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Getting Time on Your Side

So How do You Use FunctionFox, Anyway?

You know how to use timesheets - fill them out, hand them in, explain why it took you so long and then forget them. But what do you do with a web-based time tracking system?

Well, it depends on what your job is.

Worker Bee or Contractor
If your job doesn't include any managerial tasks, you'll probably use just the FunctionFox Timesheet, and Project Costs. Pull-down menus have all the clients and projects you'll need to enter. All you have to do is make sure the date is right, choose the right client, project and task, enter your time and a brief description, and get on with your day. No need to look at a list of client or project codes, no mix-ups about project numbers, no erasing and rewriting. No hassles.

If you need to claim for expenses, you'll enter them on the Project Costs page. Once you've done that, your employer will be able to pay you for the work you've done and the expenses you've incurred. And being paid is a good thing.

If you're an independent contractor working with a company that uses FunctionFox, you will probably only ever use one feature: Timesheets. On the timesheet page, you'll enter the amount of time you've worked and a brief description of the work you did, select the appropriate client and project and save the entry. Voila!

Executive
You will love FunctionFox. It is going to make your job MUCH easier. How many times have you wished you could see where your team is on each project? How many evenings and weekends have you spent puzzling over incomplete, inaccurate or missing timesheets as you prepare invoices? Those days are over.

You can add new clients and projects in just minutes, using the Setup pages, and they'll be available immediately for everyone on the team. You can pull a Project Report to check on any of your projects. And you can have the report whenever you want it, at work, at home, in the evening, on the weekend, even on holidays. You'll be able to keep tabs on the budget (use the Ranking Report, for a quick overview), see if deadlines are being met and ensure that everyone is doing what they need to get the job done.

When it comes time to bill a project, what used to be a nightmare will become a dream. All the information you need to prepare an accurate invoice will be right there in the FunctionFox Project Report:

Have you ever had a client question your invoice? Did it put you on the spot? With FunctionFox, you'll be able to call up the Project Report while you're on the phone, fill the client in on the details - dates, hours, reasons for extra time or unexpected expenses. You'll look good and your client will be impressed.

Production Manager
Ever thought you could do with an assistant? With FunctionFox, you'll have a clever, reliable helping hand whenever you need it.

Estimating will be easier. In Project Reports for previous, similar projects, you'll find information such as: how much things really cost, who worked on the project and who the supplier was. That information will let you build an estimate for a new project that is more accurate, in only a fraction of the time it used to take.

Tracking Project Costs will be easier. When you send out a purchase order, or call a courier, or buy something on behalf of the client, just enter it on the Project Costs page. You'll know that a bill will be coming in, and it won't get lost or missed during billing. When the bill arrives, just enter the final amount, and you'll have a complete record of your real costs.

Tracking the progress of a project will be easier. As often as you need, you can pull a report and see where every project is. You'll know which projects are in danger of going over budget (the Ranking Report will tell you), which are nearing completion (Project Report), which Project Costs have come in, and which ones are still outstanding. You'll be more relaxed, more aware, and much more organized.

Traffic Manager
Is scheduling keeping you awake at night? Are you missing deadlines, postponing meetings because things haven't been completed on time? Is everybody busy - but nothing seems to be getting done? Those problems will be a thing of the past with FunctionFox.

When you start work every day, take a quick look at the Personnel report. You can review everyone's timesheets in just a few minutes. Check whether:

You'll then be able to make sure everyone is working on their highest priority projects, reassign work that is languishing on a desk somewhere, and know who has the capacity to take on new work that comes in. People will think you're a genius!

Business Owner
You will love FunctionFox more than anyone, because it's going to increase your productivity, your revenue and your profits. In order to get the most out of it, though, you'll need to make sure everyone is entering the information you need.

Your first priority should be to insist that everyone complete a timesheet every day. Anything people do that can be attributed to a client should be entered, including things like chatting to the client on the phone, fixing a computer that crashed when they were working on a client's work, research on behalf of a client. Make sure they are putting detailed notes in the Description field, too. It'll help you later, when you need to analyze things.

Make sure you are capturing Project Costs as well. FunctionFox makes it easy for employees to record small expenses like couriers and color copies. Think of the little things that you use every day they often go unbilled, leaving you holding the bag.

Once you have everyone's time and expense entries you can begin to have a look at things. A month's worth of information will let you get started, a quarter's info is even better, and once you have a year's worth, you'll be able to do some pretty nifty analysis.

Use the Ranking Report to see where the bulk of your time and energy is going and whether you're able to bill for all that time. Compare your estimates to the amount you billed are there some clients that consistently cost you money?

The Project Report will show you any bottlenecks or trouble spots. You'll know about projects that are running close to budget in time to warn the client. You'll also see whether your estimates are realistic. If your estimates are always low, you'll be able to pinpoint where the problem is and bump up that section of any new estimate.

The Personnel report will show you patterns of work among your employees. You'll be able to compare billable and non-billable hours and daily, weekly or monthly productivity. You'll see who's a star, and who's slowing things down. You're going to know more about your business, your employees and your clients than you've ever know before. And remember, knowledge is power.

With Access Levels and User Groups, you can ensure that only the people who need access to features have them. You probably don't want to let everyone pull Project Reports, Personnel Reports or Client Reports, but it may be vital that your managers have that ability. You may not want contractors to see all your active projects and clients, with FunctionFox User Groups, you can put the contractor into a group that can see only one project for one client and nothing else. They can enter their time, but they can't see any sensitive information.

The Bottom Line
So. That's what you do with FunctionFox. You enter time. You enter Project Costs. You make things easier, you learn more about your business and you gain control. It's simple, it's affordable and as far as your business is concerned, it's invaluable.

Article supplied by FunctionFox Systems Inc. To make a positive difference in your bottom line please contact us Toll-Free at 1.866.369.8463 or email staycreative@functionfox.com