Product Update

September 25, 2003

1. Projects: Determine pending revenue recognition; additional method for revenue recognition; exclude non-billable expenses from project billing rules; project booking grid enhancements; duplicate task and phase custom fields when copying project from another project; option to exclude text-only items when creating project from proposal.

We have enhanced OpenAir’s projects module on many different fronts this month. First, we’ve added a new report on pending revenue recognition for projects across the account. This is the revenue equivalent to the pending billings report introduced in the July release. Pending revenue recognition consists of those transactions that would be generated if revenue recognition rules were run. This report allows the billing or project manager to see at a glance the value of potential revenue to be recognized on projects across the account. Moreover, the new report allows the billing manager to process the recognition transactions from the report itself. Administrators and users with the required role privileges navigate to Reports > Advanced > Projects > Pending recognition. Filters for date, client, project and project stage are provided. There is an option to hide projects with no pending recognition, if desired. Run the report to show projects, with client name, number of pending recognition transactions and amount. If a particular project has recognition pending, the project name will be hyperlinked. Clicking the link will take the user (provided s/he has the appropriate privileges) to the Run recognition screen, where s/he can run recognition for the project. Another link on the recognition screen returns the user to the pending recognition report.

A second enhancement to projects is a new method for revenue recognition. We’ve added an option to create a “fixed amount on % complete rule”. This allows the manager to specify an amount to be recognized, a threshold value for % complete and the project or phase whose completion will drive the rule. When recognition is run, a revenue recognition transaction for the fixed amount will be generated if the percentage complete of the project or specified phase has been met or exceeded. To create a revenue recognition rule, administrators and users with the appropriate privilege navigate to Projects > Projects > [select a project] > Recognition > Recognition rules.

Third, expenses can be marked as non-billable and can be excluded from project billing. This eliminates the need to set up separate expense items for non-billable expenses. To take advantage of this new feature, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Expenses options. Check the box “Allow non-billable receipts” and Save. Upon enabling the feature, each receipt will display a “Billable receipt” checkbox. Receipts will default to billable; the user can uncheck the box to mark the expense non-billable. To exclude the non-billable expenses from billing, the project manager creates or edits an expense item billing rule and checks the box “Exclude non-billable receipts”.

Fourth, the project booking grid has been enhanced with several new features. The grid now shows totals by day and by resource, and grand totals, for project bookings. Bookings for inactive users are displayed on the grid as read-only, thus preventing the addition or changing of bookings for inactive resources. The user picker on the project booking grid settings form now has a “remove all” option to make it easier to change the list of selected users to display on the grid.

Fifth, when creating a new project from an existing project, you can now choose to copy custom fields for tasks and phases to the new project. (Custom field support for project phases is another new feature this month; see the Administrative section below.) A “Duplicate custom fields” checkbox appears on the New project form when copying a project from another project. Check the box to copy custom fields and values for tasks and phases from the existing project to the new project. Other project attributes that can be duplicated (in addition to tasks, phases and assignments) include billing rules, recognition rules and project pricing.

Finally, we’ve added a feature to allow the project manager to exclude text-only items when creating a project from a proposal. If you select this option, only proposal items with hours or dollar values will be included, as tasks, in the project created from the proposal.


2. Expenses: Mark receipts non-billable; display submitted/approved dates on envelope list.

OpenAir users can now be given the option of marking receipts non-billable; receipts marked as such can be excluded from the operation of the billing rules. This eliminates the need to create duplicate expense items for billable/non-billable expenses. Please see above under the Projects module for a description of the feature, including directions on how to enable it.

Also in the Expenses module this month, users can elect to display the submitted and approved dates of expense reports in the envelope list view, by clicking the customize link at the bottom of the list. Add “Date Submitted” and “Date Approved” to the list of selected items and click OK.


3. Reports: Hierarchies in user summary reports; hierarchy omissions report now includes generic resources; other enhancements to existing reports; optimization to speed up summary report form generation.

Hierarchies and drill down reports were introduced by OpenAir in 2002. They enable managers to group employees and projects into organizational blocks such as business unit, location, department, etc. and then to view data according to those organizational groupings. The values available for reporting in drill down reports were limited to hours in the Timesheets or Resources modules (hours booked, worked, open, submitted, approved, rejected, billed/unbilled, percentage of time billed/unbilled), expenses (value and quantity), timebills (value and quantity), and purchases (value and quantity). This month, we’ve extended the options for reporting on user-based hierarchies beyond drill down reports to include summary user reports. All user summary reports, including the account-wide user summary report, can now be configured to give a hierarchical data view. The range of values that can be reported on consequently is much wider than previously; in addition to the above-listed values, it includes projected billing, cost and net figures for project assignments, resource bookings and timesheet hours. Note: there is a limitation in that only non-utilization values are presently supported.

In another hierarchy-related reporting enhancement this month, we have enhanced the hierarchy omissions report to include generic resources as well as actual users. This report permits the manager to ascertain quickly whether there are any users or generic resources missing from a user-based hierarchy, thus enabling him/her to assign all resources an appropriate position in the hierarchy.

We have also enhanced several other existing reports this month:

a) in account-wide summary reports, you can now subtotal, filter and get detail on timebill type. Previously these features were only available in Invoice summary reports.

b) account-wide and project summary reports (on user, department, job code, project, service/activity, account or customer) now support subtotaling of recognized revenue by customer.

c) account-wide customer reports and project summary reports on customers now provide the ability to subtotal and get detail on recognition rules. This provides the billing manager with an overview of all potential revenue to be recognized, whether currently pending or not, at the client and project levels.

d) revenue recognition and billing transactions detail reports include customer name as an optional value;

e) the deal detail report now includes a deal status filter, so you can report on some deals while excluding others, based on the deal status (open/closed/lost).

Finally, we have implemented some optimizations for summary reports, allowing the configuration forms for summary reports to generate much more quickly than they have in the past.


4. Administrative features: Custom field support for project phases; add save/run buttons to tops of forms; add notes to filter sets.

We have added several new administrative features in this month’s release. First, custom fields can now be associated with project phases. To create a new custom field, administrators or those with the requisite privilege, navigate to My Account > Company > Custom fields. From the New entries > Create dropdown, select the type of custom field to be created. From the Association dropdown, select “Phase”. Configure the rest of the custom field as desired and save. As mentioned above in the Projects section, custom fields for phases can be duplicated when copying a project from an existing project.

A second new administrative feature lets you add a save or run button to the top of forms. To turn this feature on, administrators navigate to My Account > Company > Settings > Display options. Check the box to “Add the save or run button to the top of forms” and Save. Forms will display the save/run buttons both at the top and bottom. Users can override the account-wide setting by going to My Account > My Options > Preferences > Display options > Add the save or run button to the top of forms.

Finally, a new feature lets you add notes to filter sets. Filter sets allow administrators to create and save access privileges to particular clients, projects, services, users, expense items, time types and booking types within the application, and to assign these privileges selectively to users. Filter sets restrict access to a subset of available data; users are exposed only to the data they need and there is less likelihood of user error in recording time and expenses. For accounts that use many filter sets, this new notes feature will give an opportunity to document the purpose or otherwise describe the various filter sets in use. To create or edit filter sets, administrators, or those with requisite privileges, navigate to Account > Account data > Filter sets.


5. Would you like to see previous OpenAir updates?

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


6. Suggestions, problems, or questions?

As always, please contact us at or 888.367.1288 (outside the U.S. and Canada, call +1.617.351.0226). We pride ourselves on the outstanding care we give our customers. Please let us know how we can improve your experience with OpenAir.