In Abtrac, you can restrict non-admin users from entering time for specific tasks if your business needs to do so.Continue reading
Open Job (or project, depending on your Abtrac naming convention) is simply, a tick box in the Job Details page which can be used to keep a job open or closed to some employees.Continue reading
In Abtrac, you can choose to activate Interactive Google Maps as required to search and track projects with Google Maps.Continue reading
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
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
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.
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.
Once you have started using Tasks for your jobs/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 is a good idea to assign the item of work as a task to your job/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 had learnt after using Abtrac for that period of time that he was under-quoting and thus writing off to that extent on nearly every job/project.
We would 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.
When you set up Abtrac, we recommend you create a non-billable client for your own company.
For this client, enter all the administrative and leave jobs(projects) that your staff may use, and any jobs that you would like to track time against.
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.
It is possible to assign multiple jobs/projects to an invoice where a client has multiple jobs/projects belonging to them.
You use this feature to write off time or to create a single invoice with multiple jobs.
- Create a new invoice or load an invoice for a client that has multiple jobs/projects. Go to Invoices >> Load Invoices
- One job will be selected to start with. This will be the ‘master job’ for the invoice.
- You can select a subsequent job to assign to the invoice, using the combo box (shown below).
- With that new job selected, create a new invoice line and assign any time to the new invoice line.
- The line could be totally blank i.e. no narration and no amount assigned
- Or the line can have amounts and narrations as per a standard invoice
This feature enables you to forecast fees and resources (hours) for a period estimated in the Tasks/Stages/Phases screen.
When you provide the estimated Start date and End date of a Task, Job Forecast will disperse the estimated fees and hours within the given period on a monthly basis.
You can then edit them and forecast the resources in a way that suits your cash flow. You can even forecast the Subtask resources for each Task.
Sometimes a job/project needs to be split and invoiced to multiple parties with the invoices containing the same invoice line details.
Within Abtrac, you will create the first invoice with the total amount and then split that invoice and amount between multiple parties.
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:
Where to enter job/project budgets, as fee estimates, percentages or building the scope with detailed estimates by employee
How to set up templates and clone frequently used tasks when creating new jobs/projects
Scope Creep Notifications. How to enable a warning on timesheets when task budgets are exceeded
For job/project management and billing estimates
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 detailsContinue reading
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.