- Invoice Review and Approvals
- Invoice Redesign
- Pick Up Unbilled Time and Expenses on a Drafted Invoice
- Utilization Dashboard Link Directs You to a Time Detail Window for a Staffer
- New Display for Reviewing Expenses with Receipts
- New Reports, Reporting Fields, and Other BigTime Enhancements
- Preview an invoice in your various invoice templates,
- Take snapshots of invoices to capture what an invoice looks like in a particular template,
- Start the invoice review and approval process,
- Email an invoice to a client, and
- See the status of an invoice: where it is in the review process.
- Activity reports are a new report type that allows users to report on “activities” created in BigTime.
- Resource allocation reports contain new fields—input fees, remaining projections, and projection ratios—that you can add to when customizing an allocation report.
- Invoice and project list-type reports have a field called “total credits” that shows the dollar amount for an invoice line item with a negative value. For invoice type reports, this field is specific to any invoice with a negative line item. For project-list reports, this field will give you the total dollar amount of negative line items on all invoices.
- Add more people to the invoice emails you send from BigTime. There’s a “more” option when emailing an invoice out of BigTime. Click this option to select project contacts, team roles, or yourself to the Send To, CC, and/or BCC fields.
- A firm can set which date is used when posting expense reports to QuickBooks. In the QuickBooks integration setting, either post the submission date of the expense report or the post date. This setting is located in QuickBooks tab: Integration Settings…Manage…Time/Expenses tab. The setting is labeled “Post Expenses using the Submission Date.”’
- You have more options when showing time and expenses separately on invoices. In our last release, we included an option to show time and expenses separately on a printed invoice. To enhance this feature, we’ve included two more options: “Additional Settings” and “Sort By.” Now you can sort, summarize, and subtotal when showing time and expense details separately.
- Bulk update invoice statuses to “Sent.” This option will allow you to add a “sent” date that’ll apply to your selected invoices.
- QuickBooks payments show in the projects payment history screen. Open the project and navigate to the “Billing History” tab, and click “Payment History.” Any payments that were applied to your BigTime invoices will appear here.
- Opt-in staffers to receive email notifications. In Notifications…Email Settings there’s a setting that automatically enables email notifications to new staffers.
- Update rates on the “Time Detail” tab on an invoice. The current rate on that project will apply to the time on only that invoice.
- Allow staffers to view the Utilization Dashboard. Access to the Utilization Dashboard will require two user rights to be enabled: “Access Task Budget Data” and “Reporting, All Access.” Turn on “View/Manage Any Staffer” for access to all staff.
- Set a “bill rate lock date” (Invoicing…Configure..Defaults). Rates will be locked on any submitted time prior to the set lock date.
- The “Update Rates” button is only available to users with these user rights settings enabled: “View/Manage Any Project” and “Create Invoices.” Financial administrators will always have the ability to Update Rates as long as Create Invoices is enabled.
- Show AR on invoice templates. Include outstanding invoices on invoice templates without having to include line items. Find this setting below the “Include Line Items” setting.
- Bulk update time. Make changes to several time entries at once on your Project Dashboard. Once there, click on the tab with three dots, select Time/Expense History from the picklist, and click on a hyperlinked dollar value under the Input hours column. Check the entries you want to update, click Bulk Actions, and select Update from the picklist. A new window will populate where you can update the time for the selected entries.
- Deactivate a project. Premier users have the option to deactivate a project, which prevents entering and/or editing allocations for that project. Find this option on the “project” tab of your Project Dashboard, near the bottom left of the window. Click the white triangle next to Delete Project, and select “deactivate project” from the picklist. Deactivated projects can be reactivated by clicking on the same option.
Our latest fixes and features are bound to save you time. You’ll find needless steps removed and others automated in order to make your BigTime experience a great one.
Save some time and effort by using the “copy expenses” feature on the summary page of a submitted expense report. Turn on the automatic “save” feature in resource allocation so you don’t need to manually save changes. These are just a few ways you’ll benefit from our latest release cycle. Read on to learn more.
New BigTime fixes and features:
- Customize headings on invoice templates
- Autosave in the resource allocation editor
- Roll up existing task reports to the group level
- View inactive projects when running custom reports
- Toggle between resource allocation line charts
- Copy multiple expenses
- Default subtotal setting when creating bulk invoices
- Update historical cost rates
Next, we’ll provide more information about each of these points.
Customize “invoice summary” and “invoice details” headings on your invoice templates. Make either change by editing a PDF invoice and finding step three. “Invoice summary” is under the header “Line Items” and “invoice details” is under “Time/Expenses.”
You no longer have to remember to click “save” when using resource allocation. Select the “autosave option,” located in the top-right corner of your resource allocation editor window.
If you’re using task groups and sub-tasks, there’s a new report to check out: the “task summary” report. It allows you to view your data for the overall task group.
In the image below, notice the separate budgets and input hours for individual tasks, subtotaled by task group.
Choose to include inactive projects in your custom reports. After you create your report, you’ll click on Edit Report Settings (top-left corner) and select “select a specific project.” Once you create the report, a new window will pop up where you can check the box next to “include inactive,” to include inactive projects to the picklist.
View your allocations in a weekly or monthly view. Or toggle back and forth between them.
Save yourself some effort and time and use the Copy Expenses feature on the summary page of a submitted expense report.
Click Copy Expenses and checkboxes will appear next to all of your expenses (on the left-side of your window). Then, select the expenses you want to copy. The expense date defaults to today’s date, which you can edit if needed.
When you create bulk invoices, the “subtotal setting” (on the gray sidebar when you create a bulk invoice) defaults to the setting that was last used when you created an invoice for that project. It’s a way to use the bulk create feature more effectively if you’re subtotaling invoices in different ways.
For example, in the image below “by task” automatically populates in the field Summary/Subtotal Setting because we used this setting when we last invoiced ABC Studios.
Admins now can update cost rates for staffers and have this rate apply to their historical (submitted) time—based on a date range that they select.
For example, to update John’s cost rate to $100, we went to his Staff Dashboard (My Company…Staff List and selected our staffer, John). We entered his new rate, $55, into the Cost Rate field and will click the hyperlink Update Rates.
A new window pops up, and we’ll select a date range to apply this new rate to.
Once I click Update Rates, the rate I entered will apply to any hours, submitted and unsubmitted, that fall in that date range.
Other fixes and features:
- Project managers can assign any staffer to a project team and allocate hours to them—no special management permissions are needed
- Link multiple staffers to the same QuickBooks vendor
- Input notes for a payment that you log into BigTime
- For consistency, “Staff Group” and “Management Group” are now labeled “Department”
- Time and expense reports include fields for invoice payment information
- The billability dashboard on your home screen is updated with your firm’s billability percentage from a month, year, and quarterly perspective
- View staffers’ timesheets and see their capacity
- Import payments from QuickBooks, which will update your balance in BigTime. This option can be turned on or off within QuickBooks (QuickBooks…Integration Settings)
Plus, you can now integrate BigTime with your Salesforce account. This is an exciting new feature bound to improve efficiency and keep teams informed and connected.
We’ve been busy the last few months! You can look forward to even more fixes and features soon!
- Edit Picklists
- Customize Expense Entries
- Update Your Company’s Lexicon and Settings
- Post Invoices to QuickBooks
- Project management: find out about BigTime’s workflow, so you can manage your staff’s workload.
- Invoicing: discover how to use each of our invoicing calculators: manual, time and materials, and fixed fee. You’ll also learn how to set up bill rates, print or email invoices to clients, and post invoices to QuickBooks, among other topics.
- Reporting: put your data to good use by using our pre-built and custom reports.
“Greatness… is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline,” Jim Collins wrote in his book Good to Great regarding successful businesses. His words ring true today when considering why customers are upgrading their BigTime subscription to Premier—our most comprehensive subscription level.
Many customers starting out with BigTime tend to opt for Pro. It’s a popular option for those who need to track time and expenses, create invoices, manage workflow, and integrate with other applications like QuickBooks and Slack, among others. Yet a surprising number of BigTime users recognize the value of Premier. It offers the benefits of Pro plus several additional features that provide customers with the details they need to run a great company.
This blog post will highlight several benefits that are unique to Premier. That way you have the information you need to decide if this service is the right choice for your firm.
Access to resource allocation is a point of distinction with Premier. It takes the guesswork out of business planning. Resource allocation is a powerful tool customers use to anticipate monthly revenue, get detailed and summary reports, and plan for future work by month or week. Plus, you can gauge project and staff performance with real-time dashboard graphics and reports.
It takes a little time upfront to allocate hours and budgets for a project and some discipline to use resource allocation on a regular basis, but doing so pays dividends in return: productivity will soar. Now you can effectively manage multiple projects and staffers, stay on budget, and hit deadlines. In short, resource allocation makes knowing and managing the details easy.
Multiple individuals can review time and expenses for your staff when you use multi-level approvals. Think of it as a thorough review process before time and expenses are billed to the client and/or posted to your accounting system. These extra reviews can catch small, but costly mistakes—like erroneous time entries.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have use all levels of approval. In the image above, we only have two levels of approval.
With Premier, you’ll find the integrated platform you’re looking for in order to increase productivity and identify growth opportunities. How?
Premier offers a four-part solution to make BigTime your one-stop-shop:
- Manage new demand. Can you take on a new project? Is your client’s timeline achievable, given the other projects you’re managing? Is the budget realistic? Get the answers to these type of questions with resource allocation.
- Schedule and plan. Manage a project using our task editor, where you can create and assign tasks and budgets. Then, use resource allocation to allocate hours to staffers, and keep them within their work capacity.
- Track and bill. Since BigTime is a cloud-based service and accessible across devices (smartphones, tablets, and PCs), staffers can log time in their timesheets anytime, anywhere with an internet connection. We also offer a sophisticated invoicing system where users customize invoices to match the likes of their clients.
- Collaborate and analyze. Create summary or detailed reports on any number of relevant aspects of your business, from task status to staff performance. Then, share these insights with teammates.
The resources that Premier offers can help you take your business to the next level. In fact, if you’re an existing Pro or Express user you can get a free 30-day trial to see if resource allocation fits your needs. To find out more, contact your sales representative or email us at [email protected].
With multi-level approvals, up to three individuals can review time and expenses for your staff. This new feature provides a thorough review process before time and expenses are billed to the client and/or posted to your accounting system. These extra reviews can catch small, but costly mistakes—like erroneous time entries.
The following roles can do approvals:
- Staff Managers,
- Project Team Leads, and/or
Any combination of these roles can function as your “primary,” “secondary,” or “final” approval, as reflected in the image below.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to have use all three levels of approval. In the “timesheets” image above, we only have two levels of approval.
The workflow for multi-level approvals is streamlined. Each reviewer receives a notification when it’s their turn to examine a staffer’s submitted time and expenses.
Based on the image above, this is how the multi-level workflow works:
- Staffer submits time and expenses.
- Team lead (primary approval) reviews the submission and approves or rejects it. Once approved, the submission moves to the next stage in the review process.
- Staff Manager (secondary approval) reviews the submission and approves or rejects it. Once approved, the submission moves to the final stage in the review process.
- Financial/Admin (final approval) reviews the submission and approves or rejects it.
Only approved items will be available for the next approver to review. For example, approved items from the primary level will be available to review on the secondary level.
The multi-level approval feature is only available for Premier subscribers. To learn more about this feature or our three product levels, please contact your sales representative or email us at [email protected].
Do you prefer allocating budgets by month or week? Now you can make that call with resource allocation, where you can choose between monthly or weekly allocations. Despite your selection, you can run reports at both the weekly and monthly level.
Which option is best? Ultimately the answer is firm-dependent, since there are benefits to both. Weekly allocations mean you’ll allocate budgets by week (see image below). This view provides a more granular look at your business and staffers, for both planning and reporting purposes. It’s ideal for tracking shorter projects, typically less than 12 weeks.
Monthly allocations, on the other hand, mean you’ll allocate budgets by month (see image below). It’s a good option for firms with bigger project teams, and longer durations. Similarly, if you tend to manage your firm month-to-month (eg – assignments are monthly, project metrics are reported monthly, goals are monthly, etc), then the monthly option is more appropriate for your firm.
You’ll select your allocation period the first time you edit allocations (see image below). Then, BigTime will use the format you select.
Weekly vs Monthly Reporting
You can run allocation reports at the weekly or monthly level—no matter which data entry format you choose. Each report has the option of being run either “weekly” or “monthly.”
When we roll weekly allocations up to calendar months, some weeks span multiple calendar months. BigTime determines which month a given week falls into based on the number of calendar days in each straddled month. See the weekly allocations for January 2018 below as an example.
The first week in that period actually begins on 12/31/17. In that week, six out of seven calendar days fall in January 2018—so that’s the month we’ll place those weekly allocations into for reporting purposes. In other words, we’ll shift a given week into the following calendar month if there are at least four calendar days in that subsequent month — regardless of the date the week “starts” in.
Setting your allocation period is just another option to customize your BigTime experience, so you can have the details you need when you need them.
Resource allocation is available to Premier users. If you currently have a Premier account, then refer to this article for step-by-step instruction to access it in BigTime. Existing Pro users can get a free 14-day trial. To find learn more contact your sales representative or email us at [email protected].
Save time and get the BigTime answers you need by using our Knowledge Base—or the KB, as we refer to it around here.
The KB is BigTime’s resource center. It consists of articles and user guides that explain how to use specific BigTime features and functions.
In this post, you’ll learn about the KB, including the topics we cover and how to access it. That way, you’ll have a reliable source to turn to the next time you need a refresher on using timers or a clear explanation on creating invoices.
The KB gives you the information you need to get the most out of our product—whether you’re just starting out with BigTime and need help creating tasks, or you’re a seasoned BigTime user looking for nuanced articles on billable utilization rate. In either case, you’ll find clear, step-by-step instruction.
The KB is organized by several major topics, such as:
- Managing your Account
- Managing Projects
- Users and Staff
- Tracking Time
- Tracking Expenses
- Tracking Tasks and Budgets
- Using Reports
There are many related articles under each subject, so you can delve into as much detail as you’d like!
Access the KB from BigTime’s homepage. Follow these steps:
1. Type bigtime.net into your browser.
2. Click Learn…Knowledge Base, near the top of your screen. It’s a good idea to bookmark this page for easy access.
3. Click on the square that resembles your login window.
If you click “IQ Enterprise,” then you’ll be directed to the articles relevant to BigTime’s Enterprise environment.
If you click “IQ Pro/IQ Express,” you’ll then pick from two options:
- Using BigTime primarily contains “how-to” articles and other tips and tricks you should be aware of. This is a great resource when you have a question about a specific feature.
- BigTime Configuration contains articles to help you get up and running with BigTime. You’ll learn how to integrate BigTime with your calendar, for example, or integrate with QuickBooks.
If you’re looking for a specific article, type your search term into the box, next to the magnifying glass icon near the top of your window, and click on the icon. BigTime will generate a list of results to pick from.
When you have a BigTime question, the KB is a good place to start to get quick answers to your questions—to matter how big or small.