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Tips & Tricks

Default work types by person

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    Today we received this email:

    When you say "set default billable rates" does this mean that the each USER can have a rate set, or do rates apply only to jobs or functions (which unfortunately is what most time accounting programs provide, which is of no use when you have junior and senior copywriters). Thanks


    Intervals is pretty flexible with how it handles work types. At Pelago, we do use them by type of work and not person, but we have seen a lot of different ways to do it. For example:

    Junior Copywriting
    Senior Copywriting

    OR

    Bill - Copywriting
    Sam - Copywriting

    OR

    Bill - Rush Fee
    Bill - Regular Fee
    Bill - Non Billable

    If you have a lot of people using Intervals this could get crazy pretty quick, but since Intervals is designed with small business in mind modifying the default work types to match your process usually works pretty well.
    • ddegreeff
    • Jul 14th 2010 edited @ 07/14/2010 11:23 am
     
    Even in a small business such as ours we have a variety of different junior engineers at different rates. It seems to me a much better and easier way to have this work would be to apply a rate to the individual and then have the dollar figure apply to the work type instead of the hours.
    • WisTex
    • Jan 26th 2011 edited @ 01/26/2011 7:20 pm
     
    Well, then you also have the issue of what the customer is billed vs. what the shop pays a subcontractor. There isn't any way to track that in Intervals that I can see.
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    The question is: if I have 12 people work for me and we have a meeting, everyone is charged at different rates. I don't want to create 12 work types for the meeting.

    When I put the rates, I can see the real cost of the project in real time. If I put the rates I charge to the client, it distorts that view as I still charge different rates for different resources.

    Various people are involved in various work types, so it's not practical to create a different work type for each user.

  3.  

    In the original post, Michael stated:


    “If you have a lot of people using Intervals this could get crazy pretty quick, but since Intervals is designed with small business in mind modifying the default work types to match your process usually works pretty well.”


    Intervals is not built in a way that would allow it to track two types of billable hours or hourly rates per many persons. Both of this features would require an additional layer of complexity that only a minority of our customers would utilize. Our aim is to keep Intervals in the fine balance between a comprehensive feature set and an easy-to-use interface, with the small business in mind.
  4.  
    I must be in that minority then. Each person may have a different billing rate for each project on which they work. I think I have to create a worktype for each billing rate and then rely on individuals picking the correct one for each project on which they work. It would be so much better if there could be a billable rate per person per project.
  5.  

    I am in the minority as well, as per the Intervals team from all the discussions I had with them. And I gotta comment that this tool is used by my company, which is a small business, and it doesn't fulfill on this one feature that is required.

    The answer I got for the use of the individual rate is to use excel or some other software in addition to the data that we get out of intervals. I was actually looking forward to track the real costs here and not the ones that include the profit margin.

    And here's how I understand this works. If I have clients that I do projects for and I have my resources that execute them, I will put the rate per work type (based on my assessment of the project cost, regardless of what various people that do the same type of work get paid). With the estimated hours, that comes together to the project budget figure. That's the real amount that needs to be used to reflect real budget dollars (vs costs).

    If I want to use all the reports internally, I can't, because they will show the amounts I charge for the work and not the amounts that the work cost me (through the use of various resources). What I don't get is this: if I create a budget for internal or external projects that shows me how much it'll cost me to execute it, I will want to see the progress of the project in real dollars and not the inflated, charged to the client dollars. As I was thinking this way I realized that internally it's true if I want to know how much the work has cost me so far. But when managing a project for a client and to be able to track the project budget based on the amounts we charge the client for our work, I would then need a report that shows those inflated (or charged to the client) dollars. Thus the way Intervals does it makes sense.

    So if I want to look at the real cost, even internally, I would either have to use excel or create multiple work types for the same type, based on each person. I wouldn't do that most likely as it presents too many issues:
    1. if I have 8 people with a different rate, I'd have to create 8 different work types, Michael-Meeting, Jorge-Meeting, Stephen-Meeting, etc, times the number of work types (say we use 8-10 types). Not very practical and people might get a bit crazy trying to always choose the right one, although it's doable. And as you add a new person to a project, you'd have to create another set of work types.
    2. If I try to generate 1 work type for 4 people that get paid the same, then they will wonder why some people have a name next to the work type and they are using a generic one.

    So I'd have to stick with Excel for that calculation.

    The only answer I see is in using the rate per work type as per the budgeting exercise, where the rate includes a profit margin, rather than the real cost of the resources. And thus these reports are more useful to show to the clients than to be used internally.

    I personally can't agree that it makes sense for me to use it this way, but I use the system in any way that it will work for me until I find a tool out there that does what I'm looking to do, unfortunately.

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