Best Practice - Adding an Estimate & Job
Opening an estimate is likely to be common practice in your use of Function Point. Estimates - also commonly referred to as Quotes or Scopes of Work - are one way in which you can open a job in the system.
Please note that initial steps may be slightly different depending on your workflow. For example, if your clients are submitting work requests (Briefs) via the client portal, you will likely be choosing the Add Estimate option from the completed Briefs page within Function Point. In the example below, we're jumping straight in with a new Estimate.
Navigate to Company Page
In this scenario, a client of yours has contacted you, asking for an Estimate for a new brochure. After gathering more details, you are ready to build this Estimate in Function Point.
Login to fp., and hover over the COMPANIES module. Perform a Company Find to find the client company, or, if you have been on the company page recently, choose the client company from the View Company pop out list.
From this Company page, you should click the Add New button in the top right area of the page, and choose Estimate.
Estimate Add/ Edit Page
You will land on the Add Estimate page. You will now have a few required, and several optional fields to complete.
All fields marked in blue are required, and white fields are optional. The fields of Work Type, Client Lead and Lead Creative are all optional to show or not show on this page. Control what appears via the Admin area, under System Set Up > System Preferences > Track tab.
We recommend you fill in as many fields as you can, but know that you can always add or edit much of this information later, or when it becomes available to you.
You will also need to select at least one Service Group and Service in order to create your Estimate. You will want to include any items you need to track time to, or apply expenses to. If you include or exclude something at this step, you will have the option to make changes later as needed.
Click Submit when ready.
You will land on the Estimate Services tab. Here, you will want to add in any further descriptions for the work you are estimating for, and input the number of hours/ costs for those services. The values you enter in the hours and costs fields, will multiply by the rate or mark up percentage, and begin to build your Estimate Total.
There may be occasion for you to need to change your rate on the fly - and the fp. system can allow that. Say your usual, standard rate for Design is $100/ hour. However, for this client, you know they will be particularly demanding during the design process. Rather than create or use an entirely new rate card to accommodate for this, you can just change the rate while building the estimate out. Simply click into the Rate $ field, and enter the value of your choice. The Total $ will change once you leave that field.
**NOTE** Unless otherwise configured in your Admin area, the Actuals for this Job (should this Estimate become a Job) will be based on the bill out rate of the staff completing the work, and not the rate you choose to change here. Changing the rate here will ONLY affect the Estimate value.
There may also be occasion where you would prefer to round a value up or down, which you can also do in fp. by way of the Override $ field(s). In our example, the printing cost of $1250 times our mark up of 15% has given us an estimate total of $1437.50. To clean things up, we might want this to read as an even $1450 instead. Simply click into the Override $ field for the Printing line item, and enter the value of your choosing. The Total $ will change once you leave that field.
**IMPORTANT NOTE** When building your estimate, it may occur to you that a line item such as Illustration, doesn't really fit the bill, and that a term like Design & Illustration might be better. Or perhaps you are in a rush, and although this estimate should not include any Illustration, rather than change lines out, you think it's just faster/ better to rename Illustration to what you really need - let's say Sketches & Images.
Although the system will allow you to rename your Internal Services, we strongly caution against it. Doing so, only changes the term on this estimate, and the change will not carry to reports, new estimates, or the Admin area in which services and expenses are named.
Where can this mess you up? Let's say you want to run a report that shows how much time staff have put into Sketches & Images over the past 3 months. You know the team has been hard at work, and lots of time has been tracked. However, when you run a Timesheet report, seeking all timesheets put towards the service of Sketches & Images within that time period, there's nothing. All your time has gone towards the service of Illustration, as you only renamed a service on the estimate, and didn't actually associate the correct service bucket.
Make sure you create any Service that you need to track time or expenses to in your Admin area. Speak to your internal fp. Administrator to get something officially renamed in the system or added to the system for your use or look here for more directions: Adding Service Groups & Services
When you are happy with your Estimate, be certain to click Save in the bottom right.
Add a Revenue Forecast
As a best practice, and to get more powerful reports, we recommend adding a revenue forecast to every Estimate you create in your system. From the bottom of the Services tab, click Auto Revenue Forecast.
You will see a pop up acknowledging the Revenue Schedule has been generated. Now choose the Revenue Schedule tab. You will see the first line pre-filled with a date - matching the estimate delivery date - as well as values in the expense and services fields - matching the values on the estimate. If you expect to be invoicing the client for multiple months, or over several months, click Add Revenue Schedule Line to break these values out by date.
Add as many rows as you wish. Divide up the total values across your selected dates. Make sure your Total row in the Schedule, matched the Estimated Amounts on the left. Click Submit when ready.
And if it is a part of your workflow, you or another member of the team can also mark this schedule as Approved once it's been reviewed.
Send the Estimate Out & Update the Approval Status
A saved Estimate will default to a the approval status of In Review. Think of In Review Estimates as those that are still being tweaked internally, and not yet sent to the client. Once you do send the Estimate out, move it to the status of Submitted. If your client is an fp. Portal user, moving the Estimate to Submitted, will also share it on the Portal.
Send the Estimate out to your client as a printed (PDF) attachment via your own email provider, or use the Notify Client feature.
This action will bring up the Notify Client window, where you can send the Estimate out via the fp. system to the Estimate Contact. Use a pre-built Email Template, or compose your own subject line and message. Click Send when ready.
Note that messages will come from the sender "firstname.lastname@example.org" and this cannot be changed to be your own email address. As a work-around, choose Send Test to Current User, and forward the message from your inbox out to your client.
And once the client has approved, or declines the Estimate, change the status again. Estimates in an Approved status, that are edited again, auto-save the revision history.
Create the Job
Estimates that you are ready to convert into live, time trackable work, need to be turned into a Job. To do so, simply click the Add Job button on the top right of the page.