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.
Tasks 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.
If 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