Default Tasks, Stages and Phases

Tasks are managed slightly differently in Abtrac5 compared to AbtracOnLine. This article refers to the process of creating and assigning tasks in Abtrac5.

A Project Task is the bit of the project you are working on – and can budget against. (Sometimes they are called Stages or Phases)

Generally your project tasks will match those items detailed on your original fee proposal letter. If you’re not sure whether you should be using tasks or activities then this article is a good place to start.

This article is for Abtrac5 follow this link for the AbtracOnLine version

If you use the same tasks often you can set up default tasks from System Management > Administration > Default Tasks. 

These defaults can then be chosen from a drop down when creating new projects.

Once a Job or Project has tasks assigned you will only be able to view and choose these tasks from timesheet entries. If no tasks are assigned then the entire lists of tasks from System Management will be available to view.


You can also enter unique tasks for particular projects (also known as Job Specific Tasks).

From Clients, Jobs and Contacts > Jobs Menu > choose the Tasks tab and enter the task description for each budgeted item.


Generally your project tasks will match those items detailed on your original fee proposal letter. (Sometimes they are called Stages or Phases)

Tasks are most useful if they also include a budget amount. You can enter an estimated fee value directly, or you enter estimated completion hours.

Abtrac will optionally copy these fees back to the Job billing details screen.


Abtrac5 – Project Billing Details > Fee Value

Sub Tasks (also known as Sub Stages, or Sub Phases)

If many people at different rates will be working on each task then either let Abtrac calculate the average rate, or right click and detail Sub Tasks (Sub Stage or Sub Phase) by budgeting hours for each person assigned to this task.


Tasks without budgets.

Even if you don’t have a budget or estimate for a particular task (be it a variation, or something that you are charging at an hourly rate) it’s a good idea to assign the item of work as a task to your project. You can leave the hours and fee value blank.

Later on you can look at the actual time and cost assigned to the task and get a better idea of budgeting for next time. Or you can use the tasks to simply know roundabout how much time these variations to jobs typically take (and how they can affect staffing and scheduling of other jobs).

Tips for Using Tasks

Tasks Required 

Once you’ve entered tasks in the system it’s a good idea to set tasks as required for timesheet entries. You can do this system-wide from Miscellaneous Properties, or at the project level from the Project Details screen.



If you haven’t already you’ll also need to check that both your linear and tabular view of timesheets (and disbursements) includes the column for tasks.

System Management > Administrator > User Control Settings - Abtrac 5

Threshold Warnings

If you’ve assigned a fee estimate to your project then you can enable Timesheet Threshold Warnings. When you enable timesheets warnings it’s a good idea to let the staff know about them, and ask them to contact you if they receive a warning when entering time.


The threshold calculates a percentage of the Project Billing Details > Fee Value (detailed at the start of this article), and a pop up message is displayed when the threshold value is reached or exceeded.

There are two stages of warning when a threshold is set for a job.

When the threshold limit is reached timesheet users will receive a message like the warning below.


And when fee estimate has been exceeded shows the following message.


At any stage a user can still enter time against the task and project.

Abtrac KB# 2015