Product Update

July 25, 2002

1. Project accounting: use role-based rate cards for project billing.

OpenAir now offers another method for project accounting and billing: rate cards. OpenAir customers can now create multiple rate cards for their company and apply different rate cards to project estimates and to specific billing rules. Rate cards contain specific billing rates for different positions or roles in the company. So, for example, project managers can run scenarios using different rate cards to estimate the profitability of a proposed project or form the basis of a price quote. Or, for example, an authorized user can create a specific rate card with negotiated rates for a specific client and use that rate card to bill all projects to that client to ensure proper discounts.

To use the new rate card feature, first create job codes and assign loaded hourly user cost to each job code. Job codes are codes that reflect roles or levels in the organization such as project manager, senior analyst or vice president. Create job codes by navigating to My Account>Account>Job Codes>select Job Code from the New Entries: Create drop down and complete the form.

Then create one or many rate cards for a company. A rate card is a list of job codes and associated billing rates. To create a rate card, navigate to My Account>Account>Rate Cards>select Rate Card from the New Entries: Create drop down and fill out the form.

Finally, to use rate cards for billing and with billing rules, create a time billing rule within a project (by navigating to Projects>select a project>Billing>select Time billing rule from the New Entries: Create drop down). Next, select Rate Card from the Get Billing Rates From field. Then, select the appropriate rate card from the Rate Card field. Now all hours that are billed through this specific billing rule will use the rates from the specified rate card.

Authorized users can also use the new rate card functionality to help them create sophisticated project pricing scenarios using OpenAirís new pricing functionality. See item number two below for more information.

2. Project pricing: new "what if" pricing scenarios.

OpenAir has introduced enhanced project pricing functionality so companies can use "what if" scenarios, resource plans and project plans to determine profitability of proposed projects. When used in combination with OpenAirís new project stages functionality (highlighted in the June 20, 2002 OpenAir Update), pricing scenarios enable companies to track projects in groups based on their status in the sales funnel: e.g., proposed, sold, live, close, etc.

To use the new project pricing functionality, account administrators must first enable the functionality for specific project stages. Navigate to My Account>Account>Project Stages>select project stage>check the box enabling pricing. Once this box is checked for this project stage, authorized users can apply project pricing to any project within this stage.

Next, authorized users navigate to Projects>select appropriate stage that has pricing functionality enabled>select appropriate project>Pricing. There are three sub tabs: Scenario, Job Cost Estimate and Analysis.

Fill out the Scenario form. The first two fields - rate card fields - will populate the revenue portion of the pricing analysis. In order to fully use the pricing functionality, we recommend creating rate cards (see item number one above for more information). The first rate card selection on the scenario form should reflect full-price billing rates, or opportunity cost (it might be named "standard rates"). The second rate card selection should reflect a rate card with billing rates that a company has negotiated with a specific client (it might be called "90% rates").

The next field - Get Hours From field - will populate the cost portion of the pricing analysis. Users can select from a high-level, job-code-based labor cost estimate, a more detailed booking-based estimate, or a very detailed project-plan-assignment based labor cost estimate. Use the Job Code Estimate link at the top of the form to create job code labor costs estimates. Use OpenAirís standard booking functionality in the Resources module for booking-based estimates and OpenAirís standard project plans and task assignments for the project-plan-based cost estimates.

The remaining fields - Investment Absorptions, Non-billable Resource Cost and Non-billable Expense Cost - can be filled in to reflect costs that are not re-billable to the client and impact the projects profit margin.

To review the pricing analysis generated by the date entered above, navigate to the Analysis tab at the top of the form. This analysis displays the detailed components of revenue, cost and profit proposed for this project. Authorized users can iterate this analysis by changing the numbers used entered for revenue and cost.

3. Timesheets: request holidays and time off in OpenAir.

OpenAir has added functionality that enables timekeepers to request schedule changes such as vacation, paid time off, etc., enables managers to review and approve requests, and configures OpenAir to automatically reflect these changes in user schedules (Resources), in future timesheets (for timekeepers), and in project plans (Projects).

To use the schedule request functionality, account administrators must first enable the functionality for the account. Navigate to My Account>Company>Settings, scroll down to the bottom of the list of Timesheet-related checkboxes, and check the Enable Schedule Requests checkbox.

Once the schedule request functionality is enabled, a timekeeper navigates to Timesheets>Schedule Requests>selects Schedule Request from the Create: New Entries dropdown menu, completes the form, and clicks the Submit/Approve button. Schedule request approval processes can be multi-step or simple one-step approvals.

Once approved by a manager, the requested vacation, sick time, etc. can be posted to a userís individual work schedule. Work schedule updating is important if an account uses the Resources module and utilization reports. In addition, once a manager approves the requested vacation or sick time, a userís future timesheets can be pre-populated with the approved time off, and project plans can be automatically updated to reflect the changes.

4. QuickBooks: new QuickBooks 2002 integration.

OpenAir has launched a new, more comprehensive integration with QuickBooks accounting packages. The new connector integrates with QuickBooks Pro 2002 and QuickBooks Premium 2002. Enhanced features include (1) accounts payable integration for reimbursing employee expenses, (2) accounts receivable integration for export of entire invoices to QuickBooks, and (3) push-button synchronization of clients, users, vendors etc. between QuickBooks and OpenAir.

For more information on using the new QuickBooks connector, please contact us at

5. Invoicing: use services with project billing rules.

OpenAir continues to enhance the flexibility of project billing rules. This month, we introduce two new service-related features.

First, users can now associate a service with a billing rule. Associating a service with a billing rule increases the power of service-based reporting for accounts using billing rules. To use service-based billing rules, enable billing rules by navigating to My Account>Company>Settings>scroll down to the bottom of the form and select Project Billing Rules from the Billing Rates field. Once enabled, navigate to Projects>select a project>Billing>select appropriate billing rule from the New Entries: Create drop down. Complete the billing rule form, choosing the service associated with the particular billing rule.

Second, users who use time billing rules for time and materials billing can now configure billing rates on a per service per project basis (in addition to the already offered per user per project basis). To use the new functionality, navigate to Projects>select a project>Billing>select Time Billing Rule from the New Entries: Create drop down. Complete the billing rule form, including selecting Services from the drop down Get the Billing Rate From field.

6. Would you like to see previous OpenAir updates?

Click here to browse previous product updates including all new features, modules and functionality.

7. Suggestions, problems or questions?

As always, please contact us at or 888.367.1288 (outside the U.S. and Canada, call 617-351-0226). We pride ourselves on the outstanding care we give our customers. Please let us know how we can improve your experience with OpenAir.