March 11, 2006
2. Purchases: Streamlined purchasing process.
With this release, we are rolling out a new streamlined version of the OpenAir purchasing process. This feature enables project or billing managers to more easily enter costs incurred against a project and to re-bill them to the client. It could be used, for instance, to enter project costs for subcontractors who will not be entering timesheet hours, or for expenditures for which an employee does not need to be reimbursed via the Expenses module. Previously, such costs would have to go through the standard purchase order cycle: purchase requests created, then approved, purchase orders created, then approved, and finally, fulfillments created. The new feature dispenses with the need for a purchase request, approvals and fulfillments, and compresses the entire process into a few easy steps.
The new feature is enabled in My Account > Company > Settings > Purchases options. Check the box “Enable the ability to create non-PO purchase items…” and save. The default terminology (“non-PO purchase item”) can be changed in My Account > Company > Terminology.
To utilize the feature, the user must have access to the Purchases module. The user must also have role privileges to view/modify non-PO purchase items. At least one product and one vendor must exist in the account; these entities are created, viewed or modified in My Account > Account > Purchases.
To create a new non-PO purchase item, users navigate to Purchases > POs > Purchase items. From the “New entries > Create dropdown, select “a Non-PO purchase item”. Enter date, client, project, product, quantity, price and other relevant information. For multicurrency accounts, a currency drop-down is presented next to the cost column, allowing currency selection.
To identify these items in the POs > Purchase items list view, use the “customize” link at the bottom of the screen to add “non-PO purchase item”.
Once a non-PO purchase item has been created, it is immediately considered fulfilled and is thus available for billing; this eliminates the need to create a fulfillment as a separate step in the process. To bill the items to a client, simply navigate to Projects > [select the project] > Billing. Create/run a purchase item billing rule. To recognize revenue on non-PO purchase items, create/run a purchases rule, from the project’s recognition area.
The “Analysis” link within the project displays the “Total” value for non-PO purchase items in the “Incurred costs” section of the financial analysis report.
To report on non-PO purchase items, navigate to Reports > Detail > Purchases > Purchase items. In the report layout, select the “non-PO purchase item” column. A PO filter is also available, and you can select “No PO” to limit the report results to non-PO purchase items
3. Reports : Usage designations and classes; other Reporting enhancements.
OpenAir reports are also undergoing significant updates. First, we have added the concept of usage designation. At the bottom of every report form, including when modifying a saved report, users with the required role privileges have access to a section for “Usage designations”. This allows the user configuring the report to indicate if it should be available in entity-specific situations. A report which is given project-specific usage designation, for instance, will be available for inclusion in project dashboards, as described in the Projects section above. The ability to specify usage designations is available to administrators and to users who have the "Specify report usage designations" privilege in the General Settings section of the role. If users do not have this role privilege, the "Usage designations" section will not appear on the report configuration form, but the tips at the bottom of the page will indicate if the report has been given a usage designation. Other features leveraging the usage designation will also be forthcoming.
Saved reports are now categorized by class as well. Examples of report classes include “Account-wide project summary”, “Client detail”, “Pending billing”, “Financial analysis”, etc. The report class is automatically assigned by the OpenAir system, based on the type of the saved report, and is static.
Both usage designations and class are available in the Reports >Saved reports list view, via the “customize” link.
Other Reporting enhancements included in the present release are:
A new detail report on reports can be found in Reports > Detail > Account-wide > Reports. Available fields include the audit trail, class and usage designation, owner and date of creation.
The Timesheets and Expense status reports now include a filter for the user’s manager. The user’s manager also appears as a column in the report; there is an option to suppress the manager column if you prefer to omit it. This feature is only available if your account has at least one user with a manager selected in the “User Demographic” form. To access these reports, users with the required privileges navigate to Reports > Advanced > Timesheets > Timesheet status, or Reports > Advanced > Expenses > Envelope status
4. Timesheets enhancements.
We have added several new features relating to OpenAir timesheets:
Administrators can require that time be booked to a project (in addition to a client) before the timesheet can be submitted. To enable this feature, please contact OpenAir support.
A new option permits sorting of the entire timesheet grid in alphabetical order of client:projects. While there are existing settings to sort the timesheet (at the company level in My Account > Company > Settings > Timesheets options, and at the user level in My Account > My Options > Preferences), these settings only apply alphabetical sorting to the timesheet rows where time has been entered. The new feature extends the alphabetical sort to all rows of the timesheet, whether or not time has been entered on a particular row. To enable this feature, please contact OpenAir support.
Terminology can be customized for the “Description” and “Notes” fields in the popup window accessed by clicking the blue/green dot on timesheets. This can be helpful if you want timekeepers to reserve one of these fields for internal use, and the other for client-facing information. For instance, “Notes” can be changed to “Notes for internal use”. To change terminology, users with required role privileges navigate to My Account > Company > Terminology. The “Description” and “Notes” options are at the bottom of the terminology form.
The PDF version of the timesheet report layout now has configuration options for page orientation, top margin and font size. To configure the timesheet report layout, users with required role privileges navigate to Timesheets > Options > Timesheet Report Layout. The PDF settings are at the bottom of the layout configuration form.
5. Invoices enhancements.
In the list view of invoices, it is now possible to display a filterable column for the owner of the project associated with the invoice, by using the “customize” link at the bottom of the list view. “Project owner” is also a report layout option in Reports > Detail > Invoices. Both features require that “One project per invoice” be enabled in My Account > Company > Settings > Invoices Options.
The invoice layout feature to combine service timebills now applies to “Other rate” timebills, in addition to hourly timebills. To configure invoice layouts, users with the required privileges navigate to Invoices > Options > Invoice layout. For more information on the “combine” feature of invoice layouts, or on configuring invoice layouts in general, please visit the online help in the Invoices module, and click on Options tab > Invoice layout.
6. Would you like to see previous OpenAir product 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.