Set up guide: Administrators

Whether you are evaluating a trial version or getting ready to go live with Abtrac, you’ll need to adjust some settings before you get started.

Typically your Abtrac account will have no customised settings when you first login.

This article contains a step by step guide for administrators – directing you page by page to verify that the settings in Abtrac suit your company’s needs.

Getting help to set up Abtrac

If you sign up to training as part of your Abtrac installation we’ll guide you through all of the admin and settings screens in a 1 (or 2) hour session (depending on your requirements). We’ll answer questions, look at examples and help tailor Abtrac to best fit how you work.

People are often time-poor so usually we are asked to assist with most of the steps below to help you achieve a quick and easy implementation of Abtrac.

Everyday support

It is in both our interests to have you start your Abtrac experience with the minimum of stress and disruption, so we’re always pleased to help when asked.

Abtrac includes free email and telephone support. In fairness to everyone else who may want help we reserve the right to distinguish between a technical issue, support request and a training requirement. If we feel that your issue is not support but rather a training issue we may suggest booking a training session.

Our free support lines are available in Australia and New Zealand. Support calls are limited to 15 minutes per call in fairness to everyone else who may also want help at that time.

Telephone calls will be answered in real time when at all possible between 8:30am and 4:00pm AEST and AEDT, and between 9:00am and 5:00pm NZST and NZDT on any working day.

Administration: Settings

Choices and configurations in the Administration screens affect how Abtrac looks and behaves for all users.

From Administration > Settings > choose from: System Settings, Office Details, Invoice and Other Office Settings, User Control Settings and Invoice Line Control Settings.

System Settings

Administration >> Settings >> System Settings in Abtrac is further segmented into six sub-menu choices: Clients and Projects, Timesheets, Invoices, Debtor Management, Employees and Miscellaneous Configuration.

An example of each screen and links to detailed descriptions are included here.

System Settings: Clients and Jobs

Clients and Jobs settings include the names you use for jobs, tasks, owners and managers. It also includes job code and proposal numbering rules, the required fields for jobs and tasks, choices for proposal tracking, project budget warnings, job file locations, proposal and quote documents, search options, and more.

View all the System settings for Clients and Jobs here

System Settings: Timesheets

Timesheet settings include the standard units of time, length and dates for timesheet periods. It also includes how jobs display in timesheets, required fields for entering time, prompts for job budegts and rules for locking and cloning time. Choices for disbursement settings are also included here.

View all the System settings for Timesheets here

System Settings: Invoices

Invoice settings include how time is assigned to invoice lines, disbursement or invoice margin options, what happens when autogenerating invoice lines. You can also choose settings for generating invoices, additional reference fields and determine how invoices are emailed from Abtrac.

Invoice settings work in conjunction with your choices and settings in the Invoice and Other Office Settings, and Invoice Line Control settings menus.

View all the System settings for Invoices here

System Settings: Debtor Management

Debtor Management settings include a default payment receipt comment, and the option to hide small value accounts when generating Accounts Rendered statements.

System Settings: Employees

Employee settings include choosing the sort order/display order for employee names, security settings for all licensed users, and timesheet reminder emails. Employee settings work in conjunction with your choices and settings in the Employees menu .

View all the System settings for Employees here

System Settings: Miscellaneous Configuration

Lock dates

In Abtrac you can set a date in Administration >> Settings >> System Settings >> Miscellaneous Configuration to prevent any entries in your database being entered before this date.

Read about using Locking for Abtrac data here

Customising date formats – dd Mmm Yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy

You can also select a date format here. This will determine how a user can enter dates elsewhere in Abtrac. Choose from a text or numerical format.

Office Details

Your office information is stored under Administration >> Settings >> Office Details.

In Abtrac you can manage and report on multiple branches/offices. These offices can also be applied to each employee, job or project and carried through to invoicing and analysis. Where multiple offices are created, you must choose one as the default office.

View details on using and reporting on multiple offices in Abtrac here

Invoice and Other Office Settings

Invoice and Other Office settings include invoice settings for invoice numbering, terms, narrations, tax and accounting. Templates for invoices, invoice attachments and supplements, accounts rendered, purchase orders, and receipts are here too. This is also where you determine the numbering sequence for invoices, clients, projects, proposals, and purchase orders.

In Abtrac you can manage multiple offices, with each office/branch optionally invoicing separately. As such you can also have more than one invoice setting configuration in Abtrac.

Invoice and Other Office settings work in conjunction with your choices and settings in the System Settings: Invoice settings, and Invoice Line Control settings menus.

View all the Invoice and Other Office settings here

Email Settings

Templates for sending emails are stored under Administration >> Settings >> Email Settings.

In Abtrac you can manage different email templates for multiple documents.

The emails sent for Invoices, Invoice Reminders and Job Documents (including Proposals) are all managed from here.

View all the Email settings and how to set up templates here

User Control Settings

From Administration >> Settings >> User Control Settings you can control the column widths and fields in many of the common data entry screens.

This option is only available to administrative users, and the changes made here will determine the layout of pages for all users.

This is also where you can set required fields on some pages within Abtrac.

You’ll probably want to take a look at each of these screens to get a feel for how they look before you start editing the layout and available fields.

View all the User Control settings here

Invoice Line Control Settings

You can determine style options for each of the six different invoice lines types from Administration >> Settings >> Invoice Line Control Settings.

Styling controls of the invoice lines in Abtrac include: header and footer groupings and labels, subtotal options, currency and percentage symbol choices, variable column widths, indenting and invoice line widths, font sizing.

Everything inside your invoice is managed through these invoice line control settings, and by options selected in the add/edit invoice line window. The header and footer of your invoice is controlled by your invoice template.

Administration: Employees

The employees menu includes all your employee and login information, including rates and access rights.

From Administration > Employees > choose from:

Employee Details, Employee Specific Activity Rates, Employee Specific Rates, Owners, Login Management, User Group Management, Reimbursement of Disbursements, Employee Hierarchy, Employee Roles and Rates, Bulk Update Employee Rates.

An example of each screen and links to detailed descriptions are included below.

Employee Details

Employee details include default hours, standard charge and cost rates, any team and office associations, employees’ contact details and setting up timesheet reminder emails for the individual employee.

Employee details are usually linked to Employee Logins and User Group Management. Employees who are also Project Managers and Client Owners are managed through the Owners menu.

Employee details is not the place to manage the users you pay for in Abtrac – that’s here in the subscriptions page.

View all the settings for Employee details here

Login Management

Login management is where you create logins and apply access permissions to each employee.

Employee Logins are linked to Employee details and access permissions determined in User Group Management and Employee Hierarchy.

View the requirements for Employee login details here

User Group Management

User Group Management is where you create permission settings for all users logging in to Abtrac. It’s accessible from Administration > Employees > User Group Management.

The levels of access for your subscription are completely customisable. Users can have full access, read only, or no access. You can limit by office and projects, and hide financial/rate details. There are permission settings for all screens and menus in the system, including all reports and widgets.

To allow employees within a restricted group to see other timesheets you can also use Administration >> Employees >> Employee Hierarchy

View all the privilege options for user group management here

Employee Hierarchy

To allow employees within a restricted user group to see other employees timesheets and scheduled work you can use Administration >> Employees >> Employee Hierarchy.

When no hierarchy is selected employees in open user groups are able to view time and schedules for all other staff.

Where applicable this also allows the selected employee to see time for other staff in reports.

Select an employee from the drop down selection box and indicate whose timesheets and/or schedule the selected employee ‘Can See’.


The person responsible for a client and/or job(project) can be set up as an owner from the Employees menu.

You might call them Directors, Team Leaders, Principals, Project Managers, etc.

The default names in Abtrac are Client Owner, Client Owner 2, Job Owner, Job Owner 2.

Client Owner and Job Owner are used extensively in reporting to filter, group and sort data by who is responsible for the work.

See how to set up Client Owners, Job Managers and Project Leaders here

Employee Roles and Rates

From Employee Role and Rates you can assign internal roles to employees, and external roles to project contacts (and use roles for finding people based on their expertise)

You can also associate rates with your employee roles.

Read about Roles in Abtrac here

Read about Employee Charge Rates here

Rates associated with roles are used as a reference guide when adding/updating employee details.

You can also set activity specific rates based on role. These activity specific rates will apply automatically when adding a new employee and assigning the chosen role.

Read about Employee Specific Rates here

Bulk Update Employee Rates

Here you can update rates for all current employees in the system. Rate changes are not date specific and are effective from the moment they are made.

Employee Specific Rates

In this screen you can view and edit in bulk any Client or Job specific charge rates for employees.

Read about Employee Specific Rates here

Employee Specific Activity Rates

You can apply activity specific rates for selected employees.

This can replace or work alongside any activity specific rates based on a roles.

For example site visits might incur different rates for employees compared to desk based work.

Read about Employee Specific Rates here

Reimbursement of Disbursements

Employee out of pocket expenses can be tracked and managed through Abtrac.

From Administration >> Employees >> the Reimbursement of Disbursements menu allows you to check as paid all the employee disbursements entered.

See how to manage employee reimbursements here

Administration: Maintenance

The maintenance menus in Abtrac are where you enter all of your custom lists. You can enter fields for the following categories from the Administration > Maintenance menus

  • Activity
  • Category
  • Client Rating
  • Client Type
  • Default Notifications
  • Department
  • Diary Action
  • Disbursement
  • Employee Status
  • Generic Report Standards
  • Invoice Status
  • Job Billing Type
  • Job Status
  • Job Type
  • Job User Defined
  • Job Win Loss Reason
  • Planned Time State
  • Referred From
  • Task Status
  • Team
  • Timesheet Line Default Comments
  • Work Source
  • Write On Off Reasons

See how to create drop down lists from the Maintenance menus here

Import Data Management

When switching to Abtrac from another system you can bring your legacy data with you. You can choose to import the data yourself, or engage the Abtrac team to do it with you.

Read more about the options when migrating from your old system here

Once you’ve finished your Abtrac set up read our Getting started guides

Getting started for everyday users

Getting started for admin users

Abtrac KB# 1012

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