Karbon's Time & Budgets functionality lets you estimate and track time to understand jobs that are on-budget, allocate resources, and reveal performance insights.
This guide outlines the steps to set up Time & Budgets in your account, and provides tips for beginning to use the functionality across your team.
Step 1: Turn on Time & Budgets
From Main Menu > Settings, choose Time & Budgets. You will then have the choice to choose what Time & Budget Settings you activate in your account including time tracking, budgets, and expenses.
Choose whether you want to track time by just Work or Work and Contacts. Then decide whether to require timesheets to be submitted for approval.
If you would like to require timesheets to be submitted be sure to have your extra user permissions setup (e.g. Time Administrator) to ensure that designated colleagues can review, comment, deny and approve timesheets.
Turn on Budgets to track estimates for either time or time and dollars for work. Once turned on, budgets throughout Karbon will be enabled including the Budget Overview and Budget By Team Member / Role / Task Type on work items.
Tip: If you choose dollars, you can adjust user permissions to decide who on your team can view the rates.
Turn on expenses to track against work and contacts. Once enabled, you will find an Expenses area on each Work and/or Contact that allows you to Add Expense and specify a description, cost, amount billable and the date the expense was incurred.
Note: Like all Settings changes, these will be activated across your entire team.
Step 2: Update user permissions & capacity
From Main Menu > Settings, choose Colleagues to update each colleague's capacity (hours per week) and extra user permissions (if required). User permissions to consider enabling include:
- Time Administrator: Allows a user to view and approve everyone’s timesheets as well as to be chosen by colleagues to have timesheets submitted to for approval. As well as has the ability to change and edit their own and others capacity. Multiple Time Administrators are permitted to exist.
- View Dollar Amounts: Allows you to decide which team members can see the dollar value for budgets and actuals throughout Karbon if Time and Dollars for Budgets is selected in Time & Budget Settings.
If you want to track team utilization, add in how many hours a week each colleague is supposed to work and we'll use that and divide it by their billable hours to display their utilization.
Step 3: Add & edit Task Types
From Settings choose Workflow and on the third tab click on Task Types. Here you can edit and set up the types of tasks you'd like to track budgets and time against. Task Types can be used when creating budgets and creating time on work.
Click into the Task Types to choose whether you would like it to be billable.
Step 4: Edit Task Types dollar amount
From Settings > Colleagues > Roles, click into your desired roles and edit the dollar amount for each Task Type within the Role.
To adjust the Dollar Amount for the Role, you have two options to choose from:
- Standard dollar amount: This rate is the default rate that is used when you create an estimate for that role for ALL task types.
- Custom by task type: If you select this setting, you will be able to adjust the dollar amount for each and every task type that can be associated to this Role. The default rate will be populated initially and simply click the amount to adjust.
Step 5: Update Work Templates with Task Types, Fee Type and Estimates
Once you have set up your Time & Budgets settings as described above, you will then be able to associate task types to tasks, add estimates to your templates, create time off your Work and Contacts as well as handle timesheets.
If you need to adjust existing work items, we recommend that you update your work templates first and use revert to Work Template on each work item. Otherwise, you can use the same methods outlined below to update a given work item. If needing assistance in bulk, we can assist for a fee by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To update your work templates, there are three activities to complete:
- Add task types to work template tasks
- Specify fee settings per work template
- Add estimates to work templates
Add task types to work template tasks
Assigning task types to work template tasks provides you an understanding of how to create your estimates for work templates by highlighting which roles perform which task types. In addition, future Time & Budget feature additions will leverage these Task Types to provide you more understanding, visibility, analysis and automation.
To update your work template tasks with Task Types, select a work template, click the Tasks tab, and click on a task to see it's full task details.
[Insert image of a task with details completed here]
Similar to how you added Roles and Due Dates to a given task, click the Task Type field and choose the appropriate Task Type for this task.
Tip #1: If using nested and unassigned tasks to keep your To-Do list light, we recommend only assigning Task Types only to those tasks you assign to Roles. This makes the process easier and it will be sufficient since assigned activities will be marked completed and time associated as your team completes the work.
Tip #2: As you add Task Types to work template tasks, track the combination of the Role and Task Type to use in specifying your estimates in the next step.
Note: If you started using Karbon on or after October 1, 2020, all your work templates provided initially will have task types added to your work template tasks. If using Karbon prior to that date, all pre-loaded work templates will not have task types associated to assigned work template tasks.
Specify fee settings per work template
For each work template or work item, you are able to specify how you collect fees from the client when completing the work on the Time & Budget tab or editing a work template in the Budget tab. Open a specific Work Template from Main Menu > Settings > Work Templates. From that Template, select the Budget tab.
Note that the Budget / Time & Budget tab will only display if Budgets is turned on in Settings > Time & Budgets. In addition, Fees won't be displayed unless you choose Time & Dollars for the Budget option in the Time & Budgets settings.
There are three choices to choose from:
- Time & materials. Choose this to build up your billable amount for a job as you track time for the job. Your budget will reflect what you estimate and your Fees - Time & Materials will grow as the actuals grow.
- Fixed fee. When selected, the Fees - Fixed Fees total shown will show the full amount of the fixed fee vs. increasing over time like with Time & Materials. The Budget amount will look different to your fixed fee amount as is based on your estimated time and relative dollar amounts to calculate. In almost all cases, your budget should be less than your fixed fee total unless it is a loss leader service item (e.g. 1st month of advisory vs. ongoing advisory).
- Non-billable. When non-billable is selected, the Fees section on the Budget Overview will disappear since no fees will be collected for this work item.
Add estimates to work templates
Open a specific Work Template from Main Menu > Settings > Work Templates. From that Template, select the Budget tab. There, you will be able to add in your Budget and Time estimates by using the Add Budget Estimate button or link.
When adding an estimate to a template, add the appropriate Role, Task Type, hourly billing rate (click Use Default), and the estimated time to complete in hours and minutes. The Team Member field isn't typically added in a work template, but would be on a work item where the resources are already assigned. Once complete, the Estimate Total will calculate and click Save.
Repeat this process for all associated Task Types per Role and for all Roles that participate to complete the work. This will create an accurate budget that can be reviewed in total in the Budget Overview and by Role / Task Type / Team Member in the budget details table.
Once your templates are all set up, you can then begin creating your work off of your templates as usual and add in your actual time, expenses and more as you complete the work.
Tip: Regardless if a fixed fee or time & materials engagement, after completing the budget estimate for all roles and task types, review the budget from the Budget Overview to see if the total hours and dollars reflect your expectations for the given service work. If too high or too low, review the time estimates provided or review your billing rates per role and task type.
Important note: If you would like any prior work created off of this template to inherit the budgets you will need to reset your work to the template.
- Overview of Time & Budgets
- Creating time off of work and contacts
- What permissions do I get as a Time Administrator and ability to view dollar amounts?
- How can I submit a timesheet?