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 ‘project s’ 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 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 projectstarts

‘clean’ from the confirmation date. In this case we recommend using Project Status to determine between project 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 projectcosts 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.

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 trough 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 trough 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 timeheets 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, 2 hours 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.

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 a 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 them 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 cetain 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 projectdescription field.

Scope

 

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 overwite 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 overwite 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 overwite 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.

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

Whats 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 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/

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”.

Search and Track Projects with Google Maps

The Google Maps integration is new feature to link and track your jobs spatially.

It lets you pinpoint the longitude & latitude of a project, you can save these locations to your Abtrac datafile and then search for other pinned jobs within a radius of the selected project.

The Google Maps interface is an add-on module to your subscription, subject to a monthly fee. Basic Google Maps is free for all Abtrac users. More details on how to use both these features and subscribe to interactive maps are included below.

Continue reading

Managing Project Numbers

Project Numbers in Abtrac can be as complex or as simple as your company requires.

Project Numbers are managed in two locations from the Administration Settings screens.

From Administration >> Settings >> Invoice Settings you can determine the next Project Number.

You’ll need to scroll down past the Invoice Setttings and Templates in order to maximise the ‘Client, Project, Proposal, Purchase Order Numbering’ Tab.

Project Numbers can also have a prefix, suffix, and separator.

These options and the name you use for a Project (Job, etc) are managed from Administration >> Settings >> System Settings.

Continue reading

Managing Invoice Line Groups

In Abtrac, you can easily manage the positioning and grouping of various invoice lines.

Go to Administration >> Settings >> Invoice Line Control Settings to edit your Invoice Line Control Settings. Here you can edit the invoice line types, enable grand total for progress claim invoice, enter a grant total footer narration, edit different control labels, etc.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Managing Access to Abtrac by Employee Office

It is possible to limit access for Abtrac users by office, enabling them to only view and edit offices to which they have been assigned.

This is useful to help employees find information related to their particular office, or even if you have multiple companies within the one Abtrac data file, it helps keep your companies separated.

We recommend that if you are interested in using this feature, you satisfy yourself that all relevant data in Abtrac has an office assigned.

If you have been using multiple offices for some time this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you are new to multiple offices or otherwise wary of data inaccuracies, then the Abtrac support team are available for consulting to ensure accuracy and a smooth transition.

Continue reading

Creating and Managing Tasks aka 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)

Tasks are the most efficient and effective way to measure and manage your jobs.

Generally, your job 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.

There are quite a few key details to get your tasks set up and working the way you need them.
If you are new to tasks and budgeting in Abtrac, then it’s a good idea to read through this article from start to finish, but we have also summarised the key components below for quick reference:

About Tasks, Sub Tasks

Where to enter job/project budgets, as fee estimates, percentages or building the scope with detailed estimates by employee

Template Tasks

How to set up templates and clone frequently used tasks when creating new jobs/projects

Configuring the layout of the Tasks screen

.

Making Tasks Mandatory in Timesheets

.

Renaming Tasks to Stages – Phases – or something else

.

Task Threshold Warnings

Scope Creep Notifications. How to enable a warning on timesheets when task budgets are exceeded

Entering Progress Assessments

For job/project management and billing estimates

Managing Variations

And reporting on variations by using the Actual vs Budget by Job/Project, Task and Additional Values report

Click on the links above, or read on for details

Continue reading

How to Archive data (make items non-current)

How does making items non-current help you

Simple, fewer pieces of information to load means you will have a faster system.

Screens such as the searches, timesheet entries, invoices, and some reports all load with the current data that is available in the system, so it’s pretty straightforward to think that making items non-current will give you a quicker response for all these pages.

Continue reading