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.
A Project Task is the bit of the job you are working on – and can budget against. (Sometimes they are called Stages or Phases)
Tasks are the most efficient and effective way to measure and manage your projects.
Generally your project tasks will match those items detailed on your original fee proposal letter.
If you’re not sure whether you should be using tasks or activities then this article is a good place to start.
This article refers to the process of creating and assigning tasks in AbtracOnLine follow this link for the Abtrac 5 version
There are quite a few key details to get your tasks set up and working they way you need them.
If you’re new to tasks and budgeting in Abtrac then it’s a good idea to read through this article from start to finish, but we’ve also summarised the key components below for quick reference:
Where to enter project budgets, as fee estimates, percentages or building the scope with detailed estimates by employee
How to set up templates and clone frequently used tasks when creating new projects
Scope Creep Notifications. How to enable a warning on timesheets when task budgets are exceeded
For project management and billing estimates
And reporting on variations by using the Actual vs Budget by Project, Task and Additional Values report
Click on the links above, or read on for details
Once you’ve started using Tasks for your 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’s a good idea to assign the item of work as a task to your 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’d learnt after using Abtrac for that period of time that he was under-quoting and thus writing off to that extent on nearly every project.
We’d 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.