Managing Access to Abtrac by Employee Office

It is possible to limit access for Abtrac users by office, enabling them to only view and edit offices to which they have been assigned.

This is useful to help employees find information related to their particular office, or even if you have multiple companies within the one Abtrac data file, it helps keep your companies separated.

We recommend that if you are interested in using this feature, you satisfy yourself that all relevant data in Abtrac has an office assigned.

If you have been using multiple offices for some time this shouldn’t be an issue, but if you are new to multiple offices or otherwise wary of data inaccuracies, then the Abtrac support team are available for consulting to ensure accuracy and a smooth transition.

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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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Scaled Cost Rates

If you are using AbtracOnLine reports for KPI’s it’s possible to balance the reporting of employees working overtime by looking at scaled cost rates.

Scaled cost rates spread an employee cost across their actual hours worked, as opposed to cost rates which work with the required hours for the period.

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The following reports in Abtrac include an option for scaled cost rates:

  • Invoice Listing
  • Invoices vs Time and Disbursements by Project
  • Fees & Cost by Employee, Client & Project

Scaled Cost Rates are a modified version of the cost rate. They effectively scale back the cost rate across an excessive number of hours to those specified in an employees required units per timesheet.

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Bulk Edit Timesheets

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

This timesheet 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
  • To obtain data not available in performance reports for specific employees, in particular, to view timesheet data for employees who are no longer current.

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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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