Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Whiteboard: Customer Login and App

 

Hello, consultants and service techs!

Is your client asking for project status?  Like practically every day?

They want to know:

-          What projects you’re working on for them

-          How far along you are

-          And how much it is costing them

And why shouldn’t they?  They pay the bills and keep revenue coming in.

So actually… your time keeping app should have tools just for them.

Now it does.

Here are three good reasons to try the Standard Time® time tracker:

-          Number one, there’s a special client login page just for your customers

-          Number two, there’s a ‘ProjectBot’ smartphone app that brings status down to them

-          Number three, there’s customizable invoicing and QuickBooks integration

Sound pretty sweet?  Sure does!

Click here to try Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O96Stsuojvo

Consulting Software

 

Let’s take a look and see how Standard Time® would be used by consultants. First of all everything starts with the timesheet and maybe the time log. In the timesheet you have your projects that you’re working on for clients, you have your Monday through Sunday hours here. Daily totals at the bottom weekly totals as well, simply type your hours into a particular project and task and you’re good to go. You might also consider using the timer, you can start and stop a timer. You can go over here to the view menu and choose quick tasks. Here you can actually just click and click again to start and stop a timer for particular quick tasks. That’s a quick way of putting time into the system.

What I also want to draw attention to is the time log tab, let’s click on that at the top. These are some of the columns I like to display in the time log; start time for each record, actual work on each record, these again are the same records you see in the time log except they are displayed from top to bottom in record format rather than Monday through Sunday. You’ve got your project maybe a client category. The category column, notes for each record, the client rate and then the cost client and whether these records are billable and marked as billed. Those are some valuable fields you can display and make sure everything comes out alright. But again those are the same records you’ll see in the time log.

Where do those billing rates that you see over here come from? They come from the tools menu choose billing rates and then employee billing rates or category billing rates. You can choose a client or project, set your billing rates for each individual consultant then you’re good to go.

One of the other things that’s valuable is go over to view menu and choose project revenue. This little window allows you to look out into the future for a year and see where you’re project revenue is coming from for each of the jobs that you have. So you see a couple of bad months like this, bad quarter; want to make sure you take care of that. I’m going to close out of this show you some other things.

One of the other things you can look at for individual consultants is the quick info window. Click that icon, you can choose a particular project from the drop down or show all projects, it will show you spent today, this week, this month. You can choose little drop downs to look at yesterday, last week or the different months of the year. That allows you to see how many hours you have for these different time periods. And it helps you coordinate the billable hours.

By way of reporting you might consider going over here and looking at the time logs. One of the good reports for consulting is the client receivables. When I run this I can look at this month; when I do that I see records that show me the start time and date, the hours, the rate and the cost client along with some notes. Scroll down and you will see the totals for that; these are the dollar totals that are still outstanding for each of the clients. You can see the clients here then the total at the bottom.

There’s another report we can look at; we close the time logs and go in the management. Take a look at the utilization and rates report. This on also wants a date range; let’s look at the last 120 days. When we do we see individual employees and we see scheduled hours, actual hours they worked and that yields a utilization rate and effective billing rate. As I scroll through this you see the effective billing rate for each of the consultants and then it averages down here at the bottom for the entire company. That is useful to look through and increase your effective billing rate for the entire company.

We’ll close out of that. There is so much to see in this product and I’ve just touched the surface. But hopefully it gives you a chance to focus on a few things and then take a look and see what you like.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wigs3dTT7q8

QuickBooks Integration

 

In this video we are going to integrate Standard Time® with QuickBooks. You can see from this view that I have no projects currently in my timesheet. If I go to tools, projects the list is empty. So what I want to do is bring in the customers and jobs from QuickBooks so that I can begin to track time to them. The first step to do that would be go to the tools menu choose QuickBooks then choose import customers and items. When I choose that this dialog box pops up and tells me that it is going to transfer the customers jobs and service items from QuickBooks to Standard Time; that will allow me to track time to them. You can see customer: job field in QuickBooks maps to our project field and the service item in QuickBooks maps to our category. Make sure QuickBooks is up and running before you start this process.

I’ve switched over to QuickBooks; first thing I want to do is go into customer center, take a look at all my customers and jobs, you can see the list. These are all my clients that I do work for. One of the things you might want to do is go through each one of these and make sure that they are active or inactive, if you are not using them so that they don’t come over into Standard Time. Because Standard Time is going to bring in a list of all the active customers and jobs. You might also want to go to the item list; we talked about how the service item’s map to the Standard Time categories. Here you see a list of all the service items, these are the kinds of work you do the all have a price so you can put those on invoices. You might also consider deactivating any items you are not using. That might be the first step to preparing for the integration this with Standard Time.

One of the first things we see when we go to import the customer’s jobs and items is that we have to grant permission to Standard Time and that is in QuickBooks. As soon as we click this button we then see that QuickBooks wants to allow us to grant permission.  We click yes always continue are you sure you want to allow this access, yes. It tells that this is Standard Time with Scoutwest, we click done. Now we have allowed access and Standard Time is able to continue we’ve imported our lists. We want to go to the tools menu and choose projects and also to the tools menu and choose categories to see these imported items.

After the import let’s go to the tools menu choose projects. We can see that all of these new items were imported; I’m going to go and show them in the timesheet so that I can put time against them. We now see them show up in the timesheet. If I go to the tools menu choose categories, remember that the service items are mapped to categories; I see that these were imported. If I were to open up one of these in the Standard Time timesheet I see these categories under each of the projects.

I’ve entered some time against some of these projects. You see the projects here and then the categories below them, they map to customer: job and then to the service item over in QuickBooks. You see the hours I’ve put against my project. I’ve got my daily totals down below and the weekly total here.

The next thing I’m going to do is go to tools, QuickBooks, export time. When I do that I then have the ability to choose a date range that represents the billing period that I’m going to bill. In this case it’s the 1-15. The next thing I want to do is assign users; this is a mapping between the Standard Time user name and the QuickBooks employee. I have mapped this particular user to the QuickBooks employee, click OK then click export. I’ve exported 11 records over to QuickBooks.

Let’s go over to the QuickBooks program. Go to the employee center to see where the time came in. I’m going to click on this employee go up here and choose use weekly timesheet. You can see all of the entries that I had in the Standard Time timesheet, make sure they are marked as billable. Then you can click save and close if you’ve made any changes there. You can if you like go up to the customers menu and choose create invoices. Choose the customer: job that you’re going to use to create the invoice for and we can then select all of the time, put that on our invoice. Then save and close to run that invoice.

We’re back to Standard Time, hopefully you understand the full round trip message where we import our customer’s jobs and items from QuickBooks. We then put our time into the timesheet, you can see our daily and weekly totals and then we go and export that time over to QuickBooks that we can use for payroll and invoicing clients. Hopefully this tutorial has been helpful.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIlPqiE59tI

Time Off Calendar

 

Wouldn’t it be nice when you submit your time off request for vacation or personal time that you could see what other employees might be taking time off at the same time? What holidays are around the same time and what meetings you might be missing? That’s the subject for this little video. We’re going to login as Buzz and submit a new time off request and see those exact things.

First thing you might notice is that Buzz has a reduced user interface; you only see three tabs along the top instead of six, his manager has turned off some of the functionality so that it views less. I’m going to go to the insert menu and choose new time off request and see what Buzz might be seeing when he takes his Alaskan cruise.  He’s going to schedule this time for the 3rd of June out to 7th, one week. That’s five days, 40 hours. One thing he wants to know is what other coworkers are going to be out at this time. Because there are certain people who cannot be out at the same time because the work doesn’t get done. We click in the coworkers out field, click the … button. Turns out that during this time period there are two coworkers who are also going to be out at this time. We click OK, we see a calendar that shows us the other coworkers that are out at this time. Fred and Dan are both taking vacation at the same time Buzz wants to. And he knows that this is not going to be approved and so he’s got to pick another time for his cruise. Well it turns out as he’s looking at this calendar there is a company holiday maybe he could take advantage of; if he just takes these 4 days he’s not conflicting with these two people plus he gets one Fun Day off.

Let’s close this calendar and change from the 10th through to the 13th. Now he’s only taking 4 days off, that’s 32 hours instead of 40. Look at the coworkers out, there’s no one out. Again we look at the calendar, we’re using these 4 days and Fun Day is a holiday so we get that off, long weekend take advantage of that.

Next thing we want to look at is the number of meetings that Buzz will miss during this time. Click in this field, click …, turns out he’s going to miss the Friday pizza party and the Monday morning staff meeting. So if he can get permission to skip that meeting then this time off request is likely to be approved.

You can see here he’s got 60 hours remaining so this 32 is going to subtract from that. His bank will then still have some time that he can take at another time. That’s a little tip as to how to see coworkers, meetings, holidays, other things that might coincide with your vacation request. Hope it helps!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1eSzzbYYtw

Quick Questions: Categories for Time Tracking

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. We’re taking time to answer your questions about how to use Standard Time just a little bit better. Hey, Ray. Question, as a manager can I find out how much time its taking on each kind of work that I actually do?

Ray: Oh, yes, absolutely. Let’s switch over here, I’m going to start by going to the tools menu, choosing categories. You can use categories to define the different kinds of work, the different types of work you perform. When you track time to those you can then find out with reporting how long it takes. So here I’ve got a list, this is my customizable list, you can create your own list that would define the kinds of work you do. You can see that there are lots of different types in here that you might consider creating like management, meeting, accounting, administration. But you have your own types, the kinds of work that fit your business. And when you log time to those you can simply report on it, this is irrespective of the project. You will find out the amount of time for each kind of work.

There’s another thing you can do, you can choose the billing for those kinds of work. Normally billing is done on an employee basis or roles, different ways to do billing. But you can actually bill for the kind of work you do. I choose category billing rates, you can see the same list, remember the list we saw earlier? Here it is, you can override, you can see some here are using default and some are overridden, this is using British Sterling pounds instead of US dollars. It’s the same sort of thing, you override these for each project. So each project has a different rate, potentially, for each of these kinds of work. I would start by going up to the tools menu choosing categories that really is the place to define the kinds of work you do. There it is.

Go to the website we have a lot of videos there answering some questions. If you don’t see your question answered there submit it to us. We’d be happy to record one and answer it for you. We’re answering more of your questions next time with Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbBGpBICxuQ

Quick Question: Employee Rights

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. And we’re taking time out of our day to answer your questions about how to use Standard Time a little bit better. How’s it going Ray? Common problem and people want to know; can employees see the same thing, do all the employees see the same thing in Standard Time?

Ray: Ok, the answer is no you’re able to control what employees see; administrator’s-executives, they get full control of the program. But you can control what people see. If we look over here at the tools menu, first of all, that demonstrates right off I’m an administrator. I’ve got all the menus, projects, clients, users, billing rates, Quick Books all sorts of stuff here that you probably shouldn’t display and allow end users to see and go into. The way to change that and control what people see and do in the program is go to the tools menu, choose users and organizations, then we want to change the user rights for a certain users. We click on that user, see the properties on the right hand side, one of those is administrative rights, I’m going to right click on the user and choose user rights. Up pops a list you see that same administrative rights, this user is not an administrator. You see access to certain views and then you have a whole list of user rights. You can turn these on and off for users obviously the admins, project managers, executives, they’re going to want to see everything. You probably want to limit this for the users. These users won’t be able to see other people’s time because they aren’t administrators and you’ll be able to control what they see and do in the program.

It’s fully customizable per employee?

Yes, exactly. You’ll have some employees that can see and do more, you’ll have the executives at the top that can see and do everything.

We’re answering your questions on our website so submit them there. We’d love to answer them for you. We’ll see you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LIAKhOpHPI

Quick Questions: Assign Employees By Skill

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest the developers of Standard Time. We are taking the time out of our day to answer your questions. A lot of them have been asked. Ray, I’m a project manager and I need to hire an engineer with a certain certification. How do I do that within Standard Time?

Ray: OK. Let’s go over to the tools menu to answer that. I’m going to click tools, projects, click on the project; I’m guessing you want an existing employee that’s in your organization that has that certification. Right click, choose assign users by skill; don’t let the word skill throw you off, it could mean certification, discipline, other things. So I’m going to click a couple disciplines that you might consider. You can see what’s happening here in the back ground; it’s looking through finding all the employees that have that skill or certification and has some availability. Buzz Aldren looks like a good choice here. I’m going to click the … because he has time in the three upcoming months. Up comes his availability chart, you can see the blue bars indicate that he has time available. If you had empty bars it would mean he’s not available. So it looks good here from this perspective. You can go down here, you’ve got your project you can click add and assign him to your project. That’s all there is to it.

That’s amazing. If you go to the website you can try it today. Stdtime.com it’s a great program to have, it will make your life easier. We’re going to answer more of your questions next time so be sure to check back often. Catch you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqtWCbvBMGA

Quick Questions: Quick Task Timer Window

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White the deer slayer of Scoutwest. How you doing Ray? I’m having trouble knowing how long my projects are actually taking me. And in the long run that’s making my pricing off. How within Standard Time can I fix that?

Ray: Start by looking at the timesheet. Right next to it you see a tab for time log. So in the time log you going to see some information to help with that. First of all there is a start column, stop column, actual work. These are the exact start and stop times and hours that the activities take on your project. The next thing you might consider is going over to the view menu, clicking quick tasks, up will come a list of your tasks you can then click on one to start the timer. You see the start time there, a bold record and then you can go about your work. When you’re done uncheck that and that will then stop the timer, you can see that the bold goes away. Now you have exact start and stop times for the activities in your project.

I noticed when you stopped the timer something in your system tray turned red, turned green.

Right. That’s this little icon down here, turns out we have the same ability to start and stop the timer, you can go to the project. You can simply click that starts the timer, you see the same results down below. This is collecting the exact start and stop times. You’ll know exactly how long your project takes.

This is also available on mobile?

It is-android, iOS. You have the same tasks down that you can start and stop the timer.

That’s great. This is all available on the website. Click the link after this video and down load it today if you haven’t. We’ll be answering more of your questions after we get back from slaying our deer. Tune back then, we’ll catch you next time with more Standard Time.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myAgqrIlMAA

Whiteboard: Project Portfolio Management

 

Have you ever wanted to put your projects into collections so you can report on entire groups?

For example:

  1. Collections of consulting projects
  2. Collections of manufacturing projects
  3. Or projects for each division in the company

In Standard Time®, these collections are called portfolios. Each portfolio has multiple projects. And they can be grouped so you can:

  1. see revenue for entire portfolios
  2. learn which portfolios you’re spending the most time on
  3. find portfolios that are the most profitable to you
  4. or just for general reporting

Whatever the reason, Standard Time has you covered. Every project can be part of a larger portfolio, which you’ll find useful in many ways.

Download Standard Time now, and give portfolios a try!

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TbIW3VND2U

Quick Questions: Time Tracking for Mac

 

Mike: Mike with Standard Time® back with Ray White of Scoutwest developers of Standard Time. And from the looks of today’s set I think you might know what the question might be. Ray, can Standard Time run on the Mac?

Ray: Of course. You can see the Mac sitting right here.

It’s Standard Time.

Let’s switch over here and take a look. You’re looking at Mac running on Safari. Just a browser like any other. All the information you see here, your timesheet is going to look identical as it would on Windows, Linux any other kind of system. You see the same kind of tabs along the top here. When I click on one you see the same information. You’ve got your tasks there, do a little project management. You’ve got timelogs that are roughly equivalent to the timesheet. And you do your expense tracking, mileage vehicles here. Your client billing is there and you’ve got your time off for PTO and vacation and so on. Back to the timesheet, now you’ve got your reporting over on the left hand side. This is identical to what you would see on another system.

Although not a native to Mac you can still run it on a Mac.

Absolutely lots of people do.

Now we talk a lot about being out in the field and using our smartphones. Can we use our iOS devices iPhones, iPads?

Yes, sure. You can basically run Standard Time on your phone whether it’s Android or iOS. These are native apps on the devices.

You can get these apps and the software at the website stdtime.com. If you haven’t downloaded it yet do it right now. It’s a great tool to make your life a whole lot easier. We’re answering your questions next time with Standard Time. We’ll see you then.

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fezzr846wLs

 

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