Abak 7.2.1 is now available

The entire team at Abak is proud to announce the availability of version 7.2.1 of our popular time and billing system. Customers can already download the update from the Extranet.

Abak Welcome Screen

Abak 7.2.1 offers new reports and new invoice formats, for more flexibility. Also, the documentation is available from the help menu directly.

Here’s the list of new features:

  • User’s manuals and other PDF documentation will now be available straight from the Help menu – no need to log in to the Extranet anymore!
  • New invoice formats are now available, for more flexibility.
  • New fields are now available for grids and Excel exports:
    • Contact lists: type, client name, client number.
    • Projects list: client name, client number, quantity budget, budget amount, total invoiced to date, total billable hours, total invoiced hours, total non-billable hours, total hours worked, work order number.
    • Clients list: total invoiced to date, total billable hours, total invoiced hours, total non-billable hours.
    • Transactions list: Billable amount and selling amount.
    • Project phases list: total budget computed from sub-phases.
  • Accounting transfer to Sage Accpac ERP now includes the work order number associated with the invoice.

Release notes are available here.

The Small Business Profit Kit is Now Available!

Check for O'Toole - $22,500 (LOC)The new small business profit kit includes articles about business success and a simple method for determining billable rates for professional services businesses.

In this kit, we propose a cost-based approach along with simple sensitivity analysis tools that allow small professional services businesses to determine the fair price for their billable time. It is our hope that with our approach, professional services businesses improve their profitability and cost management.

Download the profit kit here

What’s your invoice DNA?

Capital City Dairy Company

Everyone invoices differently. In the professional service field, it’s even more varied: we have fixed contract invoicing, time and material invoicing, mixes of both. We can invoice at the end of the month for work done, or invoice when a milestone is reached, or even invoice when a phase of the project is completed!

Let’s take it a step further: one client may require different invoicing. Some clients require a detailed list of the work done. Other clients prefer a simpler invoice. Sometimes, it depends on the contract: for one client, we might have one fixed-price project, and another time and material project.

It can be a nightmare. And it takes forever. And you can be sure there will be mistakes.

With Abak, you can setup different invoice formats to fit the different ways that you invoice. For each project, you can decide how to invoice the project. And the rest is Abak’s job. It saves and awful lot of time at the end of the month. In fact, our clients reduce their invoicing time by 60% on average. This means an invoicing run that used to take a week now takes only two days.

Think about what you could do with this time!

Get training and become the invoicing master

AbaKast training sessions

Would you like to push further when it comes to invoicing? To automate your processes further? To gain more flexibility with invoice formats? Then this AbaKast online training session is for you!

AbaKast 203: Advanced invoicing

Thursday, January 20, 2011
1h30 – 3h30pm, Eastern Time

This AbaKast is aimed at people familiar with basic invoicing functions, and takes it up a notch:

  • Cyclic invoicing
  • Invoice templates
  • Write-ups and write-offs

Only 99$

Register now!

Also, check out the full training schedule here

The curious case of unaccounted accounted invoices

Abak's logoYou have one or more invoices that don’t the Accounted status in Abak, but they are entered in your accounting system!

Those invoices are always showing on all your transfer processes!

When you keep them in your selection, your transfer process shows errors!

This situation may occur if you entered them manually in your accounting system or if a previous transfer terminated abnormally. In these cases, these invoices don’t have the Accounted status, as this action is set at the end of the transfer process.  This is why the transfer rejects those invoices when transferring to an accounting system in real time mode: because they already are in the system. And, since they were not transferred, those invoices will still show in the next process.

To stop this problem, you need to complete the transfer of these invoices only in Abak, without being blocked by your accounting software. All you have to do is temporarily change your destination software in step 4 of your transfer process. Then, simply select a file-based software transfer such as “Avantage or Simply Accounting”.

This will create a transfer file without validating if the invoice has already been created in the accounting system.  This validation is usually performed upon file import.  This allows you to complete your transfer process in Abak, have your invoice(s) status set to Accounted and prevent their appearance in your next transfer.  When completed, delete the created file without importing it.

Make sure to select only invoices already in the accounting system, since all other invoices do need to be imported normally.

Note that if you are integrating Abak with an accounting system through transfer files you only need to create a special transfer file with those selected invoices and delete the file without importing it in the accounting system.

This solution can be used for transfer of Clients invoices, Vendors invoices or Expenses accounts payment (as vendors).

Speed up Crystal report

We’ve recently fixed a bug in Crystal-based reports that used to slow down report generation considerably. It appears that by default, Crystal Reports will look for the printers present on the developer’s computer before generating the report. This problem will add about 30 seconds to the generation delay.

NOTE: Only custom reports are affected by the bug.

If you’ve had custom reports developed please contact technical support (support@abaksoftware.com) and we’ll fix those reports for you.

If you’ve developed custom reports for your clients or for yourself, you are still welcome to contact us for help!

If you have Crystal Reports installed, you can fix this problem yourself.

Simply open the report in Crystal Reports, go to File > Page Setup…


And check the No printer box.


Save the report and you’re done!

5 reasons why spreadsheets turn timesheets into a nightmare

Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California

Spreadsheets are great: they allow us to log a lot of information in an efficient format. They allow us to make computations, charts, and lots of fancy stuff (if you know the formulas). And because everyone has a spreadsheet program (Excel for most of us), it’s easy to send the information to someone else.

Spreadsheets are a nightmare waiting to happen.

Why? Because we expect spreadsheets to behave like centralized databases, self-updating and self-managed. This is not the case.

Here are 5 reasons why you should stay away from spreadsheets for your timesheets:

  1. Spreadsheets don’t report to central when something changes. Updating your timesheet? Making a correction? Unless you remember to let management know about the changed, it stays in the spreadsheet.
  2. Versions, versions, versions. With email, spreadsheets have become even more disastrous. As one version is sent, someone sends back a correction, and then we need to resend the corrected time sheet to everyone over again, we end up to so many versions of the same file, it’s maddening.
  3. Spreadsheets are an island. Unless equipped with advanced knowledge of Excel programming, what is in the spreadsheet stays in the spreadsheet. If we have a team working together, they cannot log everything in the same spreadsheet, at the same time. This creates and archipelago of information, that needs to be reconnected by administration.
  4. It’s a pain to turn this into an invoice. Unless significant investment is made in tunring spreadsheets into a billing system (and think of the pain of maintaining this!), information from the team’s time sheets has to copied and pasted over to the invoice. Can we think of a better way to introduce mistakes in our invoices?
  5. Consolidation?How does information flow from timesheets to invoices to accounts receivables and to payroll? With spreadsheets, it’s all done by hand, with risk of error of course…. And a bonus!
  6. Forgetting is just a fact of life. We forget. We forget about this one billable call we took while driving. We forget about the business lunch we had last week. It’s normal. With spreadsheets, those things get left out, and the company loses revenues.

Isn’t it time those systems talked to each other?

We live in this great modern world. We have the technology to flow information from one system to next, seamlessly, automatically. So why are we so bent on doing it all manually?