PRODUCT UPDATE: August 2016

  • Aug 11,2016
BigTime Time Billing Product Update - 8/11/2016

That’s the thing about built-for-the-cloud applications like BigTime. The product gets better with every update and there’s no software installation or license fees to disrupt your business.

EXCITED ABOUT EMAIL FOR IQ PRO SUBSCRIBERS

In this product update, we’re excited about email. Not your everyday, filled-to-the brim corporate email inbox. We’re excited about the system-generated notices that turn your BigTime inbox into an internal communications hub, streamlining workflow processes.

For Managers, the inbox notifications are reminders to review and approve timesheets and expenses, simplifying the management of review and approval processes.

For Users, the inbox notifications are primarily around the status of their timesheets and expense reports. If your firm uses Project Tasks, then Users will receive an inbox notification each time they are assigned a new activity.

EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS HIGHLIGHTS

  • Email Notifications
  • Notification Settings in My Company > Notifications
  • Language within notifications can be modified and also unsubscribed/disabled.
  • Activity emails will link up directly to the activity in BigTime and auto-open.

EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Subscribers to our IQ PRO product have a BigTime inbox for each user. Each activity assigned to a User will be added to a BigTime counter that shows the total number of unread notifications. New messages in each user’s inbox will refresh every 30 seconds. When new messages appear in the inbox, the icon will change to show the current count of unread messages. Here’s how it will look.

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

The messages can come from any System Administrator user, any Manager, or be triggered by an action within the system.

NOTICES TRIGGERED BY THE SYSTEM

With this update, BigTime IQ PRO is able to send notifications for the following alerts:

  • You have rejected timesheets or expenses
  • Your expense report has been fully approved
  • You have pending Time or Expense details to approve
  • You have been assigned a Task

SETTING UP EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS

To get started with enabling notifications for your firm, the System Administrator will have to enable it from My Company > Notifications > Notification Settings
Here you can turn on/off Notifications for:

  • Review and Approval
  • Task Assignment Notices

There are 2 levels of settings that need to be turned on for a User in order to receive email.

  1. Individual Settings (Person Icon > My Profile)
  2. My Company > Notifications > Email Settings

The default email for all notices will be donotreply@bigtime.net

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

HOW TO CHANGE THE EMAIL ADDRESS NOTICES ARE COMING FROM

From the same area within the system, Admins can change the email addresses that are used for external communications (invoices, for example) or those used internally with other employees.
In My Company > Notifications > Email Settings you will find In-Product Delivery Settings and External Delivery Settings.

In-Product Delivery emails are reserved for any notice sent to a BigTime Staff Member.

External Delivery emails are for emails that go out to a Client contact.

Once this is enabled from the Administrator account, any new User who is invited will get prompted to choose their own notification preferences within their Activity Dialogue.
Once a new user receives their first notification, they will notice the prompt to select their notification settings.

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

The prompt will take Users into the Notification Settings available within their Profile Settings.

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

There are 2 settings available to the User.

  1. Enable Email Notification: This gives the User the option to turn on/off all email notifications sent to them.
  2. Emails While Logged In: If this setting is checked OFF, the system will not send emails to the user when there is activity on their account within a 30-minute window. If no activity is detected within a 30-minute window and this checkbox is checked, they will not receive emails.

HOW FREQUENTLY ARE EMAILS SENT TO ME?

If all the above conditions are met, you can begin to receive email notifications.
Our service to check for new/unread notifications or activities runs every 30 seconds.
Our Activity observer and service will check the last time you received an email notification. If you’ve recently received one, our system will hold any new notifications/activities and then send you a summary of notifications you’ve received in our system once per hour.
If you’ve already received an email for an unread notice, you will not receive a new email for the same unread notice. The Activity observer and service will only send review/approval or newly assigned Task notifications if a system notice is newly marked as unread.

WHAT EMAIL ADDRESS IS USED TO SEND EMAILS TO ME?

Email notifications will use your email address from the staff list profile, located in My Company > Staff List.

HOW CAN I UNSUBSCRIBE

Once you begin to receive notifications via email, you have the option to unsubscribe.

To unsubscribe, simply click the unsubscribe link within the footer of the sent notification.

If a User accidentally unsubscribes and wants to turn email notifications back on, they can go to their profile and easily turn the option back on.

Users may also unsubscribe from within the activity window to stop receiving notifications f they no longer want to receive. The Administrator, however, always has the authority to re-subscribe the user. This can be done from My Company > Notifications under the specific type notice.

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

WE MAKE NOTIFICATIONS SMART

For any notification regarding Review and Approvals, the notice will be marked read in your BigTime inbox as soon as you visit the page that prompted the notice. . For example,if you receive a notification that your time has been rejected, and then check your rejected time without looking at the notice, BigTime IQ will know to mark that notice as read. You will not get a notification for an action already completed.

WE WON’T SPAM YOUR EMAIL

All notices in the system can be forwarded to your email. After you receive your first email notification, our server will hold onto your next batch of messages and send a summary email for every new message following on the hour. Each notice will have a direct link to the activity it is related to in BigTime.

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

ADMINS CAN KNOW ALL EMAILS SENT FROM THE SYSTEM

Administrators can now view all emails sent from the system by going to My Company > Notifications > Email Log. This will show the Admin when notifications and emails have been sent and even when they’ve been opened.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR MESSAGES EVEN FURTHER

With the advanced options, Users can modify the system notice messages and introduce variables to further customize their messages.
By going to My Company > Notifications, you can click edit Notifications and pick the notice type you’d like to alter.

BigTime allows the use of handlebar syntax so that messages can be personalized for the User receiving the email.

For example, if the words {{Staffer.Fname}} are used within the email, this will add the receiver’s first name to the email.

All staff variables are supported within our API page:

As well as some firm vocabulary terms (i.e {{Vocabulary.Project}}):

  • Customer
  • Project
  • Task
  • Tasks
  • Team Member
  • Team Lead
  • Your Company
  • Non Reimbursable

Invoice Tracking

Stop wondering if client received your invoice with Last Open Date and Click Tracking.

While we’re obviously excited about introducing you to BigTime inbox email notifications, there’s another new feature you are going to use immediately. If you’ve ever wondered if a client received an invoice, you’ll never have to wonder again.

Financial Administrators can know when an invoice has been viewed. To see this really useful feature, simply go to Invoicing > Overview > Finals and click on the invoice sent. The date on which the invoice was sent will appear within the draft, as well as the number of times the invoice has been clicked on. A click means the invoice has been viewed and a viewed invoice has been received. No more wondering. Ever.

Email Notifications - BigTime Time and Billing

BUG SQUASHING

Okay, now we sound like pest control professionals. But the bugs we’ve been squashing are all software related. It’s just part of BigTime’s continuing commitment to provide you, our customers, with the very best time tracking, billing, and project management software. Here are a few bugs that won’t be bugging you anymore.

  • Production and Billing Status field working properly in Work in Progress screen.
  • Copy button for contacts fixed in Invoicing Draft
  • Staff field in Expense detail screens no longer editable to squash buggy behavior.
  • Report Center publish button displayed oddly for some users. Should now be visible for everyone
  • Management users should now be able to view receipts on submitted Expenses for users they have rights to.
  • Timers started from the Task/Engagement Dashboard will now only start a new timer, if you already have a previous timer running with the same project/task, it will not start a new timer until the old one is paused.

BigTime IQ delivers real-time, metrics-driven time tracking, billing, and project management software for thousands of professional service companies.

If you don’t have a BigTime account, sign up for a FREE trial and see what everyone is talking about.