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WIP ledger for Practice Manager

Practice Manager

Today we’ve released a WIP ledger in Practice Manager. This will make it much easier for accounting firms that prepare timesheets to keep track of their jobs and billable hours.

The challenge with releasing a WIP ledger was to do it without reducing the invoicing flexibility that Practice Manager users currently enjoy. So you’ll be delighted to know you can keep track of the exact amount of unbilled time and costs on each job no matter what types or combinations of invoices you use – even quote-based invoices and invoices prepared in Xero.

The introduction of the WIP ledger makes it much easier for all practices to calculate the true profitability of these services, even those that send regular fixed-fee invoices. You can also see the exact amount written on or off as each invoice is approved.

What’s in the WIP ledger release:

Invoicing:

  • All invoice types (except miscellaneous) will now reduce the value of unbilled time and costs (WIP)

  • Actuals-based invoices will automatically calculate and record the difference between the recorded amount and the invoiced amount of time and costs against every WIP entry associated with that invoice. This applies to calculated and fixed price invoices. Not having to drill down and amend individual entries should make actuals-based invoicing much quicker.

  • Quote-based final invoices will also calculate and record detailed write-ons and write-offs.

  • Invoices from Xero will appear in WIP as deposit invoices allowing you to absorb them and calculate the correct write-on at a later date.

  • Before approving an ‘actuals’ invoice, you’ll be able to see the exact impact on current WIP position the invoice will have – i.e. how much will be written off, how much will be carried forward, etc.

Reporting:

  • The Job WIP balances report is a new report that shows the amount of unbilled time and costs and the value of unabsorbed interim fees for all jobs. It is subtotalled by client and can be run for selected account managers (partners) if required. It can also be run as at ANY date.

  • The new WIP control report shows a summary of the WIP movements and position for ANY date range.

  • The Estimated billings report now runs a lot faster due to the introduction of the WIP ledger.

Lock dates. The introduction of optional lock dates let you decide which periods’ transactions can be edited. With flexible lock dates the administrator can always release the lock on a period if they have a legitimate prior period change to make. There are two lock dates:

  • WIP lock date prevents users changing timesheets or editing costs from prior months.
  • Period lock date prevents invoices being amended or added in prior periods.

Still to come

While there are some handy features in this release, it is just the tip of the iceberg. The WIP ledger gives us with the ability to measure and report on so much more in future releases.

For instance, we’ll be adding one or two new report builder views in the near future so you can create your own WIP, production and write-on reports.

And when the revamped Practice Manager is released next year with a new reporting engine included, there’ll be a whole lot of new, fast, and flexible reports and dashboards with drill-down functionality. Many of these reports will make use of the new WIP ledger.

Sign up now for Practice Manager – it’s free for Xero Silver Partners and up as part of the Xero Partner Program.

Upcoming Workpapers update

On top of this, our latest Workpapers update goes live on December 5. This update features a number of user-requested tweaks and enhancements. We’re also providing a new workpaper – Borrowing Costs – for our Australian Partners.

We’re already working on our first release for 2014, so thanks to the 400+ firms and thousands of individual accountants and bookkeepers now using Workpapers. Your positive feedback and useful suggestions make our job that much easier.

If you’re in New Zealand, Australia or the United Kingdom you can sign up now for Workpapers – it’s free for Xero Silver Partners and up as part of the Xero Partner Program.

 

 

Read more about Accountants, Practice Manager

 

6 comments

Diane Crawford-Errington
3 December 2013 #

Great release, and looking forward to the Workpapers update

Mike Block CPA
3 December 2013 #

I am wildly excited about the Practice Manager, but must you sign up again if you now use the U.S. version of WorkflowMax (Australian Workpapers)?

Will PM convert or use prior U.S. WFM and (Australian) Workpaper data, or must we do this?

I was very upset with the prior skeleton Accountant templates that came with WFM. You must customize for differences, but skeletons mean we each start over from Ground Zero. Does PM have better Accountant templates or will it soon?

When will we have Practice Manager Forums, Feature Requests (with votes for and against) and places for sharing Practice Manager, Bank Rule, Master Account Assignment and other templates (with votes for and against)? This will save massive amounts of time, especially for new users and professional accountants.

Will Admin templates be in quickly updated read-only folders or frozen databases?

Will we be able to attach files and assign staff using master templates or jobs? Xero CEO Rod Drury was with EY, one of the largest international professional accounting firms. Therefore, he is sure to relate to the most frustrating WFM limit. You cannot attach files (or effectively) assign staff to custom Admin Job templates. You can attach files and assign staff with dummy jobs, but lose the files and staff when copying Admin templates or jobs to new jobs. Here is why Rod knows that this is a perfect place for Xero Files.

Professional accountants must prove that we completed legally required documents for each job. Without them, we can face public hearings, fines, lawsuits and even criminal charges. A simple professional accountant compilation (unaudited financial statement) checklist can be about 20 pages. An Audit Program can be 100+ pages (Google has 368,000 links to “Audit Program”). Firm instructions can add to this. It is a highly error-prone waste of time to make us manually attach files or assign staff, to create 1,000 to 100,000 jobs a year.

Xero should not risk the professional lives of its primary business generators, professional accountants, in this way.

Allan Fefergrad
4 December 2013 #

I don’t see any changes to the interface and improvements to Workflowmax when I log in. Do I need to create a new account?

Jason Langworthy
4 December 2013 #

@Allan, there aren’t a great deal of interface changes in the WIP ledger release, most of the changes are “under the hood”.

However, you should be able to see two new Financial reports plus the new invoice summary when preparing actuals-based invoices and the new lock dates under preferences.

@Mike, we’ll be in touch to discuss your ideas for WorkflowMax.

Mike Block CPA
6 December 2013 #

@Jason
Your profile link goes to http://www.xero.com/, so I am very eager to talk about WorkflowMax and Practice Manager. I know my ideas for WFM are dead, due to the pending U.S. Practice Manager release, so I am dying to get started with that. Meanwhile, please at least get me square on whether I should follow the new “Sign up now for Practice Manager” link and what (if anything) I do about transferring my WFM data. I am beginning to think I need a keyboard macro program to work with PM, like my 0CPAs keyboard macro program for Xero. Some day both programs will be garbage, but 0CPAs already saves me a fortune in time and increased accuracy.

Jason Langworthy
6 December 2013 #

@Mike, the good news for you is that Xero practice Manager is built on top of the WorkflowMax platform so there is no data migration or data re-entry required an no need for you to follow that link at this time. This also means that we are still keen to hear your ideas for the product. I’ll be in touch next week.

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