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

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.

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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.

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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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Actual vs Budget Reports

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.

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Non-Chargeable work – tracking administration and leave as jobs (projects)

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.

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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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Assigning time from multiple jobs to one invoice

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

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Job/Project Forecast

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.

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Splitting Invoices

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.

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