In Abtrac you can set up a third party sign off for a job if required. This feature comes useful if the job involves work at a third party site and requires a sign off/acknowledgement from someone at that site.
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.
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/Projectfeature 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.
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.