tag the accounts you want to exclude with some text like "exclude".
  • Now type NPC-SUM_TAG("exclude") in the Base field for the additional cost. NPC is the standard variable Net Production Cost, which sums up all categories. SUM_TAG("exclude") creates the sum of the tag "exclude".

You can use the same function to add a markup on certain accounts.

  • Add the tag "markup" to the accounts where a markup should be added.
  • In Additional Charges, use SUM_TAG("markup") in the base field to calculate the markup.

To create a new project:

  1. Go to Project Manager
  2. Click on Create Project
  3. Choose a project title, click Next
  4. Choose Empty Project and click Next
  5. Choose Load Template From File, find the template you want to load. Click Finish.

In an existing project:

  1. Go to the Budgeting or Financing module
  2. Klick on the blue "+" on the list of budgets/financing plans
  3. Choose Load Budget from File

 To save a budget or a financing plan as a template:

  1. Go to the menu bar->Project
  2. Choose Save As Template

Fringe Benefits are typically social insurance costs as a percentage of the wage. Complex calculations with daily maximums are possible. Calculation base is the account total.

Wage-related extra costs are also calculated as a percentage of the wage, but for more simple calculations like overtime or night work. You add them as a percentage on top of the account.

Fixed amount extra costs are flat amounts not depending on the wage, e.g. travel costs, meal costs etc. You can use a multiplier to add them to an account.

  1. Go to the Financing module
  2. Click on the blue "+" in the list of financing plans
  3. Choose Load from File

To save a financing plan as a template:

  1. Go to the menu bar->Project
  2. Choose Save As Template

The financing plan (as well as the other modules) use the settings of the budget they are linked to. This concerns variables, currencies, taxes and effects as well as the cashflow relevant data of milestones and processes.

You can change the linked budget any time by choosing another budget in the dropdown at the bottom of the window. You may lose some data by doing that.

Go to Settings->Cashflow Setup und choose the milestone or phase you want to delete. Press the backspace or delete key.

KOSMA can automatically calculate the cashflow of your VAT payments and refunds. You will see a line "VAT/Taxes" in the expenses and a line "Tax Refund" in incomes.

If not already set up in your budget template you have to define the taxes in Settings->Taxes first.

Add taxes in the macro panel of each account concerned in your budget and your financing plan to calculate the cashflow for them. Mind you, in the display you will always see net figures without taxes.

You need a budget and a financing plan with defined cashflow rules. To set the rule for each account, you must first go to Settings -> Cashflow Setup and define the elements. You can find more detailed instructions in the tutorials.

Important: The cashflow module is only available if you have a Pro license.

Milestones are single events (dates), that you deem important for your project, e.g. first day of shooting, end of shooting, delivery etc. They are used to create cashflow rules.

In Settings->Cashflow Setup you can create milestones by double-clicking into the milestone area. The other cashflow elements are phases and processes.

With milestone-based cashflow rules you can define costs and incomes in relation to a milestone. 

Phases are time spans within a production like preparation, shooting und postproduction.

  • The duration of a phase in either calendar days or work days can be used as variables. Example: "shooting_workdays" or "shooting_duration".
  • You can also use phases to limit process-based cashflow rules to a certain time span, such as to distribute payments to collaborators only within the phase "Shooting".

Phases are generated by double-clicking into the phase area in Settings->Cashflow Setup.

Processes are sequences of events, for example a sequence of "Fridays" or last days of months for wage payments, but also several %-installments. Events can be defined as

  • accrued to date, meaning that amounts will be divided evenly by the number of defined events (if no phase is chosen) or divided by the relative position (if a phase is chosen)
  • percent of total, meaning that amounts will be divided into the defined percentages.

With process-based cashflow rules you can distribute costs and incomes

  • according to the percentages and the dates of a percent-of-total process
  • evenly across the events of an accrued-to-date process
  • relatively accross the events of an accrued-to-date process in combination with a phase

When you move from the development/financing phase into the production phase, in most cases you will have a locked budget to serve as a reference for you cost reports.

In KOSMA you do this by creating a CostControl set, choosing a budget that will be locked afterwards. Changes in your cost estimation will now be executed in the CostControl module through estimates of cost items or by global estimates in each account. The budget itself remains the same.

The CostControl module allows you to work with a mix of estimates and actuals that will create most accurate cost reports. Data which has already been recorded by bookkeepers can be imported.

Date is the invoice date (for actual costs) or the date of the entry of the estimate (for estimated cost items).

Payment date is the date of payment, the actual transaction. If you use this cost control set for a cashflow in the Cashflow module, this date will be used for this item. In most cases this date is imported from accounting.

A KOSMA-account and its license are personal and can be activated on a maximum of two computers. You can synchronize (share) your projects with other users if they have a valid license.

Before you change to a new computer, make sure you synchronise all needed elements. Deactivate your license on the old computer before you log in with the new one.

Write to us if you have trouble deactivating and we will reset your activation data.

KOSMA can import budgets as .CSV files. They need to have a certain importable format though. Most existing software like Movie Magic Budgeting, Sesam etc. do not offer proper export functions. The files they create need to be adapted.

KOSMA can import files containing the following columns: Category Number, Category Name, Group Number, Group Name, Account Number, Account Name, Price, Unit, Factor, Currency. The order of the columns does not matter, it can be adapted during import.

We generally do not really recommend importing budgets. You should use one of our templates or create your own.

With the function Save Budget/Financing As Template (in the menu Project) you can save the currently active sheet as a KOSMA template file. The file can later be loaded as a template again, it includes all project specific settings, fringes, taxes etc. This is useful if you want to create templates for your typical projects.

With the function Export Data (button on the blue toolbar) you can create files in the formats Excel (.xls) and CSV (.csv), that can be edited in other software. Because of certain limitations they will not contain all metadata that a KOSMA template includes.

Last but not least the print function allows you to create a variety of PDF files for different use cases.

KOSMA is running on the platform-independent runtime environment Adobe AIR. KOSMA only works if you have Adobe AIR installed.

You can download and install the latest version here if you like: 

The FAQs and tutorials answer most common questions. Should you nevertheless be stuck with something we are pleased to help you. Please navigate on our website to Support/Support Ticket and fill in a ticket.

If you encounter a software error message you can also fill in a support ticket. We greatly appreciate if you include the log file with the latest date in this ticket. You can find that file here:

Windows 7
c:\users\{user name}\appdata\roaming\KOSMA\

Windows xp
c:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\KOSMA


/users/username/library/application support/kosma/local store


If you get an error message "Adobe AIR.framework" is damaged and can't be opened, click this link to download a guide to solve the issue in a few steps.

To uninstall KOSMA and Adobe Air, do the following: 

  1. Delete the KOSMA file (.air)
  2. Uninstall Adobe AIR
  3. If you want you can also delete potentially not saved/synchronized local data:
  • Windows 7:  c:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\KOSMA
  • Mac OS: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/KOSMA

Synchronizing is absolutely safe. If there is a conflict, e.g. two users work on the same budget in the same project and want to synchronize, KOSMA will create a copy of the budget. You can then find the differences and bring the two versions together. It is not possible to overwrite changes of another person involuntarily.

Nevertheless, we recommend to have very clear communication if more than one person is working on a budget.

Yes. You can add up to 3 files with a maximum size of 2MB to each account, e.g. quotes, lists, contracts etc.

When you synchronize a budget, a financing plan or a cost control set, the attached files will be synchronized as well.

You can invite other users to your project in the Admin area on the top right of the window. This area is only visible though if you are the administrator of the project.

To invite other users you need to enter the email address of their KOSMA account. The project will automatically appear in the other users' project manager. You can also edit the access privileges in the admin window.

The visibility of single budgets, financing plans, cashflows and cost control sets can be adjusted for each user in the synchronization window (visible for..., locked, don't sync). Mind you that other users do not see any data before your synchronize it for them.