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.
Getting started with your invoicing normally starts with a few reports to see who you are invoicing and for how much. This can then be checked with job (project) managers to confirm they are ready to invoice the clients and if they are happy with the amounts.
There are two basic reports that can get you going. Unbilled Work Quick Summary and Timesheet Entries.
Before you start using Actual vs Budget reports it’s useful to understand where the data they display comes from. We’ve included a definition for the relevant columns, (including an example calculation where applicable) in this article, to be read side by side with Creating and managing tasks, and Actual vs Budget Reports.
The Timesheet Entries report shows : timesheet comments, timesheet units and the total charge/cost extension for each timesheet line. It also provides detailed entries for employee and company disbursements.
There are quite a few variations on the ‘basic’ timesheet entries report with options for lots of different filters, groups and sub-groupings.