The first step is to create a Project for this job. Fill in all details in the New Project window and click the Save button to get the Project created.
Once done, access the Budget module by clicking on the Budget icon (the pig icon) to the right of the View Filters:
Save Project and next, access Budget module
The Budget window opens. The top main area displays the Project's Budgets and the area at the bottom displays the Project's Actuals. So far, since there are no Budgets or Actuals, both areas are empty.
To create a new Budget, click on the Pig icon and give it a name.
The Budget list now contains one Budget/Quote.
A Project may contain as many budgets/quotes as needed. To differentiate them, add a descriptive name, e.g. "Quote with sound", or "Quote without sound".
Next to the name, the listed budgets also display the total Sell Budgeted, the Budget Type and Quote Nr (see details further down).
The initial grey color indicates that it is still not the 'Active Budget'.
Child Budgets can be created by dragging a budget/quote onto the main one. This way a Child Budget is related to a Parent Budget.
The Budget Header
Click on it to see the following information on the Budget header:
- Created By: Shows the User who created it and the creation date and time.
- Modified By: Shows the User who last modified it and the last modification date and time.
- Budget Type: There are three options to choose from: Budget, Quote, Current Quote.
- Quote Nr: This field gets activated when Budget Type "Quote" or "Current Quote" are chosen. This is a consecutive counter for the Quotes within a Project (i.e. it is reset on every Project), and is editable. It can be used in combination with Project Number when printing out quotes to send to customers to differentiate quote versions. E.g. If Project Number is 17, and you are preparing Quote Nr. 2, in the Print Design you can configure to display: Quote Nr: 17/2 or 17/v.2.
- Active Budget: To activate/deactivate it. See more further down.
- Budget Number: This is a consecutive counter across all Projects. It is not editable.
- Discounts: This refers to the Per Category Discounts (in the Edit Project window header, e.g. "Users: 10%") which by default are inherited from the Project into the Budget. This makes sense when the Budget is work in progress. But when a Quote is sent to the customer, it can be useful to lock these discounts so the Quote remains as when it was sent. This is done by changing this selector to "From Budget".
If you have your prices on Object Classes and use these when quoting/budgeting, then this setting will not be useful.
- Comparison Budget: See the corresponding article for detailed information.
- Budget Operators: See the Budget Operators article for detailed information.
- Price Agreements: See the Budget Price Agreements article for detailed information.
- Custom Fields: Your customised fields show to the right of the standard fields. See the Budget Custom Fields for detailed information.
Creating a new Quote
To the left of the Budget header there is an arrow to collapse or expand the header.
The Budget Details
Right below the header, there is an option called "Expanded" to expand or collapse the different levels of your Budget Structure. It contains the following options:
- Categories: Everything is collapsed and only the Categories are displayed.
- Accounts: Only the Categories level is expanded, so the Accounts are displayed, but not the details in the Accounts.
- All: Everything is expanded.
- All Containing Data: Only the Categories and Accounts that contain any Budget Details are expanded.
You can also expand or collapse a Category or Account by double clicking directly on it or by clicking on the arrow icon on its left.
To add a Budget Detail, click on the green plus icon next to an Account or Category. The Object Browser window opens for you to select an Object/ User or the Object Class it belongs to, or else a Service, Material or Expense.
If the 'Allow Adding Directly To Budget Categories' setting (in Server Setup > Financial Tab > Budget Settings) was set to No, you will not be able to add Budget Details to a Category.
Category and Account names cannot be modified, but you can use the Note icon next to them to add further details that you need to show on the print-out to your customer.
From 6.8 onward the "Note" can be displayed & edited in a separate column. The column needs to be added through eye menu > edit view.
The Object Browser
If your Objects/ Users belong to a specific Object Class and the price is defined in the Object Class, you might prefer selecting the Object Class itself to later decide what object (room, workstation etc.) or who will be doing the job. And also because in the quote to be sent to the client, you prefer not displaying the specific room or operator, but the Object Class they belong to.
Use the Search field on the top right corner of the Object Browser to search for the service you need to add. It will search on Name (name of Object), Activity and Type (Object Category, Object Class and Menu Group).
Make sure to set the View to "All" to search on all types of objects (Object Class, Service, Material…) when not sure where the item you are looking for belongs. Same goes to Division (if licensed): set it to "Any Division" when searching or choose a specific Division, depending on your configurations and workflows.
You can switch the Rates selector to Day or Hour to see the prices in that specific unit.
And you can enable the option to "Show Activities" at the bottom of the Object Browser window.
As a search value is being typed, the search results are updated and helpers with known results are shown in the auto-complete window.
- Name: Under this column you can see the name of the Object, and the Activities connected to it (if the "Show Activities" option is enabled at the bottom-right corner).
- Type: It displays the Object Category (Users, Resources, Rooms, etc), Object Class and Menu Group (from Services, Materials and Expenses).
- Buy: Show the buy price in relation to the selected unit. You can switch from Day to Hour Rate on the top of the window.
- Sell: Show the sell price in relation to the selected unit. you can switch from Day to Hour Rate on the top of the window.
- Unit: Shows the unit. It can be changed with the "Rates" filter on the top of the window.
Click on the Object that you need to add to the quote. If the Object has an Activity, a window pops up to select one. And a final window pops up to type the Quantity. Once done, the Object Browser window will re-open remembering the previous filters and settings so you can keep adding details to the same Account. Once done, click on Done at the bottom of the window to close it.
In this example, part of this Project is to do some offline editing, so the Object Class 'Offline' is added with activity 'Editing - Day'.
At this point the '1 day' of editing is just an estimate since the actual work has not begun yet. The unit can be changed from Days to Hours under the “Qty (Budget)” column, by clicking directly on the unit name or on the drop-down arrow next to the unit name.
Adding a Budget Detail
To complete the Quote, more Budget Details are added.
The complete Quote
Keyboard Navigation: Show Entries On All Accounts
Another way of adding Budget Details is by enabling the option "Show Entries On All Accounts". Once enabled, empty Entry fields will be added to each Account and Category. Instead of clicking on the green plus icon to open the Object Browser, use this Entry field to type the Object name or Object Class name. A drop-down list will display the possibilities according to the typed characters. Use the up/ down arrows on your keyboard to navigate to the Object you want to select and hit Enter to select it. Navigate from cell to cell by using the left/ right arrows on your keyboard.
While on the Quantity column, when the quantity selector is highlighted hit the Space bar and use the up/ down arrows to change between Hour/ Day/ Fixed Rate.
Show Entries In All Accounts
It is possible to modify the Description of a Budget Detail. When clicking on the specific Description cell, it gets highlighted in blue. As you start typing, the description gets replaced by the new value. If, instead, you need to add further information after that description, then double click to get the cursor placed at the end so you can type some more text.
Reordering & Deleting
Budget Details can be reordered by drag & drop - also across accounts.
Use the bin icon to the left of the Budget Detail to delete that line.
Cut, Copy & Paste
By selecting one or more Budget Details, you can right-click and select Cut or Copy from the menu - or simply press Command-x/Command-c on Mac, or Control-x/Control-c on Windows.
This will place the selected Budget Details on an internal clipboard.
When you have cut/ copied some items to the clipboard, you can select one or more Accounts or Categories and paste the items there, by right-clicking and selecting Paste - or by simply pressing Command-v on Mac, or Control-v on Windows.
If you have selected multiple Accounts when pasting the items, the Budget Details will be copied into ALL those Accounts.
If you have selected a Budget Detail instead of an Account when pasting the items, they will be inserted directly AFTER the selected Budget Detail. This makes it easy to control exactly at which position in the Account the copied items are added.
Discounts will also be copied when copying Budget details (v7.1)
While editing a Budget, you can use Undo (and then Redo) by pressing the Tools menu at the top, or by pressing Command-z to Undo and Command-Shift-z to Redo on Mac, or Control-z to Undo and Control-y to Redo on Windows.
The 'undo/ redo' functionality is made possible with a variable-steps undo buffer. It will keep a maximum of 5MB of Budget data in the buffer. That means the bigger your Budgets are, the fewer steps are kept. For small Budgets it is virtually infinite.
- When selecting a different Budget, the undo buffer will be emptied. In other words, you will no longer be able to undo your recent changes.
- When raising a Purchase Order from a Budget Detail (or editing it in a way that affects the Budget), the undo buffer will be emptied. This is to prevent the PO from unintentionally getting out of sync with the Budget.
- When forwarding Budget Details to Actuals, the undo buffer will be emptied. This is to prevent the Actuals from unintentionally getting out of sync with the Budget.
A status label at the bottom-left of the Budget window indicates when an action has been performed on the current Budget. The label lasts for a few seconds.
The Budget Table
Read more here on how you can hide or show columns in the Budget table.
Quote Versioning & Current Quote
After the quote has been printed and sent off to the Client, there might be some rounds of changing the quote before it is finally approved. This can be done by modifying the first Quote. But sometimes it is useful to have a history trail of all the sent Quotes and unique number for each Quote, so you and your client know you are discussing the same Quote. This is achieved by selecting the Quote, clicking on the drop-down arrow and selecting Duplicate. The new Quote will automatically get the next number in the series – in this case “2”.
This second quote can be set as the Current Quote, to clearly see that it is the latest version being discussed with your client.
When a Quote has been approved by the client, tick the Active Budget checkbox. This has the following effects:
- An Active Budget can have Actuals attached to it.
- The Scheduling Mode is only active on Active Budgets.
- The Active Budget is the one included when generating a Financial Report over multiple Projects.
- The Budget Details of an Active Budget can be invoiced: they need to be included in the Project View filter for invoicing, typically called "To Invoice/Invoiced". See more details in the Invoicing the Budgeted article.