Projects allow you to plan and track time and expenses.
Projects have Lines - and optional Phases. Project Phases usually map to ars summary level for Project Lines and Project Lines map to the actual task.
- Project Phase (optional summary level)
- Project Line (the work item - you can create Salesforce Tasks for Project Lines)
- Project Phase (optional summary level)
You can view the project also in Gantt Chart.
You can either create a new Project from Opportunity or manually create it. Also, you can use any existing project and use it as a template for the new project:
You can associate an Account (Customer) with the project and all time and expense records for that project will reference the account. For billing, you can overwrite the Project Account and contact, e.g. to send the invoice to headquarters, if that is set up as a different account or in an account hierarchy.
The Status allows you to manage the visibility of the Project for Time and Expense entry:
- Drafting - not visible in Timesheet and Expense Table
- Planned - (available for selection, no time/expenses recorded
- Started - available for selection, some time/expenses recorded
- NoActuals - available for selection, for high volume projects where realtime Actuals are not required, e.g. Vacation, Holidays, TimeOff
- Completed - not visible in Timesheet and Expense Table - same as deselecting the Active flag
De-selecting the Active flag will also hide the project for T&E Item.
Create Project from Template
When creating the project, you can select any other project as a template - copy line or phase and line info.
After creating the project, you can add project lines from any other Projects - click on the "Copy from Template" link:
Select the lines and update Name, WBS, Description Billable, Planned Effort and Start as well as Resource.
For each Project Line, the fields copied are
- Name, Description, WBS, Billable, Planned Effort, Planned Start
- Resource (optionally)
- Notes, Priority, Product, Fixed Charge Amount
- (Custom) fields listed in Copy Columns for 'accorto__Project_Line__c'
The Currency is set to the (new) Project currency.
Create Invoice from Project
You can create an Invoice from Project Phases or Project Lines. In the project, click on the Create Invoice button.
In the dialog, select any of the following
- Project Phases (Milestones)
- Project Lines (Deliverables)
- Expense items (charged to the project)
When selecting a Phase, Line or Expense, you see the "Quantity to invoice" and the Quantity which was already invoiced with the Unit Price. You can enter/overwrite the Quantity to be invoiced and adjust also the Unit Price.
Select the Phases, Lines and/or Expenses and check and complete the Invoice information.
When the invoice address is not correct, you can sync the address with the Account for future invoices.
Invoice with Handling Fee
When creating an Invoice from a Project, you can automatically add a handling fee. In the Project, enter a handling fee in percent. The system then automatically calculates the amount.
By default, the Handling Fee is like Freight charges maintained on the Invoice header. If you want to create an explicit Handling line, here are the steps:
Create a Product for Handling. The name needs to be unique and there is no need to enter a price for the product.
In Custom Settings, click on manage Accorto Settings and enter the product name in the field "Invoice: Product for Handling"
Now, if you create an invoice from a project with a Handling fee, an extra line is created with the calculated amount referencing the Product you entered.
Project Level Summaries
The system is designed that all effort is captured on project or project line level. The phases are just line summary levels for the lines. The system does not prevent that you post time or expenses to a Phase, but the calculated summary values may not reflect that. Nevertheless, via reports you will get the correct/entered values.
Assuming you have a project with a phase and a line.If you post hours or expenses to the project or phase only (i.e. not to a line), a Project Line "__project__" is created which holds the hours and expenses posted to the project or phase (but not to the line). Do not delete or select the project line "__project__".
On Project level, you will see the information in "Actual Effort" and "Actual Expenses" - and the Project related list contains all T&E Items.
On Project Phase level, you will see the sum of the lines in "Actual Effort" but not the effort directly posted to the phase as is designed as a summary level. Nevertheless, you will see items in the related list and you can report on this.
Updating Project Actuals
The accumulated project actual information is automatically updated when a T&E Report gets approved. In some situations, it is advisable to recalculate the actuals, e.g. when using mass updates for billable or project reorganizations (assigning lines to different phases, etc.).
You can force the recalculation of particular projects by using any project view and selecting the projects you want to recalculate and then press the "Recalculate Actuals" button. If you want to recalculate only particular lines, you can do that by selecting the lines in the Project and press the "Recalculate Actuals" button.
When the Project Line status is set to Completed, information like Actual End is set if not entered manually. If you de-select the Project Active flag and if the Project Status is set to Completed, all the lines are also set to Completed.
For more information on project line actual and current information, check Advanced Project Tracking.
Project Lines and Activity Types
Project Lines, the project deliverables, can be grouped via Project Line Type. This allows comparing certain lines across projects.
- Project: A - Line: Development for A
- Project: B - Line: Development for B
If you want to compare or summarize all "Development" deliverables, you could define a Project Line Type "Development" and use that for reporting. There is a certain overlap with Activity Types. But, if you use Activity Types, you need to query T+E Items and is dependent on the user selecting the right Activity Type, whereas, with Project Line Type, you can just query Project Lines.
Project Lines and Tasks
You can create Salesforce Tasks from Project Lines. In the Project Tab:
- in the Project Line List in the Project Tab
- select the project lines and
- click Create Task(s)
This creates Salesforce Tasks for the Resources in the Project Line.
You can also use the Project Line as the work entity and add details and documents to the project line. For this, you need to share the Project with Read/Write privileges. You can Capture Time directly from the Project Line.
By default, the project is shared as Public Read Only, which means that e.g. everyone can reference the project/line in a time + expense report. The advantage is low admin overhead for the project manager, but that the user might have to search through quite a few projects and might pick the wrong one.
The alternative is to set the Sharing Rule for Project (Setup > Security Controls > Sharing Settings) to Private. This means that the project manager (or the person who created the record) must explicitly share the project. As a result, the user sees only the project they are assigned to.
Automatically a sharing record is created for the Project Manager (on Project Level) and the Resource (on Line level).
If you assign multiple resources or want to share specific project line information, use Project Line Allocation.
Mass-Update of T+E Items
After updating of the project Account, Contact, Opportunity and Billable, new T+E Items will be set to these values.
The link Update T+E Items allows you to mass-update existing T+E Items.
After clicking on the link, you get the options to select
- Update T+E Item Account, Contact, Opportunity to Null if not defined in Project
- If e.g. the Opportunity was changed to null/empty, when selected, existing T+E item links will also updated to null/empty. This will overwrite the reference to the Opportunity, e.g. created by "Capture Time from Opportunity"
- Update T+E Billable based on ProjectLine or Project Billable setting
- When selected the new setting will be applied to existing T+E Items - based on Project Line and Project Billable selection. This will overwrite previous user selections, also of approved items
So, be careful selection these values!