We’ve definitely hit the ground running in 2017, with incredible focus to move products, features, and new improvements past the finish mark for our users (so much so that last week’s Updates post is being included in this week’s). Here’s what we’ve been working on!
Bulk Toggle Email Notification Preferences for a user
Accelo generates a lot of email, and while that is handy for some, it is a headache for others.
To make the "headache" crowd happier, we've now made it possible to turn everything on or off all at once! Before, if you wanted to disable all notifications from Accelo (either permanently or temporarily) you’d have to deselect up to 77 buttons - ouch. With the addition of an “All Off” field, this process is now much simpler.
We had an issue where the "Log more" work feature didn't let you change the date for logging your time. This was problematic for some who wanted to log work for an activity that had begun on a previous day (meaning that if you wanted to log more work it would log it in the past) and for those times when you wanted to log time on a Thursday (for example) that you actually did a bunch of work for the same project, milestone, ticket or retainer on a Tuesday (for example).
To remedy this, we created another option underneath “Log more work” which opens the full Create Activity window. This solves a few things:
The date will default to today, so you don’t have to mess with adjusting the date logged;
It gives you the opportunity to actually send an email on those occasional instances where you want to follow-up via email;
The Accelo Utilization Dashboard wasn't doing a great job of handling lots of people or lots of hours! If you're running a hard working team where they’re more than 100% utilized, we weren't representing the "overage" percentages properly in the bar graphs.
Similarly, if you want to look at a really big team - one with hundreds of staff - our performance wasn't great, with load times of around 60 seconds and the web browser for even modern machines locking up under the computational load.
The good news is we've now fixed both these overachieving situations - the load times are now 20x times better and the representation of those over achievers with more than 100% utilization are now also tidied up!
When a custom invoice field is added to an invoice, Company Billing prompts you for that field for each individual billing contact. Making that custom field then requires you to fill that field in for each of the billing contacts. However, when you use Consolidate Invoices to combine these billing contacts into a single invoice, Company Billing still required that all of the original fields be filled out, even though the consolidation process hid these required fields. As a result, you weren’t able to proceed!
Sometimes, the Issues or Tickets you have to work on relate back to a client Project, and to make it easier to click back to the project and see what happened, you want to create a link from the Issue/Ticket to view the project.
With this new feature, you can now “Link to Project” from a Ticket/Issue in Accelo. This way, if something like a support request comes in through your requests system, there’s a way to connect it to an existing project, ticket, or retainer.
The Task list has always been the place to do power moves with Task reporting. You've always been able to filter down a list of Tasks by status, assignee, skills and much more! But now we've added the ability to filter by Company or Client too. So if you'd like a quick snapshot of what Tasks are still outstanding for a particular client, its now easier than ever! You can also save that filter for instant access at a later date.
Accelo has a powerful permissions system, but sometimes we've made assumptions about what folks should be able to do when working in the platform, and based on feedback from clients from time to time we need to adjust assumptions and pull back some defaults.
This change involves the modification of Task statuses within the Add Activity dialog/screen. Previously, to make life easier for folks logging work and wanting to complete a task we let them change the status of the task as they were entering their activity; with this improvement, we've tightened up the permissions so that now users can only progress a Task from Add Activity if you have the proper permission to do so.
Previously, Accelo had an “invoice” and “receipt” account_ledger type, which meant that if there wasn’t a valid ledger for receiving payments (i.e. receipt) then it must be an invoice, so you might’ve experienced your expenses being listed as invoices, for example. Expense ledger codes are now hidden when creating an invoice to avoid this hiccup!
Additionally, Quickbooks push payments were only an optional feature in Accelo before, but now they’ve been enabled for all deployments - so if you have a client pay you via credit card in Accelo, the payment info will stream across into Quickbooks automatically.
When attempting to add a new Service or Material, Accelo requires you to select a Ledger and Tax Code. The issue though, was if a deployment didn’t have any ledger or tax codes active - then the Add Object dialogue would just sit, with no further information.
We’ve remedied that, so now when you add a new Service or Material and no tax codes are present, you’ll be alerted automatically. Thankfully, with most clients synchronizing their Accelo account with their Quickbooks or Xero accounts (which is where we import tax codes, service items and material items) this isn't a big deal.
The Work Detail section is designed to show the specific details of the work you've completed, but for more complex invoices with multiple contract periods and projects, we need to break them up so your clients can see what work applies to what service.
Now, the work details section of invoices shows period dates instead of just the contract title. Additionally, before when you order Work Detail on an invoice by the Date, it used the Activity’s Created Date to sort. We’ve now fixed that, so when Activities are ordered it’s by their logged date instead of the creation date.
You might’ve noticed a bug where users that were auto-captured with just an email address had their last name stored with their email domain except for the “dots” (i.e. converting an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org into “john and smith@acme Com”. Converting captured email addresses to first and last names has been improved.
Assign issues/tickets from the mobile app: handy to claim things and handy to assign tickets while you're on the road!
Searching activity streams: the activity stream feature - which is like a Facebook news feed for the whole business - just got more powerful because now you can search inside a stream to find just what you're looking for.
Setting/changing activity visibility: Accelo's activity visibility model allows you to choose whether any colleague can see the email/note, whether they can't see the content but can see something happened (confidential) or can't see it at all unless they're part of that specific conversation (sender, recipient) known as private. Now you can set and change this visibility in our mobile apps, which is super handy for those situations where you realize an email should be secret while you're on the road.
(Only released for Beta Android) You can see the recently viewed and favourites objects when you go to a module screen (say when you click the company from the navigation drawer) as well as in side of the search screen. And favourites are synced with the web app so you can edit them.
We were occasionally experiencing a quirk in email capture where we'd double capture/link email attachments. This only occurred when a Request with attachments had been converted to a Ticket automatically as a Trigger, and the email we captured after the fact would re-save the same attachments in the dedicated "Attachments" folder, showing the links 2x times on each activity.
This week we released an upgrade to our Zapier beta which allows you to import data into Accelo's custom fields and categories for your Clients and Contacts as well as via the Requests action.
This means you'll be able to use Zapier to sync in data from your marketing automation (eg, Hubspot), web forms (eg Wufoo) or other platform (Eventbrite, Mailchimp) and capture not just the basic info (name, email, etc) but also any custom fields you want into Accelo.
JIRA Beta Update
The JIRA Beta has continued strongly over the last two weeks, with improvements like showing the JIRA issue details in Accelo's Task screens and better synchronization of activities and work logs between the two platforms. The engineering team has also improved the Chrome extension's ability to customize the JIRA screens - we've got a few more important steps to complete before we're ready to launch this properly, but things are going well! If you'd like to be a part of the beta, please email email@example.com and we'd love to bring you in!