Glossary: Job / Project Details

This page briefly explains all the fields available on the Job / Project Details Page.

N.B. The name Job / Project is a variable that you can set yourself in the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings area. From this point forward, we will refer to them as Projects

There are a few different classifications for Projects, so here are the different definitions you will see below.

Current Projects

To ensure your reports in Abtrac stay accurate, you need to be consistent with the Billable / Non-Billable setting for Projects in Abtrac. As mentioned previously, you should never mark a project not billable that was previously billable. You should make the project non-current instead. The different project classifications and how they are reported is below.

Non-Billable Projects

These are typically in-house administration projects, or ‘projects’ such as annual leave etc. Occasionally you may also do pro-bono or competition work to promote yourself, or for another reason. These projects will also be non-billable. Any other speculative work like project proposals should be recorded and reported as billable projects. (We’ll explain why below).

To review Non-Billable projects in your office, the report “Clients and Projects Non-Billable” gives a list of all current, non-billable projects.

Billable Projects

These are easy to determine, projects that you will eventually be invoicing your clients for are billable!

Projects that are proposals

These are also potential billable projects. You still want to recover money for them but you’re just not sure if you can yet.

Some people will opt to enter the proposal project into Abtrac and it will start as ‘unbillable’. That way the time and costs associated with it do not show in invoice preparation reports. Once a proposal becomes billable, you can tick the billable box and it will turn into a billable project.

Others start the project immediately as a billable project and when it is confirmed e.g. with the return of the agreement, they either leave the WIP to date and try to recover it, or they write it off so the project starts ‘clean’ from the confirmation date. In this case we recommend using Project Status to determine between projects that are still at the proposal stage, and those that have been accepted and can be invoiced.

Only a certain percentage of all proposals will go ahead. But it’s important to analyse your proposals in the same way you analyse your other billable projects. Abtrac users who keep a close eye on proposal projects can often reduce the time spent tendering, and increase the percentage of proposals that are approved.

Non-Current Projects

When a project is finished, you will archive the files. In Abtrac mark it as Non-Current. Likewise if a proposal is not accepted, mark it as Non- Current.

When projects are made Non-Current, they are filtered out of reports and drop down lists. No further project costs can be added to them.

But a Non-Current, Billable Project will still appear in current ‘WIP to be Invoiced’ reports if there is any unbilled WIP against the project. To remove this WIP, it should either be assigned to an existing invoice for the project, or a new write off invoice should be raised. This also applies to proposals that were initially entered as billable.

DO NOT make a billable project not billable just to remove it from reports. If you take the tick out of the billable box Abtrac will treat this project as NEVER having been billable and historical reports will be distorted.

Notifications

The ‘Notifications’ button takes you to the ‘Send Notification’ page from where you can send notifications regarding the project to your employees.

Reports

The ‘Reports’ button takes you to the ‘Reports’ page from where you can view and print various performance reports for the project.

Synchronise with Accounting Package

The ‘Synchronise with Accounting Package’ button takes you to the ‘Match this Project with your Accounting System’ pop up box, from where you can synchronise the project with a selected accounting package.

Clone Project

The ‘Clone Project’ button takes you to the ‘Clone Project’ pop up box where you can select the options to clone into a new project.

Add New Project

The ‘Add New Project’ button lets you create a new project or proposal.

Delete

The ‘Delete’ button lets you delete the project if there are no related records. If there are related records, the ‘Project Details Related Data’ pop up box appears which gives a list of related records and prompts you to delete them before deleting the project.

Clear Sync Status

The ‘Clear Sync Status’ button automatically deletes the sync status of the project if the project is already synchronised with an accounting package.

Save Project Details

The ‘Save Project Details’ button saves the entries in the project details page.

Project Code

Project codes are alphabetical or numeric, or a mixture of both. Even though Abtrac automatically generates the Project Code, it can be over-written at any time. The only thing that will prevent you entering a project code is if the same code has been used for another project.

To set the incremental numbers for project codes you can manage this through the Administration >> Settings >> Invoice and other office settings pages. You can set your project Code preferences through the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings page.

Proposal Number (System Generated)

Proposal codes are alphabetical or numeric, or a mixture of both. These are also potential billable projects. You still want to recover money for them but you’re just not sure if you can yet.

To set the incremental numbers for proposal codes you can manage this through the Administration >> Settings >> Invoice and other office settings pages.

You can set your proposal Code preferences through the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings page.

Confirmed Date

When was the project/proposal confirmed.

Current

Indicates if this is an item of interest i.e. still in progress. If not, make it non-current to reduce the numbers of items in lists for quicker timesheets, reporting, and any other areas that require a list of projects.

Billable

Are you going to invoice anyone for this work.

At Work

In timesheets and in productivity reports we can report percentages chargeable based on several quotients.

If someone is supposed to work 40 hours in a standard week but they work a total of 45 hours in a week, being 36 hours chargeable, 1 hour admin/meetings and 8 hours annual leave then we have various ways of expressing their productivity.

Standard hours are 40, so % chargeable based on standard hours is 36/40 = 90% chargeable

Total Hours are 45, so % chargeable based on total hours is 36/45 = 80% chargeable

But 8 hours was annual leave, so % chargeable based on ‘At Work’ hours is 36/37 = 97.3% chargeable (assuming the 8 hours annual leave was entered against and annual leave project code which would be one of a small number of special project codes which are not ‘At Work’).

If you have a look at any of the timesheet entry screens you will see all 3 quotients at the bottom of the timesheet.

The ‘At Work’ tick is applied to relevant jobs in the Job Details page, as below. As users enter time against a project they don’t need to do anything specific.

Project Details page

Jobs that wouldn’t be ‘At Work’ would be Annual Leave, Public Holidays and other codes where the employee is on the payroll but not doing anything work or admin related.

Synchronised

Indicates if this project has been synchronised with your accounting package during an invoice upload process or by clicking the synchronise button.

Open Project

Within Abtrac there’s an option to restrict employees to projects they are specifically assigned to. This is used where you want some people entering their timesheets to only see selected projects e.g. you want a subcontractor or part-timer to enter their own timesheets but you only want them to see the project they’re supposed to be working on. 

It is managed by a combination of the user group the person is in, coupled with entering their name in the Project People list for a particular project, then finally making sure there is no tick in the Open Projects tick box. If there is a tick in the Open Projects tick box, then anyone can enter time to the project.

But whether the Open Project has a tick in it or not, it will only affect people where “Limit To Employee’s Projects” is ticked in user group management, otherwise the Open Project setting will have no effect.

Sign Off Required

This indicates if there is a requirement for this Project timesheets to be signed off by an administrator or third party person.

Project Description

This is how you would talk about the project/proposal in the office. You normally don’t use numbers to talk about the projects in person. An example description would be an abbreviated address or some descriptive text.

Project Owner

Who is the person primarily responsible for this project.

Project owner is a name that your organisation can change in the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings area. Sometimes it will be manager, director, or something similar.

If you cannot see someone in the list or want to remove someone, the owners are managed through the Administration >> Employees >> Owners section.

Projects Owner 2

Who is second in command for this project.

Project owner 2 is a secondary name that your organisation can change in the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings area. Sometimes it will be manager, director, or something similar.

If you cannot see someone in the list or want to remove someone, the owners are managed through the Administration >> Employees >> Owners section.

Project Status

The status of every project can be maintained as it progresses from inception to completion and beyond.

The list of status can be managed through the Administration >> Maintenance >> Project Status screen.

Project Type

The Project Types is where you can enter the types of projects the business wants to classify its work by.

The list of types can be managed through the Administration >> Maintenance >> Project Types screen.

Comments

Are there any additional comments you want to make about this project.

Project Address

This section allows you to say exactly where the project is and you can show it on google maps if you have this enabled.

Address 1, Address 2, City, State/Region, Post Code, Country, Latitude, Longitude

Address details similar to what you will see in mapping programs such as navigation software or Google Maps.

Other Details

Comments about the address

View In Google Maps

Opens the address in google maps if the format is correct.

Interactive Google Maps

Shows you the address and allows you to see other projects within a certain radius of this selected project. You can also update the latitude and longitude from this screen.

Append Address

Appends the address 1 and 2 to the project description field.

Scope

Scope of the project

Creation Date

This is the date that you first found out about the project/proposal. This doesn’t mean it’s the date that you start any work.

Expected Start

When do you expect to start the work.

Expected Completion

When do you expect to finish the work.

Actual Completion

When did you actually complete the work.

Stage Required

Are stages/tasks required in timesheets.

The default tick for this is coming from the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings section, but you can overwrite this on a project by project basis.

Activity Required

Are activities required in timesheets.

The default tick for this is coming from the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings section but you can overwrite this on a project by project basis.

Work Item Required

Are work items required in timesheets.

The default tick for this is coming from the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings section but you can overwrite this on a project by project basis.

Comment Required

Are comments required in timesheets.

The default tick for this is coming from the Administration >> Settings >> System Settings section but you can overwrite this on a project by project basis.

Office

What office does this project belong too.

Team

What team is responsible for this project.

Department

What department is responsible for this project.

Win/Loss Reason

Project Win/Loss reason

Work Source

What source did you get this work from.

Work sources can be managed from the Administration >> Maintenance >> Work Source screen.

Work Source Details

What further details about the work source are there.

Work source details can be managed from the Administration >> Maintenance >> Work Source screen.

Referred From

Who referred you this project.

Your referees can be managed through the Administration >> Maintenance >> Referred from Screen.

Next Milestone Date

When is the next milestone for this project.

Next Milestone

What’s happening on this date.

All milestones can be found in the Clients, Contacts, Projects menu option under Project Milestones.

File Path

Default file path can be set up using the Browse button, so that users can find the folders and soft copy files with details and related information regarding the project.

To use this feature, you need to install a Google Chrome Extension https://support.abtrac.com/2018/08/31/abtrac-job-documents/

Follow Up Date

Date by which to follow up on the proposal status

Follow Person

The employee who does the follow up

Follow Up Notes

Notes regarding the follow up

Abtrac V5 Desktop and Browser V3 End of Life Notice

If you currently use AbtracOnline, this article can be ignored. This is for the few users still using the old desktop system that haven’t upgraded since the new version came out in 2014.

Due to Microsoft software updates increasingly affecting Abtrac V5, we are unable to guarantee the old desktop version of Abtrac will continue to function. To save any frustration for yourself and your staff members, from March 31st 2023, we will no longer be supporting the Version 5 instance of Abtrac and the accompanying Abtrac V3 browser.

Between now and then, you can upgrade for free to our cloud instance of Abtrac Online, which has been available since 2014. For more details, contact us at support@abtrac.com  or call Pamela to discuss options and book a time for an upgrade.  Read more about the process of an upgrade here, or take a look at AbtracOnline and our pricing structure here.

As you will see on our website, Abtrac is Xero accredited. Through our API, we are able to do things with Xero that their affiliated products cannot. We are also MYOB certified developers and link to MYOB Essentials, MYOB Business and MYOB AccountRight. Abtrac is a Microsoft Developer Partner being the only product of our type on the Microsoft Marketplace down under.

As a valued customer, we hope you do move to AbtracOnline. Abtrac is a mature product, fully cloud-based, with thousands of people logging into it every day across New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Canada and elsewhere.

Glossary: Client People

This page briefly explains all the fields available on the Client People Page.

Every client can have many persons of interest. In Abtrac, these are managed in the Client People screen.

You can search people from Clients, Contacts & Jobs >> Search People.

Most of the fields here should be self-explanatory but below are some further explanations.

First Name: The First name of the person

Last Name: The Last name of the person       

Title: Such as Mr, Dr, Miss etc

Role: The person’s role in the organisation

Phone: The person’s phone number

Mobile: The person’s mobile number

Email: The person’s email address

Address: This is the address description for where the people belong to

Current: Indicates if this person is a person of interest. E.g. Do they still work at the organisation

Main Contact: The person who is the main contact for the client. The main contact will be the person shown in the Job template report.

Mail Merge:  Ticking the mail merge allows a user to be added to the list of people in the Contact Group Management screen. This screen is designed to get lists of people for emailing in groups. From Clients, Contacts & Jobs >> Contact Group Management.

Accounts Contact: Is this the person who is the accounts contact for the client

Comments: Any comments associated with the person. I.e. “This person replaced Brian when Brian was on leave”.

Contact Groups: What contact groups does this person belong to? This can be used for exporting groups of people from different organisations. An example of use for this would be for Christmas Cards

Glossary: Client Address

This page briefly explains all the fields available on the Client Address Page.

Every client can potentially have many addresses for site addresses, deliveries, invoicing etc. In Abtrac, these are managed in the Client Addresses screen.

You can search addresses from Clients, Contacts & Jobs >> Search People.

Most of the fields here should be self-explanatory but below are some further explanations.

Address Description: The Address description is a way to differentiate between addresses. Abtrac users typically put in things like “Normal Billing Address” or “North End Branch Address” if a client has more than one branch in town. Another example is the difference between the “Site Address” and the “Office Address”.

This field is handy when selecting address quickly for the Client Invoice Defaults, Job Billing Details, and Invoicing.

Current: This indicates whether the address is a place of interest no longer used.

Main Address: This indicates the address most frequently used by the client when there are multiple addresses.

Copy Delivery To Postal: The Copy Delivery to Postal option lets you enter the delivery address, then clicking Copy Delivery to Postal, copies it to the Postal Address, saving double entry.

Address lines 1-5 and Post Code: Since Abtrac is used globally, there are different formats of address terms, such as the states, provinces, city, town etc., for different countries.

We have allowed you to use whatever fields you like in your invoice, account rendered, receipt and other templates.

Glossary: Client Invoice Defaults

This page briefly explains all the fields available on the Client Invoice Defaults Page.

For more complicated fields, there will be links provided to supporting articles.

What are Client Invoice Defaults:

Invoice Defaults are used to populate the Client Details of an invoice when generating an invoice for this client.

Should you use Client Invoice Defaults or Job/Project Billing Details?

When there is one set of criteria for invoices, regardless of how many Jobs/Projects there are created for this Client, you can use the Client Invoice Defaults.

However, in most cases, Job Billing Details are used for this information as there are more options available. For people using only basic invoicing features, then Client Invoice Defaults is a good alternative.

What if I have entered information into both?

The rule of thumb is that if conflicting Job Billing Details are entered, the Job Billing Details will take precedence over the invoice defaults.

If there are no Job Billing Details, then Invoice Defaults will be used.

Invoice Alternate Name: Used if the invoice name is different from the client name

Invoice Recipient: This selection box will automatically populate all the recipient details if you have entered information in the Client People Screen.

Invoice Recipient Role: The role of the person who receives the invoice.

Invoice Recipient Email: Email address used for who will be sent the invoice. You can add multiple people by separating them with a semicolon (the same as Outlook or Gmail).

Client GST/ABN: The client’s own GST/ABN number if they require you to show it on the invoice.

Invoice Default Address: This selection box will automatically populate all the address details if you have entered information in the Client Address Screen.

Postal Line 1: Postal Address to show on the invoice.

Postal Line 2: Postal Address to show on the invoice.

Postal Line 3: Postal Address to show on the invoice.

Postal Line 4: Postal Address to show on the invoice.

Postal Line 5: Postal Address to show on the invoice.

Post Code: Postal Code to show on the invoice.

Purchase Order Required: Indicates whether a purchase order is required when creating a Job/Project.

Default Purchase Order: The default purchase order when creating a Job.

Never Add GST: If ticked, the invoice won’t add GST unless you specifically change the option on the invoice.

Invoice Terms: This allows the terms to be specific to the client rather than the system default invoice terms.

Due Date Calculation: This allows the due date to be specific to the client rather than the invoice system settings’ default due date.

Day/s: This allows the day’s calculation to be specific to the client rather than the invoice system settings’ default invoice days calculation.

Glossary: Client Details

This page briefly explains all the fields available on the Client Details Page.

For more complicated fields, there will be links provided to supporting articles.

Name: This is the Client name, Contact name, or Sub-Consultant name you want to manage through Abtrac.

Abbreviation: A short form of text for the Client Name used in the timesheet screen for faster entry for the user. The abbreviation is also used in some reports where space is at a premium.

System Code: The System Code is an alphanumeric field that is mandatory.

The default number is set from the Administration >> Settings >> Invoice and other office settings section in Abtrac.

In this screen, you can set an initial client number for one office under the option you have marked as the “Default Invoice Setting” or set specific numbers for each “invoice and other office setting”. The place to set the default is controlled under the “Next Client Number”.

If you prefer an alphanumeric code, you will need to make them up and manage them yourself each time you enter a client.

The system code is there because many Abtrac businesses link their Abtrac data and invoices with their accounting system. The system code is one way of providing a unique link, so the two systems always match up. It also enables Abtrac to manage the differences between two clients who have the same name.

If you aren’t sure what to enter as a system code, leave it alone, and Abtrac will automatically give it a number. Later on, you can change this data if needed.

Creation Date: The date the client was created, defaulting to the date the entry was added.

Current: This represents if the client is someone you are currently working with. It is recommended to mark all clients you no longer work with as non-current to minimise the amount of data Abtrac and your staff need to go through when searching, entering time, and generating reports.

Billable: States whether this is a billable client or a non-billable contact.

You are recommended to set yourself us as a non-billable contact so you can record time against yourself.

This client is used for admin time, sick leave, annual leave, training, etc. These are all set up as individual jobs/projects for yourself.

Synchronised: Indicates if the client has been synchronised with your accounting package during an invoice upload process or by clicking the synchronise button.

Learn more about your accounting packages here

Is a sub-consultant: You can use sub-consultants in Abtrac if you outsource work to third parties and need to manage them over the duration of one or more projects.

Read more about sub-consultants here.

Work This Sub-Consultant Does: Work This Subconsultant records the sub-consultants type of work. Bu classifying this here, you can subsequently query all sub-consultants who do the same type of work.

Client Owner: Is an employee that takes responsibility for this client. Client Owner is a displayed name that you can set to something that means something to you. An example of a reason to change this is to change it to ‘Principal’ or ‘Director.’

The screen to set who can be a client owner is found in Administration >> Employees Owners.

The area to set the displayed client owner name is under Administration >> Settings >> System Settings. Make sure you are in the Clients and Jobs/Projects tab on the left, then down the page in the section For Display on Forms and Reports.

Client Owner 2: This is the same as Client Owner 1 but a second option.

Client Type: Client type allows you to create a list of client types so they can be allocated to each client. This will allow you to see what clientele you are attracting to your business.

To maintain your list of client types, go to Administration >> Maintenance >> Client Rating.

Client Rating: Client Rating will allow you to set up a rating scale for your clients.

To maintain your client ratings, go to Administration >> Maintenance >> Client Type

Office: Shows what office this client belongs to. This can be left blank, so you can leave this unless you manage multiple offices and want to know differences during reporting or restrict employees by their office.

Is Master Client: If you tick a client as a master client, this tells Abtrac that this client can become a parent company for other clients. You then use the selection box to associate other clients with them by selecting their names from the drop-down list.

Is Master Client: Indicates if this client is a master client with ‘child client’ associated with it.

Master Client: This shows the client associated with this master client.

Comments: Whatever comments you want to associate with a client. E.g. “formerly called XZY Limited but changed their name in 20XX”, or “These guys are really bad payers, so contact Jo if you have any queries from them or requests for more work”.

Abtrac Roadmap from September 2021 onwards

The roadmap for Abtrac is here. We would like to say a big thank you to all our clients who have helped us formulate this plan with your good ideas and suggestions on improvements and new features you want to see in Abtrac.

Without dragging this out, here are our plans for the future development of the software.

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How to exclude Abtrac from LastPass Autofill

Password Managers are fantastic things when they do their job., They help you so you don’t have to remember hundreds of passwords. However when they try to be smarter than you have asked them to be it becomes very frustrating!

In Abtrac we have found more and more people are using LastPass (we use this also) but it has started to become a nuisance for people when it tries to fill information in the Grid search bars and also on some forms. Here is how to turn that feature off for Abtrac (and other sites if you wish).

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Two Factor Authentication

Two Factor Authentication or Multi-factor authentication

When using Abtrac two factor authentication, a code will be sent to the user’s email address which is required to be entered before gaining access to Abtrac. This will confirm the device they are working on is a trusted device.

Each user can opt to remember this device for 30 days or they can get a new code every time they login in.

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Cloning Tasks/Stages/Phases

A Job/Project Task is the bit of the job you are working on – and can budget against. Sometimes they are called Stages or Phases.

What if I use the same tasks all the time?

When you set up Abtrac we recommend you create a non-billable client for your own company, and within that client you can setup some template jobs and assign the tasks which are structured with the details of the most common types of jobs you undertake.

Once you have template job and tasks created, each time you create a new client job you can choose to Copy Tasks from the template job to the new job.

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Cloning Jobs/Projects

If you find that you work on the same types of jobs/projects and some of the information is the replicated from one job to another, then you can use the Clone Job/Project feature in AbtracOnline. This will simply duplicate the job and selected details and save the job to the existing jobs client.

You can setup template jobs/projects for the different types of work you do and then clone these jobs when you have a real job of the same type.

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Cloning Timesheets

If you find that you work on the same clients and projects from one week to the next you can use a previous timesheet as a template and save some data entry time.

The clone feature will copy across the client, job, task, and activity but it will not copy the units or the comment.

Here’s how to clone all the clients, projects, and tasks from one week to the next.

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Abtrac Job/Project Templates

Abtrac Job/Project Templates aka Proposals, Fee Estimates, and Mail Merge Documents allow you to create templates that contain information from Abtrac such as client, job/project and task details that can be intertwined with other information, such as your proposals or mail merge type documents.

How it works is you create the different report types that you use i.e. proposal, letter of engagement etc., and within those reports, you add different sections with the required information.

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