We are occasionally contacted by users who have incorrectly set up, or modified their Staff Rates, causing the billable value of tracked time to be $0. We understand that this is not done intentionally, and make our best effort to design the Staff Rates area to prevent these mistakes from being made, and to make this subject a key part of our onboarding and training. That said, if you find yourself in this situation, there is a method by which you can correct
If you have inadvertently set staff person with zero dollar hourly Staff Rates for a billable service, or if an incorrect rate has been entered at the service level, you may need to apply a modified billing rate.
Please review this article for a walk through of modifying a rate, and how the new rate will be calculated on the Job Financials tab.
How & where does this mistake happen?
The most common scenario under which users find themselves with these kinds of issues, is when you use Staff Rates. Using Staff Rates means that when you estimate, what a service like Design will cost the client, depends on which member of the team is doing the Design, rather than a Service Rate situation, where Design would have a rate of $125 dollars per hour, regardless of who does the work.
On the Staff Rates page, all your active Rate Categories will display. Within each category, the number in brackets is the Service Rate. The field/ box to the left of the bracketed rate is where you can choose to enter a different hourly billable value for this staff person, for this Service. If this field is blank, the bracketed (Service Rate) value will be used.
On the Staff Rates page, let's look at an example for my staff member Bucky, on my Rush Rate Category:
- For Bucky, for the Service of Account Services, when he tracks time to this Service, it will have a billable hourly value of $141.00.
- For Bucky, for the Service of Art Direction, when he tracks time to this Service, it will have a billable hourly value of $125.00.
- For Bucky, for the Service of Concepts & Mockups, when he tracks time to this Service, it will have a billable hourly value of $0.00.
Item 3 is where people get into trouble - the user probably intended that for Concepts & Mockups, Bucky be billed out at the Service rate, but this would be achieved by leaving the Staff Rate field blank, and NOT by inputting zeroes there.
Step 1 - Turn on the Carry Back Setting
Navigate to Admin > System Set Up > System Preferences.
Select the tab called Bill. Tick the button for Carry Back, and click Submit to save this change.
Step 2 - Identify the mistake
Before you proceed with the fix, try to make sure you've identified any and all places the mistake may exist. For my example, in looking at the Timesheets tab of this Job, I can see something is afoot. The Applied Billing Rate for Copywriting is $0.00. As this time was tracked by me, I'm going to check my Staff Rates.
From Admin > Rate and Staff Management > Staff, Staff Rates and Permissions, I land on the Admin Staff List. Here, I'll click the Rates button by my name.
I can now see that on the Standard Rate card, someone has inputted $0.00 for me in the Staff Rate field, for the Service of Copywriting. As I should be billed at the Service Rate (in brackets), I will remove the zero, and save the change.
Step 3 - Carry the fix to Timesheets
Now that my fix has been saved, I need to apply it to the time I've already tracked to Copywriting. From the same page, click Show Advanced Management.
For my situation, I want to carry back the fixed rate to all my timesheets for all dates.
Click Save in the bottom right of page to make this change occur.
Now, back on my affected Job, I can see that the Timesheet value for Copywriting is now correct.
Step 4 - Change the 'Bill' setting back
Once you are done any fixes, we do recommend you go back to the Bill tab under System Preferences, and change the rate reapplication setting back to Carry Forward. Click Submit to save this change.
What if I've messed up a Service Rate or Rate Category?
If your error has been spotted on your Rate card, rather than for a Staff Rate, many of the same steps apply:
- Set the Bill tab to Carry Back. [Admin > System Set Up > System Preferences]
- Then come to Admin > Rate and Staff Management > Service Rates & Markups.
- Adjust values to the appropriate Rate Category.
4. Once you've made your changes, click to 'Save & reapply internal service rates to all open Jobs.'
This will bring up a modal through which you can decide how far back in time the revised rates should carry. If you have Staff Rates set up, you will also see a list of staff who have their own Staff Rates in effect. You may wish to or need to review how your potential change could impact the value of their time before proceeding.
If all appears correct, pick a date and click Yes.
5. And last but not least, go back to the Bill tab, to change the rate reapplication setting.
We welcome your questions or concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org