Setting up Engagements at the Company Level.

Engagement Types are setup at the Company level in Settings > Lists > Engagement Types.

Engagements are the type of services your firm offers.  Examples for a CPA firm could be as follow:

Accounting
Payroll
Tax
Audit
Consulting

A Law Firm could have Engagement Types as follows:

Litigation
Consulting
Contracts
Domestic Cases

An Engagement type of Tax would be a broad Engagement category that could include all types of tax returns your firm may prepare for clients.  In this scenario, at the client level, it is possible to create an Engagement Type - Tax for a Client and name the engagement, at the client level, Form 1040.  The description is only used to identify the engagement and can be named anything.  But for reporting, it will be grouped by the Engagement Type - Tax.  This type of Engagement is very broad, but if segmenting the Engagement types is of no concern then this is a possible scenario.

If you want more segmentation then it is recommended to setup each type of tax return as an Engagement Type at the Company level.   The following could be Engagements Types:

1040
1120
1120S
990
1065

For Reporting purposes the Engagement types would now be segmented by the type of tax return.   It all depends on how much detail and segmentation is required for reporting purposes.

Setting up Engagements at the Client Level

All clients are required to have engagements for invoicing regardless if time tracking is utilized.

Creating an Engagement for a client is as simple as selecting the Engagement Type from the drop-down list (Engagement Types that were setup at the Company Level) and then either using the default Engagement Name or changing it.  

Important:  Engagements can have 2 different Billing Methods, Hourly or Fixed Fee.  

Hourly:

When Invoicing a client, if Hourly is the chosen method, then the total of all time records will be used as the Invoice Amount by default.  This amount can be changed at the invoice level.

Fixed Fee:

When Invoicing a client, if Fixed Fee is the chosen method, then the fixed fee amount will be used for the invoice amount and the write/up down will automatically be calculated.  This amount can be changed at the invoice level.

Default Invoice Description

If a default invoice description is entered, this description will automatically be populated for the invoice line items and the invoice memo.  The default invoice descriptions can be modified during invoice.  It is important to note that having a default description speeds up the invoicing process tremendously!

What are the benefits of Engagement based billing/invoicing?

Engagements allow Activities to be grouped by Engagement.  What does this mean?

Some sample work Activities could be as follows:
Meeting
Telephone Call
Bookkeeping
Tax Preparation
Document Preparation
Payroll Processing
Quarterly Reports
Yearly Reports

Since every business typically provides multiple types of services (Engagements) the Activities can be grouped to a specific Client Engagement.  Example:

Client - ABC has 3 Engagements
Payroll
Form 1040
Accounting

When tracking time the following are some possible scenarios:

ABC - Payroll (Engagement)
  Meeting
  Telephone Call
  Processing Payroll
  Quarterly Reports
  Yearly Reports

ABC - Accounting (Engagement)
  Meeting
  Telephone Call
  Bookkeeping

ABC - Form 1040
  Meeting
  Tax Preparation
  Assembly

As you can see, with Engagement based billing, Activities can be grouped to the Engagement for which you are working on.  The Meeting Activity can be used for any Engagement.  Notice the Payroll Engagement. Different Activities can be grouped to an Engagement.  For reporting purposes and billing purposes, this is a streamlined approach for knowing which Activities were provided for which Engagement.

Time Tracking is Utilized.

When invoicing, all Engagements with Open Time, will be displayed for billing purposes.  Based on invoiced amounts, the write/up down amounts will automatically be calculated.

Time Tracking is NOT Utilized.

If time tracking is not utilized then during the Invoicing process, simply select the Client's Engagement from the drop-down and enter an amount to invoice.  Based on invoiced amounts, the write/up down amounts will automatically be 100% write-up.

Entering Time Records.

Once a client is selected, that client's Engagements will be populated in the drop-down list.  Select the Engagement for which your time record covers and then select the Activity.


 
   




Did this answer your question?