Once you’ve started using Tasks for your projects and timesheets you can learn from them over time.
Tasks(also known as Stages, Phases or Matters) can be used to see how good staff are in getting through work allotted to them, as well as how good you are in your estimates.
You can analyse data entered against tasks either as hours worked or a budget amount.
Even if you don’t have a budget or estimate for a 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 equal to zero.
Later on you can look at the actual time and cost assigned to the task and get a better idea of budgeting for the next job of the same type. Or you can use the tasks to simply know approximately how much time these variations to jobs typically take (and how they can affect staffing and scheduling of other jobs).
After using Abtrac for about 18 months, one of our clients, told us “I work out the budget very scientifically and then I add on 30%”.
He’d learnt after using Abtrac for that period of time that he was under-quoting and thus writing off to that extent on nearly every project.
We’d recommend reading this article about Actual vs Budget reports in conjunction with our Creating and Managing Tasks article, and also this one here which includes a glossary of the data within the Actual vs Budget reports.