Abak is now a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies

ACEC logoWe are happy to announce that Abak is now an associate member of the American Council of Engineering Companies, a US-based organization that aims to be the voice of America’s engineering industry.

Engineering consulting companies like to use Abak to track their project work and expenses, and bill their clients acurrately and easily.

To know more about Abak’s features for engineering projects, take a look at our Engineering Firms page.

Project Management Features in Abak [Video]

Abak offers a wide range of project management features, from detailed budgetting and planning to team assignation, cost control and tailored invoicing.

Want to know more? Take three minutes to watch this video!

Eliminate blank lines in Excel reports

Some reports display blank lines in Excel when exported. This can be inconvenient for printing reports, which may end up printing over too many pages.

The Simple Fix: Sort Your Data

The first way to fix this is to use Excel’s Data > Sort function, which will rearrange your report content and put blank lines at the bottom.

The Macro Fix: To Keep The Display Order Unchanged

For reports where you would prefer not to change to order of items in the list, use the macro below to delete blank lines.

Here’s how to do it:

Open your excel file, and right-click on the worksheet tab. Then, select View Code… from the contextual menu.

viewcode

This will open the Visual Basic Macro Editor window. Simply copy and paste the code below in the window:

Sub efface_A_vide()

Dim l As Long

For l = Cells(65356, 1).End(xlUp).Row To 1 Step -1

If (Cells(l, 1).Value = “” And Cells(l, 2).Value = “” And Cells(l, 3).Value = “” And Cells(l, 4).Value = “” And Cells(l, 5).Value = “” And Cells(l, 6).Value = “” And Cells(l, 7).Value = “” And Cells(l, 8).Value = “” And Cells(l, 9).Value = “”) Then Cells(l, 1).EntireRow.Delete

Next l

End Sub

Finally, run the macro by clicking the Play button in the toolbar.

VB play resized 600

Close the window and you’ll notice all the blank lines are gone!

Import/Export data for easy bulk updates in Abak

  • Most of your employees are changing rate!
  • You need to add a task to a long list of projects restricted on tasks!
  • A split of telephone area code requires you to update a long list of clients!

Great!

All these updates can be done in a simple three-steps process. Lets take the first case as an example.

Step 1: Export your list of employees to an Excel file.

In Abak, use the new Export to Excel feature to create a data file that you will use to reimport once updated with new values. Make sure that the Employee No. is among available columns.

In your Employees management window, click on the Excel button to generate an Excel file from your Employees management grid. This can now be done for most management windows in Abak.

Previously, you may have filtered your employees to keep only employees that are concerned by the rate update using the Query Server button.

Step 2: Modify your Excel file to create your updates file

Remove all unnecessary columns and rows. Actually the only column that you need is the Employee No. You should remove all rows referring to employees that are not changing of rate from the Excel file.

Enter the new rate for each employee in a new column of your Excel file.

Save your file.

Step 3: Import your file in Employees management window

Click on the importing button in the tools bar.

When launching your import, specify a “modification” importing type.

You only have to map your Employee No. and your rate (cost or billable) to your Excel file and process the import.

Now all your employees are updated at once.

Documentation

Please refer to the “T0003 – How do I… Import data in parameter file” document on our Extranet for detailed information on importing process. Imports are available for most management windows. This document will help you for all types of parameters import.

Please note that the first step is possible only with Abak version 7.2 or higher. With older versions, you will need to create your import file manually.

About Invoicing by Email

Another KI Invoice

I stumbled on two interesting Linkedin polls about the way customers like to receive their invoices. While both polls show a marked preference for receiving invoices by email, it’s also interesting to note the increase in this preference, over the course of only one year.

In 2009, about a third of customers preferred email to receive invoices. In 2010, this number almost doubled to 70%! Interestingly, the proportion of customers who preferred a paper copy did not change significantly, from 22% to 19,5%. Customers who prefer to log on to a portal or be invoiced directly in their bank environment is much lower.

2010

2009

Email 134 70% 86 36%
Hardcopy 38 19.5% 52 22%
Bank environment 19 10% 39 16%
Other 1 0.5% 62 26%
Total responses 192 240

Check out the Linkedin polls:

It seems email is becoming increasingly official a communication channel. Should it be? How reliable is email, really? Regardless, the fact remains that without email, invoicing is slower more resource intensive.

What do you think?

Get training and hone your Abak skills

AbaKast training sessionsDo you feel lost in Abak? Do you feel like things should be simpler and easier? They are! You just need to learn the tricks!

AbaKast 101:Understanding how to use Abak efficiently

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
1h30 – 3h30pm, Eastern Time

Learn all the time-saving tips and tricks in Abak:

  • Configuring Abak and understanding how all modules work together
  • Ergonomics: using the interface, column properties, filters, server requests, active windows,  etc.
  • Time sheet tips and tricks

Only 69$

Register now!

* We recommend being up-to-date with Abak 7.2 to get the maximum out of this AbaKast.

Also, check out the full training schedule here

Cool Report: Potential Revenue Per Employee

Here is a cool report in Abak: a way to know the revenue generated per employee. Based on billable and non-billable time entered by each resource (including employees and subcontractors), the report allows comparing two time periods against one another.

Abak Report: Revenue by Resource

With this report, it’s easy to see which employees are generating the most revenue, and to identify how much non-billable time is worked for the period, per person.

The Revenue per employee report is built-in with Abak. You’ll find it in the report selection window.

Get training and leverage the power of pivot reports

AbaKast training sessions

Do you wish you could sort time sheets or invoices in different ways, say, by partner, by project manager, by client, by business type? Or do the same with invoices? Expenses? Then this AbaKast session is for you!

AbaKast 202: Pivot Reports

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
1h30 – 3h30pm, Eastern Time

In this session, you’ll learn to leverage the power behind Abak’s pivot reports (formerly called Dashboard).

  • Tables, groupings and customization
  • Chart: pie, bar and line graphs

Only 99$

Register now!

Also, check out the full training schedule here