Background of this issue
If you're updated your job budgets in XPM but these are not displaying in the Open Job report in Link Reporting there are several common reasons for this.
How to resolve this issue
- Job budgets not entered
Entering a job budget is as easy as populating the job budget field on each job. This budget should represent the total expected invoiced value. It is an internal number used to track billable time against invoiced value.
- Sync is overnight
Updating a job budget will sync overnight to Link Reporting. Wait for tomorrow and your job budgets will appear.
- Estimated times not entered
Job budgets sit at the job level but for the Open Job report drill downs to work we need to apportion this budget against tasks and disbursements incurred to date on a job in order to accurately measure the remaining budget on a job. Estimated times are how we do this. Job budgets will no appear where no estimated times exist on a job's tasks.
As a minimum a single task needs an estimated time. It will be apportioned the entire budget for the job. Select the meatiest task on the job if this is the method you are choosing. Ideally all tasks have estimated times associated. This allows the job budget to be spread more accurately across the tasks involved on the job and for you to more closely monitor which jobs are at risk of incurring write-offs. For example; we may be under-budget at a job level but our in-period tasks like GST or BAS returns may have eaten up too much of this budget, leaving a meagre budget for the annual accounts work. This means that although we are under-budget we are likely to incur write-offs in the future once the annual accounts are complete. The sooner we can identify this the better so we can intervene to prevent future write-offs from occurring.
Updating your job templates with default task times is a good way to ensure your job budget will be apportioned automatically. These time estimates can be updated at the beginning of each year or prior to starting the first task on the job by the job manager.
- Task billable rates not entered
As part of the job budget apportionment calculation Task Billable Rates are used to weight the value of the budget apportioned to each task. Not all tasks are equal as they may involve different skills or be completed by different people. These are reflected in your Task Billable Rates under Business>Settings>Tasks. If these are set to zero, there is no way to apportion your budget across tasks even where time estimates might exist.
Update each of these Task Billable Rates in Business>Settings>Tasks to be the average of the billable rates of the people who would typically perform this task.
- Job Due date is 3 months or more in the past
Link Reporting syncs all of your transactions overnight and reconciles to your WIP balance. This includes timesheets, disbursements, invoices, write-ons and write-offs. This is how we know Link Reporting is providing insights you can trust. For non-transactional fields however we update these less frequently as they change less frequently. Fields like Job Manager, Partner, Job Category and Job Budget are checked for updates and changes only where the Job Due Date is within the last 3 months. If your job due dates are historical, Link Reporting will assume the job is old and will not check for non-transactional updates. It will however still sync and reconcile any transactions on these jobs. Update your job due dates to be current in order to sync your non-transactional fields like Job Budget.
Timeframe to implement solution
Updating job budgets is the easiest step you can take to actively manage your current jobs and prevent write-offs before they occur. Budgeting job budgets is best completed at the beginning of the job by the person who sold the work or the job manager who has to deliver the work. It is in the job managers best interest to ensure job budgets are correctly entered so they can ensure jobs come in under-budget and can intervene early to help struggling team members with difficult tasks.
Updating a job budget task less than 1 minute per job. It cannot be done in bulk in XPM unfortunately. Updating job estimates is also recommended but can be updated automatically using default Job Templates. The sync occurs overnight so you are waiting less than 24 hours before seeing what is truly happening on each of your jobs.