Creating a Purchase Order

A purchase order can only be created for an entity we call a Sub-Consultant.

Sub-consultants and contractors are managed and linked to projects in Abtrac through the tasks module.

Before creating purchase orders you’ll need to have created Sub consultants within Abtrac. For more information on Sub consultants and sub consultant invoices please refer to this knowledgebase article.

Continue reading

Managing Sub-consultants

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.

They may submit invoices for you to authorise and pass on directly to your client for payment. Alternately they may submit invoices to you which you pay and then you invoice your client as if the sub-consultant is part of your team. At that stage you may also apply a margin to the sub-consultant invoice.

The essential feature is they are submitting their claims as a series of creditor invoices as they work through their contract requirements on projects for your clients. You need to know what they have already invoiced, what is this particular invoice for, and how does it fit within the contract agreements you have with them.

Continue reading

Employee Charge Rates: Specific Rates

Employee Charge Rates in Abtrac can be as simple or as flexible as required.

It’s possible to enter unique charge rates for specific clients, jobs, projects, tasks, stages or activities. These unique rates will override the default charge rate for the specified employees (or in the case of activities the rates will apply for all employees)

Here’s how to ensure you have the right charge rates in the right location for your billing requirements.

There’s a bit of a hierarchy as to which rate is applied when, read on for details.

Continue reading

Tasks or Activities, Which should I use?

One Frequently asked question from new Abtrac users is whether to use Tasks or Activities in their timesheets.

Here’s the difference between the two: Tasks are Quantitative, Activities are not.

Tasks are where you enter the budget for the job.

2016_TasksTasks are also sometimes called Stages or Phases.

They should be exactly the same as budget items on the fee agreement you document to the client.

You give each task an estimate of both time and fees, and then analyse them later using reports such as Actual vs Budget by Task, or Invoice Preparation Information Report. These reports compare your proposed amounts, time spent, and amount invoiced.

You can learn from them over time to see how good staff are in getting through work allotted to them as well as how good you are in your estimates. If necessary you can modify your thinking and estimating to more correctly budget the next job based on what you’ve learnt from previous jobs.

Examples of Tasks (depending on your line of work): Concept Design, Feasibility Study, Developed Design, Media Monitoring

Activities are not Quantitative.

2016_Activities.pngIf Tasks are the bits of the job you’re working on, Activities are what you’re doing on each bit.

Really activities are to save you typing the same comments over and over again.

There are limited reports based on activities other than those used when reviewing timesheet entries and preparing descriptions for invoice lines.

Activities are generic across all jobs whereas tasks and the values associated with them are very much specific to a particular job, especially when there are variations and extras on a job by job basis.

Examples of Activities (again depending on your line of work): Office Work, Travel, Research, Meetings, Site Visit

Continue reading

Bulk Edit Timesheets

This screen is useful when you need to update timesheet details in bulk, it eliminates the need to open and edit individual users timesheets .

This timesheets maintenance screen is most typically used in the following situations:

  • Updating Employee rates
  • Editing Stage/Task or Activities that have been incorrectly assigned
  • Changing the job code an employee is assigning time to
  • To check if/when timesheets have been billed and
  • To check which invoice the WIP has been assigned
  • To obtain data not available in performance reports for specific employees, in particular to view timesheet data for employees who are no longer current.

Continue reading

Flexible Timesheet Layouts with User Control Settings

We talk timesheets every day with our clients and we understand there’s often a bit of resistance to that dreaded daily data entry.

Some companies use incentives, and some use penalties to ensure that accurate timesheets are entered. But another technique for getting comprehensive timesheets – is just to make it really easy to enter the data.

We’re preaching to the converted a little bit here – if you’re reading this email then you’re already using a pretty flexible and simple timesheet entry system 🙂 But have you tailored your timesheet layout specifically for your staff and jobs? Or are you still using the ‘off-the-shelf’ layout?

Take time to adjust your Timesheet Control Settings in Abtrac and make your daily data entry just that little bit simpler. Continue reading

Timesheet Entries 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.

Continue reading

Write Offs and Profitability Reports

Some management reports in Abtrac review data by invoice, others do it by individual invoice lines. In particular some Employee Profitability, Fees Earned, and Write Off reports go into this detail.

If you want to analyse write offs (ons) at the employee or invoice level then the method you use to write off time is important.

When choosing an existing invoice line to assign WIP you need to be aware that this write off time will affect these reports. And reports already circulated will then have different recovery numbers which will obviously confuse some people.

Continue reading

Bulk Edit Timesheets

This Abtrac5 screen is useful when you need to update timesheet details in bulk, it eliminates the need to open and edit individual users timesheets .

Perhaps an employee has entered time for the month against an incorrect project code.
Or as a project progresses the decision is made to split an existing stage into two.
Maybe you need to update charge rates for time already entered, or check the WIP assigned date on timelines.

The bulk edit timesheets screen allows you to quickly filter all timesheet records and update the entries that need adjusted.
Continue reading