Important Core Feature Update - Rates

By Hugh
Jan 30 2013 read

Re-engineering the foundations

While we love adding new features, we also know how important it is to review the foundations of Accelo. Strengthening these foundations allows us to build a more robust and intuitive system that supports wide variety of businesses that depend on Accelo. Tracking billable time is a core feature of Accelo, but the way our rates functionality was designed was limiting what we could build onto it - and thus limiting the billing arrangements that our clients could configure.

So, we've re-engineered the rates system to be more flexible and powerful - but don't stress, we've been able to migrate your existing rates alongside the structural changes so nothing has been lost or negatively altered, so you don't need to do anything, but if you decide to get a bit creative, you've got more power to be flexible now than ever before.

So what's new?

1. Rates can now be edited

Previously, once a rate was created, as soon as it had been used, the value (E.g. $175/hr) could not be changed. You would have to create a new rate and then change your staff, components, and anything else you wanted, to use the new rate. The reason for this is that we didn't want previous projects and issue budgets getting confused, but we knew we needed a better way - so we built one.

Now when you change a rate value, the new value is passed on to any users, components, etc that are using the rate. So what happens to the budgets of project components or issues that were using the old rate value? Well they keep using it. It is basically hidden, but still accessible for any records that were using it.

For example, the screenshot below shows there are 2 values for the Designer - Jnr rate. Only 1 of them would be the current/active rate - the other was the old rate. Because this component was intially set-up with the old rate, it remembers this while also letting you access the new rate if needed.

Retaining the old rate values is importing for ensuring the budget of past or current projects and issues is not accidentally changed!

2. You can set override rates

When you are selecting a rate for a project, issue, or even a staff member, you may find that there isn't an appropriate rate available. So, rather than stopping to go and configure a new rate, you will have the option to enter an override rate. This rate only takes effect for that record you are working with.

For example, your Design Team Leader should be charged out slightly higher than the Senior Designer rate, so you can set the override in the box to the right. If the Designer - Snr rate is changed, this has no effect on the override.

So anywhere that staff rates are being used, this user will be charged out at 210.00.

Remember that staff rates are only used where the issue/project/retainer is set to use staff rates rather than a single defined rate.

Note that there are some places where the override value will automatically be inserted (into the rate field) as you select the rate from the drop-down menu. The system will always use the value in the Rate field - even if the rate selected from the drop-down above it is different (we want to show you the default value in the drop down list though so you know if you're giving someone a great deal or alternatively making a killing ;-).

For example, when configuring a component, you can select the most appropriate rate which will insert the value into the rate field, and then override it if necessary. If the values in the rates list are changed by an admin, the component rate is unaffected.

However, if you are editing components within the administration area - such as a component type or a component within a template, then the override value will not be automatically set. This means that the rates selected are directly tied to the administration rates list - so any changes to that list will flow through to the component types and templates.

3. Your rates have been cleaned up.

If you had 2 rates with the same name, we've merged them together and kept the rate that had the higher value. Of course, any active or closed records that were using the old merged rate will still reflect this.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please reach out to our support team.

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