System Preferences

Your FP system has a wide variety of ways in which it can be configured to suit your agency. Many of these options live in the Admin area, under System Preferences.

Please review this article for a high level walk through of that area, with links to articles where you can learn even more.

Access to the Admin area is permission based. If you have access, the menu will appear on the far right of the main navigation bar.

From Admin, choose System Set Up > System Preferences.

You will see the System Preferences area is comprised of several tabs including System. Search and Branding. We'll look at each tab in a bit more detail below.

System

The System tab has several options you may need to consider:

  1. Cost Centers: Some of our clients like to have the option to further tag briefs, companies and/ or jobs. This is usually done as way to track costs by department. This box will need to be ticked for the Cost Center drop down menu to appear on these pages. Learn more here Cost Centres
  2. Export Reference Number: For clients that export their expenses from FP to an accounting program, you have the option to export the data in the reference number field on the expense form, or the PO number on the form.
  3. Next Job/ Estimate Number. Do you have a particular number with which you need the numbering in Function Point to begin? New FP systems are set to begin with the number 1000, but you can change this to another number of your choosing. Note that this number cannot begin with 0, and we'd advise the number be 4 digits.
  4. Office Separation: Some of our clients have more than one location, and want to have work and staff members divided by the location they work for. This can be achieved with office separation. Before turning this feature on, we'd recommend reading this article More On Office Separation
  5. Session Duration. Are your office computers shared, and is security a big concern? The system is pre-configured to log a person out after 8 hours of keyboard/ mouse inactivity. If you wish to lessen or increase this amount of time, please do so here.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Work

The Work tab has plenty of options, but we'll just review those that are most commonly in need of review or change below:

  1. Allow Actuals on a Closed Job: Once a Job has been moved to a closed status, there may still remain a need to associate expenses to the completed work. Tick this box to enable your staff to keep adding expenses to a job for up to 2 months after the job is marked as closed.
  2. Estimate Requires Project: This setting will mean that no new estimate can be created, unless there is an active Project in place for the same Company you want to make the estimate for.
  3. Insertion Orders: This is a variation on the external expense form that includes 3 extra fields - Issue Date, Ad Caption and Ad Size. Learn more here Using Insertion Orders
  4. Number of Staff Roles on Estimate: If you estimate by Staff or by Role, this setting will determine the number of roles or staff you can add per service line on the estimate. Learn more here Create an Estimate Using Roles/ Staff & Role Rates
  5. Overtime Bill Out Rates: Should you need to track and charge an overtime rate this setting is available. Learn more here Tracking Overtime
  6. Do you need to be able to create estimates and work that is billed out based on a staff member's role? Do you need to be able to set my staff members as having particular roles? For example, Project Manager, Designer, Account Executive. To learn more about rates, and decide how to set up your rates, please review this article What Rate Structure is Best for You?
  7. Do you need to be able to further organize my staff by group? For example, Creatives, Copywriters, Administrators etc.
  8. Print Non-Billable Services on Estimate: Tick this box if you would like estimate line items to print, even if they have a zero dollar line item value entered.
  9. Show Recently Closed Jobs: Users of the FP Portal product by default only have a view into active, open Jobs. Use this option to enable portal users to also see jobs that were moved to a closed, inactive status within the last 60 days.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

The default data on the Search tab is often perfectly fine, but can be changed as needed:

  1. Items per Insert View: The number of items that will show in a list per page on screens such as that under Admin > System Set Up > Printing Preferences, on the My Printouts tab.
  2. Items per List View: When you perform a find routine (ie. Find Tasks or Find Jobs), you end up with a list of results.  The number noted in this field will determine how many items per page display on that list view.
  3. Number of Last Visited Locations: When you hover over modules in the main navigation bar, you will usually see 3 drop down options - Find, View and Add. The View option will further display a sub-list of last visited pages within that module. The number in this field will determine how many items appear in that sub-list from the View option below a module in the main nav bar.
  4. Show One Item in List View: When you perform a find routine, if there is only one result, that result can either generate on its own page, or, if this box is ticked, appear as a single line list view.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Time

The Time tab has several options you may need to consider:

  1. Date Format: Select from a list of drop down options. This setting will control how dates appear within your FP system.
  2. Job Costing: This is a nifty feature through which you can bulk add time from older jobs, or jobs that may live in another program. You can also enter a default description that would be used when this bulk time is added. Learn more here - How to Use Job/Docket Costing to Add Bulk Time
  3. Number of Days to Show on Timesheet Window: Time tracking is often done on the Dashboard, using the Timesheet tile. You can allow for time to be tracked as far back as 30 days on this tile.
  4. Staff Time Preference: Each member of your team can track time either by Start/ Stop or Duration. Use this setting to tell the system what the default time tracking preference should be for new staff that are added to your system. Learn more here Tracking Time: Duration vs. Start/ Stop Method
  5. Show Hours for Services: From here, you can decide if the estimated hours on a service, and the actual/ remaining hours on a service should show, when filling in a timesheet on the Timesheet tile of the Dashboard. You may not want to share that information with your staff.
  6. Auto-Fill Timesheet Description: If you assign your staff Tasks, and these Tasks have descriptions. Tick this box if you want this description to fill into the description field on the Timesheet tile when the staff member tracks time to this Task. This can be a great way to ensure your timesheets include a good amount of detail.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Branding

On the Branding tab, you have some control over the look of your system:

  1. Top Banner Image: Follow the recommended size and shape guidelines to change the image that appears above the main navigation bar. Change this image as often as you wish!
  2. Show Company Banner: Should you be signed up to use the FP Portal tool, choose to mimic the image on your own FP system, to the banner area of the Portal tool.
  3. Header Background Color etc: Choose to configure a variety of other visual aspects of the FP Portal tool.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Bill

On the Bill tab, you are unlikely to need to make changes, but should be aware of your options here:

  1. Default Markup: When you create a Po or External Expense in FP there will be a dropdown menu listing manners in which you can mark the expense up for billing the client. This setting determines what default should be used when creating those forms.
  2. Use External Expense as Admin Fee: This is a nifty feature through which you can add or subtract a percentage amount from your Estimates/ Jobs. Learn more here Using an External Expense as an Admin Fee
  3. Reapplication of Staff Rates: If you estimate by Staff Rate, and you have incorrectly inputted those rates into your system, you can use functionality here to allow you to carry corrected rates back in your system, or forward in your system. Learn more here Applying a Modified Rate to Open Jobs  
  4. Use Adjusted Estimate Rate: When estimating, there is an option to over-write the rate field on service lines. Tick this box if you want this over-written value to be the value used when staff track time to this service for this job. Tread carefully with this feature, and read this first Using the Adjusted Estimate Rate Feature

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

E.Mail

Let's review a few items you can find on the E.Mail tab:

FP System Mailto: This is what if often referred to as your global or bcc email address. This address is unique to your organization, and can be used to either auto bcc emails into your system (using Gmail) or auto forward emails into your system (using most other email clients. Learn more via these articles Use the Global Email Address to Connect Your Emails to FP  |  Use the Global Email Address with Gmail Auto Bcc Functionality

  1. Bulk Email Settings: Through FP you can bulk email contacts from your FP system. Learn more here Bulk Emailing with FP
  2. Mail Server: We recommend you leave this field as is (localhost) to get the best performance from your FP system.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Track

The Track tab works in 2 ways - one affects your estimate build out, the other affects your contacts (including staff).

  1. Selecting Lead Contacts will add 2 fields on your estimate build out page - one for Client Lead, the other for Lead Creative. The names that appear in those drop down menus will be based on any active Staff in your system.
  2. Selecting Skills will add a tab to your Contact Details pages, and Staff Details pages.  You can determine what the Skills are (ie. illustration, copywriting) and what the Skill Levels are (ie. high, medium, low) from List Maintenance
  3. Selecting Work Type will add a field of the same name to your estimate build out page. You can control what options appear within this drop down field via List Maintenance. Work Type is often used as just another way in which to mark, sort and search for work within your system.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Task

From the Task tab, you can make some decisions on how tasks and schedules are handled in your system:

  1. Pass Task Assigned By: When/ if a task is passed to another team member, do you want that task to appear as though it is coming from the task's original creator, or the person passing it now?
  2. Pass Task Service Lock: Do you want the person passing the task to be able to change the Service Group or time trackable Internal Service to which the Task was created?
  3. Share Tasks Between Role Staff: Useful if you have assigned each staff person to a Role, and are also assigning Tasks to Roles, as well as to individuals. Learn more here Assigning Tasks at the Role Level
  4. Aggregate on Estimate Creation: Consider this setting if you begin work with the creation of a Schedule, and then turn that Schedule into an Estimate and Job. If you bill based on individual staff rates, rather than rate categories/ rate cards, you should uncheck this box. Learn more here Create an Estimate & Job from a Schedule

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Invoice

The Invoice tab is chock full of options, including several you may want to consider:

  1. Auto Post Timesheets on Invoice Create: Choosing this setting will mean that when an invoice is created, and should that invoice include tracked time, those timesheets will be automatically marked as Posted.
  2. Default Invoice: When you choose to create an Invoice, you will be able to choose if that Invoice is a Deposit, Interim or Final. Here, you can decide which of these should be the default when a new invoice is created.
  3. Default Invoice Approval Setting: Choose to have newly created Invoices be marked as Pre Approved or as Approved upon their creation. Pre Approved invoices can be marked as Approved once created.
  4. Invoice Approval Routine: Works in conjunction with the setting described above. This box will need to be ticked in order to have Invoices be marked as Pre Approved or Approved.
  5. Multi-Currency on Printout: Your FP system is single currency, but you can choose which currency symbol to use, as well as apply a currency conversion on invoice printouts. Learn more here Currency Options in FP
  6. Sequential Invoice Numbering: Do you want your invoice number to share the estimate/ job number - as in, job number 1045 would have an invoice number of 1045-0. Or, do you want the invoice number to be a separate sequential number from the estimate/ job number?
  7. Default Calculation: When you create an Invoice, you can choose to calculate that Invoice based on one of 5 options. From this drop down menu, decide which option should be used as the default when creating new Invoices.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

Replace

Using the fields on the Replace tab, you can change several of the words used in the main navigation bar, and throughout the system. This tab lists all the words you can change, as well as details on the character lengths you can use, and some suggested alternate words.

Available module/ feature names that can be changed include: Company, Job, Estimate, Brief, Project, and Schedule

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes. Note that you may also need to refresh your browser in order to see the changes take effect.

Login

Last but not least, is the tab titled Login. There are 4 areas for you to consider:

  1. Password Security: Here you can set parameters for password changes made by your users. Do you want/ need them to use a certain number of symbols, letters or numbers in their passwords?
  2. Custom Link: Use the Custom Link to access FP without having to enter your company name each time. Bookmark this url for easy access to your FP system.
  3. Grant Access to Support: The granting of access to your system by our Support team will be selected by default. You can choose to uncheck this box, but doing so will make it more difficult for us to assist you with technical troubles that may arise. If you have any concerns, please review our Privacy Policy.

If you make any changes to this tab, please click the Submit button in the bottom right to save those changes.

We welcome your questions or concerns: support@functionpoint.com

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