Online training: Reports

Data is great. Information is better!

Abak is a gold mine of data, do you know how to leverage that data to better manage your business? Would you like to transform Abak into a decision-making tool?

Then this online training session is for you!
AbaKast 102: Efficient reporting

March 22nd, 2012, 1h30 – 3h30pm, Eastern Time

Become a master of reporting:

  • Standard reports
  • Custom reports
  • Parameters

Only 99$

Don’t wait, register here!

Create a Configurable Resource Productivity Report in Abak

Our clients love our Resource Productivity Report because it shows the proportion of billable time VS non-billable time worked for each employee and contractor. However, some of our clients need to exclude some data from the calculations. For example, excluding vacation, sick days and other paid leave from the report might give a more accurate representation of the proportion of billable time.

While the standard Resource Productivity Report is not configurable, we can use the Pivot Reports to produce the same information, while being able to exclude pay codes, activities or projects. The genius behind Abak’s pivot reports is that we can save and share report templates, for use by other users or with a different data set later on. Moreover, since the templates contain no data, there is no risk to the business’ confidentiality of data.

Here’s how to use the Resource Productivity Pivot Report Template.

  1. Download the template files here. Unzip the files and save them on your computer.
  2. In Abak, go to the report section and create a pivot report for the dates you want.
    Abak Report
    1. Choose only timesheets
    2. Add the pay code data to your pivot report data set.
  3. Open the report in Abak. Now, we’ll apply the template. To do so, open the Template menu and browser to the files you saved on your computer earlier.
    Abak Report
  4. Your report should now display billable VS non-billable hours and percentages, per employee, pay code and task. You can click on the + sign next to the employee name to see more detail.Abak Report
  5. To exclude a pay code or an activity from your report, click on the configuration button on the left-hand bar. This will open the activity list window and allow you to uncheck activities such as vacation or leave, so they are removed from the report.Abak ReportAbak Report
  6. And you’re done!
  7. Export your report to Excel or PDF format from the Export menu.

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.


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!

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.

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?

5 reasons data is better than your gut feeling

Card Puncher, an Integral Part of the Tabulation System Used by the United States Census Bureau to Compile the Thousands of Facts Gathered by the Bureau

Ah, data. In our world of social media and relationship-based selling, it sometimes feels like data is the black sheep. Even though it’s never been so widely available as today, we still rely on our gut feeling and our intuition to know how our business is doing.

  1. Data has no feelings.  Data doesn’t try to see the positive in everything, or hope for the best. Data simply gives a picture of how things stand now, and how they have been in the past.
  2. Data doesn’t lie. What is, is. How much has been billed is not something that can be fudged easily. It’s black and white, right there on the computer screen.
  3. Data has no excuses. Data is not about the why, but about the what of things.
  4. Data is the same regardless of who’s looking at it. It doesn’t matter how optimistic or pessimistic I am, if the report shows that we’re losing money on a project, there is no argument to be had there – well except about why we’re losing money, and that is a whole other ballgame.
  5. Data gives a true picture of the present and the past. It may be cold-hearted, but is it really a bad thing? We do need a cold shower every once in a while.

Announcing November’s AbaKast: Reports!

Abak Software LogoAbaKast training sessions are webcasts for small groups of Abak users, where we’ll focus on a specific part of our time and billing software.

In November, we’ll talk about reports! Abak’s reporting engine is quite powerful and flexible. We can export information to PDF, Word, or Excel.

During November’s AbaKast session, we’ll explore how to create, customize and export reports from Abak. We’ll also cover our little-known but super-powerful feature, the pivot reports (formerly known as dashboards).

AbaKast 102: Efficient reporting

Tuesday, November 16
1h30 – 3h30pm, Eastern Time

Only 99$

Register here!

Become a master of reporting:

  • Standard reports
  • Custom reports
  • Parameters
  • Dashboard reporting