Your FP system includes all you'll need to manage your agency - from Estimating to Time Tracking and Invoicing. The Admin area of the system is where you can set up a lot of your behind-the-scenes settings, including the creation of rate cards, permission levels for your staff, the content of many drop down menus, and certain templates.
Access to the Admin area is permission based, and you will want a good knowledge of what lives here before you go live with FP.
Please review this article for an introduction to all the system controls within the Admin area.
How to access?
If you have permission to see the Admin area, it will appear as a module on the far right of the main navigation bar. The areas within Admin can be viewed by hovering over Admin and selecting from resulting menus.
Alternately, if you click the word "Admin" itself, you'll land on a full screen view of all those same menus.
Let's go through each section, to introduce what lives where, with links to further learning.
1. System Set Up
System Set Up includes the majority of your behind-the-scenes content, and this is probably the area of Admin you'll come back to most often to tweak, once you're up and running.
The System Preferences area is made up of a series of tab, and each tab has a variety of affiliated options within. Popular items within these settings include things like:
- Setting what the next Job Number should be
- Setting the length of time your FP system can be idle, before it auto logs you out
- Allowing your system to create Estimates based on Staff Rates or Role Rates
- Changing out your top banner image
- Replacing system wide wording ie. changing Estimates to Quotes
- Creating password security settings for your users, such as forcing passwords to FP to include a set amount of numbers or symbols
When you sign up with FP we will base the content of your Office to what we can glean from our Contract. Use this area to make sure you are set with the correct time zone, fiscal year end month, and accounting package. Learn more here: Office Preferences
Your FP system will already have standard versions of all the printable views into the system. You do have the option through, to configure what does and does not display on many of these printouts, and add your own branding. All of these options live in the Printing Preferences area. Learn more in this article: Add a Printout - The Basics
Taxes and Tax Groups:
If you charge tax on any service you provide, you will need to set up taxes in FP Begin by creating the individual taxes (ie. PST, GST) and then create groups through which you can charge more than one tax at once (ie. BC Taxes: GST + PST). Learn more here: Setting up Taxes
In the magical land of List Maintenance, you can edit or add to the content of the majority of the drop down menus you encounter throughout your FP system. For example, when adding a new Company, there is a drop down menu for Country. Don't see the Country you need here, or want to limit the Country options to the 3 you work with? Do so via List Maintenance. Learn more here: List Maintenance
Use your imagination! Through Custom Fields, you can add as many new fields as you like to the Company and Contact pages of your system. Use these fields to be sure to capture information that's important to your agency. Need to know everyone's LinkedIn address? The number of staff at their company? Favourite colour? Once these fields are in place, you can even search by them - you may really need to know all the people you work with who think green is the best colour ever right? Learn more here: Creating Custom Fields for Your Companies & Contacts
The Work Calendar:
Through this page, you can set both the hours your office is open for business, as well as any office wide holidays and closures. For each staff member, you are able to set their days off as well. This content feeds to your Resource Allocation tool, as well as a Report on Staff Utilization. Learn more here: Resource Allocation & the Work Calendar
2. Service and Expense Management
Through this section, you will set up the framework through which you will build out Estimates, Schedules and Jobs. This framework will support the buckets to which users track time and expenses, and be the basis for your invoicing.
Your FP system will come with a set of Service Groups, Services and Expenses to get you started. You may want to just adjust some naming here, or create a new structure from scratch.
Internal (hourly) Services:
Where you set up the names of the service buckets to which you will track time.
Internal Expenses ($/unit sold):
Where you identify items purchased as inventory then sold back to the client.
External Expenses (% mark up):
Where you identify the types of services (expenses) that you outsource to vendors or suppliers.
Service Groups allow you to organize your services and expenses in the best way for your agency and workflow. At least one service group and service are needed to create work in FP.
You will want to have this section of your system pretty well confirmed, before moving on to the Rates section. You will also learn more about this topic as you go through training in FP, and can also refer to this article for more detail: Adding Service Groups & Services
3. Rate and Staff Management
Your FP system will come with a base Rate Category, but you will want to make sure your own rates are set up properly, and in the way that your agency estimates work. Learn more about Rates in its very own chapter here: Rates
This section of Admin also handles permissions - how much access do you want each member of your team to have within FP? For example, should they see rates? Should they be able to change rates? The system comes with some base permission sets that you're welcome to use, or just use as a building off point. Learn more about Permissions in its very own chapter here: Permissions
Create as many categories or Rate Cards as you like. Some clients set up specific Rate Cards for specific clients, others just have a House Rate, and perhaps a Rush Rate or Pro Bono Rate. The system won't limit you, but we encourage you to keep the number of categories reasonable.
Service Rates and Markups:
For each Service and Expense you offer (as set in section 2 above) you can determine what the hourly, unit or percentage mark up rate will be across each of your rate categories. For example, the Service of Design may be $125/ hour on your House Rate, but $215/ hour on your Rush Rate.
If you estimate your work based on Role Rate, you can set up those Role Rates here.
Staff, Staff Rates and Permissions:
If you estimate your work based on Staff Rate, you can access the set up area through here. You can also see your Staff List, and drill into that list to set staff Permissions, time tracking preferences, re-set password, and set targets for billable hour percentages.
Your FP system comes wth several pre-built permission sets. Using a set of permissions can be a quick and easy way to associate levels to system access based on department, time at the company, or some other variable.
4. Integrate Accounting
We advise that you speak with your Bookkeeper or Accountant before tackling this section. As well - if you are using the Quickbooks Desktop Integration please leave this section as is. Set up for the Quickbooks Desktop Integration will be handled with your Onboarding Consultant.
Setup Chart of Accounts:
Where you’ll enter your Chart of Accounts based on your General Ledger. Learn more here: Setting Up Your Chart of Accounts
The area where all Services & Expenses (as set in section 2 above) get associated with an income account from your Chart of Accounts.
5. Feature Management
This nifty little section has a mixed bag of things. Depending on you agency and workflows, you may or may not find value in what's available.
Use this section to create new requirements gathering documents for use by your team, or for use by your FP Portal users. Your system will have some templates stored here, that you can use as-is, or as a starting off point for your own templates. The templates allow you to be creative, in that your answer fields can be in date format, file uploads, multi-select drop downs and radio buttons. You can also make certain fields required, and add helper text to try to get the information you really need. Learn more here: Creating Brief Templates
Note and Email Templates:
Give your staff users a hand, and save yourself time by creating templates that can be used when you add Notes to FP, and if/ when you send out Bulk Emails, Estimates or Invoices using the system. Learn more here: Creating Note & Email Templates
6. Alert Management
Alert Subscription Sets
Your FP system can be set up to send out specific users notifications when particular things happen - such as a Task has been added to their plate, a Job has been cancelled, or a new Brief has been added. The system will come with some base Alert Sets you can use or adjust.
With the use of Alert Sets, you can create a series of alerts based on the person's role, or what they consider important. For example, all the members of the Sales team could get an alert when a new Job is added, to indicate new work has come in. Use your imagination! Alternately, through user permissions, you can let each person decide what alerts they want to get, if any. Your FP system let's you be flexible, and let people who need alerts get them, and those that hate alerts not get them! Learn more here: System Alerts
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