In 2014 a journey was started to enhance the getting started process and main process flows in accounting. Among the first deliverables was a re-designed dashboard – designed with the need in mind to easier manage day-to-day tasks and have immediate insight in the financials of your company. For professional services firms, we want to continue this journey and provide our users with a central starting point to manage key activities within these firms. Helping them to get started quickly and better manage their projects, resource capacity and billable utilization.
Better manage projects, capacity and utilization
A new interactive dashboard will be the starting point for key actions like creating new projects, approving time and leave entries, and generating invoices. It will also display key indicators such as billability, schedule accountability, budget progress, active projects and available capacity – all at a glance.
As from now the dashboard will be available in controlled release for all editions (Exact Online for Time & Billing and Project Management) and will soon be made available via Early Access – enabling you to test-drive this dashboard and provide immediate feedback. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Within the field of project management a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is used to structure deliverables and project work. The WBS is fundamental in budgeting, planning and progress reporting. It provides clarity and control to all involved. Exact Online Project Management facilitates project scoping using a WBS*. This blog post covers key enhancements made in Exact Online Project Management when using a WBS to budget work.
New: enhanced budget-to-planning process Now you can seamlessly plan budgeted activities using a default hour type**. Until now you had to decide on the relevant hour type when allocating an activity to an employee using the drag & drop capacity planning board. This was cumbersome as the planner was not always aware what the applicable bill rate was. Now when scoping a project a project manager may define the applicable hour type and this hour type is defaulted when allocating a planning entry. Once planned, an employee can copy planned activities in his or her timesheet. Saving time and reducing errors. For more information, have a look at the video below.
Coming soon: tree structure view of activities To ensure that employees track time against the right project activities we re-designed the WBS browser. Activities will be visually shown in a tree structure view. (see screenshot below). Making it easier for an employee to select the correct project activity.
Coming soon: specify budget method per project Exact Online Project Management provides two ways to budget your projects. The first method uses a WBS. Using the WBS you can scope labor and cost (e.g. purchases or expenses) components. This method is suited for more complex projects or projects with a need to budget both labor and cost components. The second method, a budget per hour type, provides a more basic method and is designed to support less complex projects or projects with a budget consisting of only labor components. You simply indicate a budget per hour type, e.g. 20 hours of ‘senior consulting’. To increase clarity on which method is used we will add a new project field (see screenshot below). At the outset the project manager can specify the applicable method per project.
* Within a WBS, activities are used to budget the time components that a project is broken down into. Activities are defined specifically for a given project. For example, ‘preparing a report’ or ‘designing a prototype’ or ‘taking interviews’. Activities are used to budget, plan and track labor against – but do not determine rates. Rates are determined by hour types.
**What are hour types? To determine the applicable invoice rate for a given time entry Exact Online uses ‘hour types’. These hour types are used to define the standard charges within a company for time components and are linked to revenue ledgers. They are generic (‘master data’) and can be used across projects. For example, a consultancy firm may charge ‘senior consulting’ for 125 euro per hour and ‘junior consulting’ for 80 euro per hour. Of course, rates may deviate from the standard hour types and can vary per client, per employee or per project.