The Pro’s Corner: Multi-user timesheet and expense reports

Bo Sang Crafts Umbrella Making Centre
You need to see a timesheet report with several users, and don’t want to product one report for each person? No worries! Abak’s free custom reports can help.

The multi-user expense report and timesheet report looks similar to the standard report, but allow you to choose which employees to include in the report. The report will show a sub-total for each employee, and a grand total for all employees included in the report.

Get the free custom reports from our Extranet today!

The missing timesheet nightmare: 5 strategies to fix the problem

Martin Keamy's NightmareWhen we meet prospective clients, we often hear about their difficulties in getting everyone to fill out their timesheets in time. Missing timesheets create problems for administration: information missing at billing time, project performance reports are incomplete, and payroll requires assumptions to be made, which are difficult to correct later on.

The fact is, very few people enjoy logging their time. It’s often perceived at a clerical activity that is not productive to the employee, and provides a sense of “being controlled from above.” Not every part of one’s job can be fun, and we have to live with that.

However, as managers, we can use strategies to motivate our employees to hand in their timesheets. Here are five of them:

  1. The hard line: No timesheet, no pay.
    Pros: It’s highly effective. If someone misses a paycheck once because they forgot to submit their timesheet, it certainly will be their last.
    Cons: Repressive strategies tend to breed discontent in teams.
  2. The positive reinforcement: Get a perk every week the timesheet is filled on time
    Pros: Getting the perk is a positive motivator and people will enjoy it.
    Cons: No perk comes for free: allow to the additional cost in your budget.
  3. The nagger: Automatically (or manually) tell your employees when they have not filled out their timesheet
    Pros: This method works well with the forgetful employees
    Cons: Most employees will become accustomed to the reminder over time, and the method may lose effectiveness in the long term.
  4. The gamification: The first timesheet submitted gets a prize.
    Pros: Gamification of the workplace is all the rage these days. It’s especially effective with younger employees.
    Cons: As the article suggests, making a game out of timesheets does not make up for bad management. Plus, the game needs to be kept interesting, so it requires frequent updates and changes.
  5. The social reinforcement: Teams who submit timesheets on time get recognition, team who don’t lose a perk.
    Pros: This strategy promotes working as a team and may improve team cohesion.
    Cons: A non-compliant team member might be ostracized and experience adverse effects from his or her colleagues, creating more conflict in the workplace.

What are your strategies for getting timesheets done in your organization? Tell us in the comments!

Abak Celebrates 15 years of helping businesses grow!

The launch of Abak in 1997

The launch of Abak in 1997

Abak started out in 1997. That’s in that last century! We created Abak because, as an IT consulting firm at the time, we could not find a good product to connect timesheets from our employees to invoices sent to our clients.

Soon enough, our clients got wind of our home-grown time and billing system, and they wanted in on it! We started out with a few clients, who became our partners (and most constructive critics), and built an integrated time and billing system for small businesses in the professional services industry.

At first, we worked with accounting firms and architects, but soon engineering firms and consulting businesses of all kinds wanted to track project costs, revenues and margins automatically with Abak.

Today, over 25 000 people use Abak every day to log time, invoice clients, and make their business more profitable.

To celebrate this milestone, we’re offering our new clients 15 months for the price of 12!

This offer ends May 30th. Hurry before it goes away!

Try the demo, or request a quotation now!

Get Abak Mobile for free

We are happy to announce that Abak Mobile is now available. Fill out your time sheets using your Apple or Android smartphone, anywhere, anytime. Even in the field. Even at the client site.

Would you like to try it? We’re offering Abak Mobile for free until January 2013. This means you get to use Abak Mobile for months without having to pay for it! In January 2013, if you decide to keep Abak Mobile, you’ll need to purchase the licence upgrade.

Interested? Contact sales.

Abak Mobile, a time management tool for small businesses

Professional services companies now have a mobile app for time tracking, even on the road!

Abak Software is proud to launch Abak Mobile, its mobile timesheet app for smart phones and tablets.

Guy Boisvert, Abak Software’s President, explains: “Abak Mobile frees people from their computer. They can now log their time whenever and wherever they are, which reduces errors and forgotten timesheets.”

Thanks to Abak Mobile, consultants, employees and contractors can log their time worked anywhere, without the need for a computer. Abak is a times and billing software with project cost management features, designed for professional services companies such as consulting firms, CPA firms and engineering consultants.

The data form Abak Mobile can then be used to invoice the client without having to key in the data in another system.

About Abak Software

Founded in 1997, Abak Software is specialised in business management software development for the professional services fields, in verticals like accounting, engineering, consulting and architecture. Abak is a 100% Canadian product.

For more information, visit our website: www.abaksoftware.com

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For more information:

Karine Simard
Vice President, Sales &t Marketing
Tel: 1.888.849.8059 ext.234
Fax: 418.872.9018
ksimard@abaksoftware.com

A sneak peek at Abak Mobile

We are finally (almost) ready to release Abak Mobile to our clients. The new Abak Mobile module allows smartphone owners (iOS and Android) to fill out their time sheets on the go!

Abak Mobile allows users to do basic operations with time sheets:

  • Display time sheets
  • Create new time sheets
  • Duplicate an existing time sheet
  • Edit an existing time sheet
  • Delete time sheets that are not approved or not invoiced

Abak Mobile will be available in February 2012.

If you’d like to know more about Abak Mobile or try a demo, email me!

Managing Time Accruals – No Headache Required

Santa Claus Giving Treats to Young Women on the Beach: Saint Petersburg, FloridaTime accrual, such as vacation or sick days, tends to be centralized in the human resource management system. When a team member wants to know how much vacation time or how many sick days she has available, she has to ask the administration team. When the team is small, this is not a big deal, but when dealing with dozens of employees, answering time accrual questions can be time consuming.

Abak can manage time accruals automatically, and provides the information directly to team members from the time sheet interface. Not only can each employee see the status of their vacation accruals, but they can also see the details of vacation time earned taken in the last year. This makes it convenient and easy for employees to manage their vacation days and sick days, without intervention from the administration team. It also avoids surprises on payday, since it’s so easy to one can know whether we have accrued enough vacation days, for example.

Time bank management is a standard feature in Abak, available to all clients. If you’d like to know more about time bank management or implement the feature in your organization, contact us!

Do you like working for free?

free to use image- vintage toy cash register

In the professional services world, working for free is like giving away our product. Just like retailers try to avoid giving away products, consulting professionals want to avoid under-billing clients.

Under-billing happens when we forget to record billable time for a client. If it’s not recorded, it cannot get billed. And if time is not billed, then we’re working for free. The trouble is: we still have to pay the salary for team members who are doing non-billed work for clients.

How does that happen? The monthly time sheet is one source of the problem. Since most consulting projects are billed – or at least accounted for – on a monthly basis, employees are asked to provide their time sheets once a month. In too many organizations, time sheets are Excel spreadsheets filled out at the end of the month. Who remembers what they worked on three weeks ago?

While it may be perceived as more time-consuming, filling out our time sheets daily or weekly is profitable in the long term: the records are more accurate, less billable time is forgotten and invoicing increases.

With Abak as the time sheet and billing system, the connection between billable time and billed time is made automatically: there is no need to re-enter information and no risk of data entry error at invoicing time.

Timesheets and expenses in Abak Web [Video]

We just published a new video showing how time sheets and expenses are created, managed and approved in our Abak Web module.

The Abak Web module allows anyone with a login and password to the system to gill out their time sheet and expense report, without the need to install anything on their computer. In fact, it’s possible to fill out your time sheet from any computer equipped with Internet access.

Watch the video to know more: