Accelo Product Updates: Oct 30 - Nov 5

7-Nov 2016
Product
hugh2
Hugh Cowling PRODUCT MANAGER
geoff professional
Geoff McQueen FOUNDER & CEO

In a week where we launched a major new feature and two new betas, we also managed to ship a number of great new improvements and fixes, as well as listing on a new comparison website with almost 50 awesome reviews!

Awesome New Reviews!

Last week we were featured on the G2Crowd comparison website, and were thrilled beyond belief at the amazing reviews we got from many of our clients. With people using review/comparison websites more and more in their search for great technology for their business, positive reviews help other companies discover Accelo, and the more companies that choose Accelo the more we can grow our team to deliver all the things we want to bring to life for all of our users.

If you have a few minutes, feel free to post a review at:

If you post a review, let us know and we'll be happy to send you a small token of our appreciation for your time!

Fixed problem with sorting lists in Client Portal

If you’ve invited your customers to access the Accelo Client portal, one of the main benefits for them is tracking the status of their tickets, projects, requests, invoices and so on.

When viewing a list of these items in the portal, it’s possible to re-sort the list by clicking on a column heading - such as the object Title, Status or Manager. However if the list of tickets (for example) spread over multiple pages, the sorting feature wasn’t working correctly. We’ve applied a fix to ensure this sorting is consistent now when navigating across pages.

Accelo Portal Login Performance

Speaking of the Client Portal, we found a performance problem related to a query when users logged into the client portal for the first time - we were asking the database to work too hard to find the Session ID of the user, which wasn't very nice. We've just rolled out a patch to speed things up a lot - let us know if you or your clients notice a difference!

Zapier Beta

In case you missed it, last week we were excited to announce our Zapier Beta. This private/closed beta is a key step on the path to provide Accelo functionality via the popular Zapier platform - with more than 700 apps, it means Accelo users will be able to push data, pull data, send notifications and a lot more with a whole galaxy of awesome applications.

If you missed the announcement and want to know more, or you'd like to apply to join the beta, check out the announcement blog post.

Webhooks Beta

The Webhooks Beta was also announced last week, but given the developer-focus of webhooks (to badly quote the misattributed JP Morgan, "if you need to be told what webhooks are, you probably shouldn't use them"), we announced them in our Developer Community.

If you're a developer and you didn't know about our developer community, we'd love to have you join - just head on over to https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/accelo-devs and sign up. To see the details of the Webhooks API Beta, check out this post.

Create Request in Web and Mobile

In case you missed it, we launched our new Create Request feature in our Web and Mobile apps last week. In addition to the details announced last week, we've also extended the functionality to make it possible to Create a Request from the Company or Contact view pages.

This week we’ve made the Create Request feature more accessible by including it under the “Add” toolbar menu when viewing a company or contact, as well as a shortcut when looking at a company's Work tab:

work request

Notifying Account Managers when a Client Request is received

When a request comes in Accelo - whether created via email capture, the client portal, or through the new Create Request feature - Accelo checks the type of request and will notify the appropriate users and groups of users.

While Accelo was able to notify any users or groups you chose in the Request Type configuration screen, there wasn't the ability to notify users who are listed as company/account manager on the client related to the request - until now!

request managers

With this update, each Request Type can be configured to also notify those users who are managing the client/company associated with the request.

Additionally, if you have any Triggers set-up for your Request Types that include an action for creating/sending an email, the “Company Manager(s)” option is available there too so those users can be included on the email alert!

PDF Invoice style option: Hiding all Service, Material & Expense line items

Accelo’s new PDF invoicing feature is designed to give you control over every detail - the layout, the line item details, the notes & comments, supplementary work logs, related invoices - and much more.

However, one thing we didn’t expect when we released the upgrade was the occasional need to minimize detail to the point of “turning off” the invoice line items.

This might be important if you’ve quoted your client a fixed price for a project, but in Accelo this price has been broken down to account for some materials and expenses. While this detail is still important to track for your accounting system (so you can keep track of the services, materials and expenses), for the times you don’t need the customer to see them in the invoice, we now give you the option to hide the Services, Materials and Expenses tables and roll them up into a simple total!

This new “Show invoice items” toggle is available when configuring the PDF settings of an invoice template, as well as when previewing the PDF as a new invoice is being created. It is turned ON by default, while turning it OFF will completely hide the Invoice Items section in the preview & resulting PDF invoice, without affecting the invoice total.

hide invoice items

Bulk Deleting Templated Materials & Services from Admin

To get you up and running with Accelo’s new Material and Service items, we made it really easy to import them from your accounting system (such as Xero) or manually via a spreadsheet.

The trouble is, if your accounting system brought over way more Material or Service items than you anticipated, or the wrong spreadsheet data was used, deleting these one-by-one is a real chore.

Last week we rolled out a new feature button on the Materials List and Services List admin screens, so your admin staff can quickly delete all the unused items (those not yet linked to any projects, tickets or retainers in Accelo).

material deletes

Line Breaks in First Row in a CSV Import Will Break Mapping

Importing data into Accelo using a CSV spreadsheet file can be a very efficient way of updating companies & contacts, importing historical sales records and even past invoices. But when dealing with data from other systems (even multiple systems merged into 1 file!) it’s common to find special characters - such as line breaks - hiding in some of the cells.

Depending on the spreadsheet software you use, these characters can be invisible, making it very tricky to troubleshoot the issue! In this case, our team figured out that line breaks in the first row (the column heading row) really caused trouble for Accelo when trying to set-up the field mappings. Fortunately this compatibility problem is now addressed.

Improving Login on Mobile

As part of our upgrades to the login experience in our mobile apps - where the user actually goes across to the web app briefly to login and authenticate their mobile app - we realized that the more pint-sized mobile browsers weren't doing so well at loading the login page of our application (it has lots of fancy stuff in it, which a mobile login screen doesn't really need).

Upon recognizing this shortcoming, the team put the login page on a crash diet, and now whether you're logging in as part of the mobile app or just on your mobile device, we hope you'll see things be a lot faster!

More accurately rounding the charge & cost value of work logs (activities)

While testing out the new invoicing module, we’ve had a few customers notice slight discrepancies between the amount of work to invoice, and the amount showing on other screens such as the Timesheet Report or Approval process.

Our investigation uncovered a quirk in the way the $ amount of an activity was being recorded; instead of rounding the value to 2 decimal places, we were truncating at 2 decimal places.

Fortunately the invoicing process was doing the right thing, so we’ve made the change to apply better rounding to ensure places like the Timesheet Report and Approvals screens all match up perfectly.

Leaving Account Manager empty on Quickbooks & Saasu imports

When we first built the accounting system imports, our team thought it would be sensible to set someone as the account manager of a newly imported client record - and the only person we could count on was the person who kicked off the import. While well intentioned, this wasn't the best idea, especially as this user may start getting a lot of manager related email notification from Accelo!

As a result, we’ve updated these processes to ensure the Account Manager field isn’t set when importing clients & contacts from any accounting systems.

Taking care of materials on a deleted project milestone

When editing the plan for a project, it is quite easy to remove a milestone - even if that milestone has some materials linked to it which have been invoiced.

Last week the team ensured that even if you're restructuring your project, these materials are not deleted, but transferred up to the project row to ensure the project’s invoice data remains accurate.

Email Attachments - Sometimes Missing, Sometimes Duplicated

Accelo's email capture and tracking engine operates as a pretty massive scale, which means often processing messages in parallel. While this is fairly smoothly handled (with duplicate messages being streamlined through the capture pipeline into a single message), we had a few inconsistent situations where, because of (bad) luck, email attachments were being removed because the system captured a parallel activity and the file was only stored on the duplicate.

Late last week we introduced a patch to be more intelligent about capturing attachments (and more specifically, making sure the streamlining of duplicates didn't result in attachments being removed prematurely and being left as 0 byte files), but in the process we unearthed a situation where attachments were seen as new files even though they'd already been captured earlier.

After a few days of capturing the same attachment too many times, we've now widened the "unique" check to include similarly matching files; now, if someone sends through the file "Proposal 15th Nov.pdf" and the exact same file-size with the name "Proposal 15th Nov-1.pdf" tries to be captured, we'll match it on the existing file.

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