Title: Using Tasks in Unanet
Time and expenses can be charged at either the project or task level in Unanet. User assignments and plans can also be associated at either the project or task level. Like projects, tasks can have their own effective dates, budgets, etc. The use of tasks is optional on a project by project basis. Unanet Tasks can be used in a number of ways, to create a more granular WBS, to use when tracking projects that have multiple years on the contract but are only funded one year at a time, to limit which users can charge expenses to a project (this setup also requires a stored procedure), to enforce labor categories, to create tasks at the funding level, and/or to track billable milestones on a Fixed Price contract. A few examples are explained in more detail below.
What’s covered in this document:
Considerations of supporting Tasks vs. Projects
Creating one Project with a list of Tasks is recommended for ease of use and management of the Unanet system. When creating Tasks, certain system rules must apply to all Tasks within a given project. If your business requires that these items be separated, you may need to create multiple projects to represent these Tasks.
Considerations if setting up contracts or entities as tasks:
- The list of allowable Labor Categories must apply to all Tasks.
- The list of allowable Expense Types and override Billable Markups for expenses must apply to all Tasks.
- The list of allowable Pay Codes must apply to all Tasks.
- The list of allowable Locations must apply to all Tasks.
- The designated Project Manager will be responsible for managing the Project and all Tasks.
- The designated Project Approver will be responsible for approving time and/or expenses charged to all Tasks.
Using Tasks for the WBS
Using Unanet Tasks for a more granular work breakdown structure (WBS) allows project managers to create and track small, deliverable components of the overall projects. Time and expenses can be charged at the task level in Unanet, user assignments and plans can also be associated at the task level. Like projects, tasks can have their own effective dates, budgets, etc.
Using Tasks to segregate labor and expenses
Currently Unanet only allows you to deselect Allow Expense Reporting at the project level. It is common for projects to allow expense reporting for selected users. Sometimes labor and expenses need to be segregated on separate tasks for other reasons. To accommodate this setup, a project can contain specific Labor tasks and Expense tasks. Only users who may charge expenses to a project are assigned to these expense tasks. To enforce this configuration, a stored procedure must be implemented that does not allow a user to charge expenses to a labor task, and does not allow a user to charge time to an expense task. A standard stored procedure (VSP) is available in this regard. Please contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.
Using Tasks to enforce labor categories
Many clients do not want to ask the user to specify a Labor Category on the timesheet, which appears to eliminate the user's ability to charge to multiple Labor Categories on the same project. Using tasks to represent labor categories will allow a person to charge multiple labor categories and bill rates on one project. Take the example of a team of 10 people who can work on a project in the capacities of Project Manager, Designer, Application Developer and Tester. To reflect this, create four tasks, each named after the functional job roles, enable the project to be managed at the task level, then assign the users task by task with the correct labor category and bill rate. The tasks allow the workers to split their time by allowable role and dictate what the customer is charged.
Using Tasks to identify/track billable milestones on a Fixed Price contract
Tasks can be used to identify/track billable milestones on a Fixed Price contract if multiple milestones are to be reached during the course of a project. As each milestone is completed, the Task would be marked as 100% completed, a completion date would be added, and the Task can be disabled from further time and expense collection.
Using Tasks to represent tasks that have flowed into Unanet from a downstream system
Your instance of Unanet may be linked to an accounting system which automatically creates tasks directly in Unanet. For example, you may send tasks from Dynamics SL via SLConnect. See Additional information section below for more on SLConnect and flowing tasks at various levels into Unanet.
Using Tasks for Projects with multiple years but only funded one year at a time
If you have projects that have multiple years on the contract but are only funded one year at a time, tasks can be used to represent the option years. One best practice is to have one task per funded year. Another best practice is to have one project per funded year.
What are the Pros and Cons of managing one project vs. multiple projects for option years?
- Have one project per funded year or CLIN (OY1, OY2, etc.). You may bill/invoice multiple projects per invoice in Unanet. We recommend using a shared naming convention for reporting. Populate each project with the appropriate funded value amount in the Funded Value field. Capture these projects under a lead/umbrella project which has the Total Value field populated with the total contract value, and which has the Funded value populated and updated on an ongoing basis with the sum of the various funded year amounts.
- Considerations: Need to set up a project for each year.
- Pros: Have full functionality of labor category restrictions that may vary on each option year.
- Have one task per funded year or CLIN. Populate each task with the funded value per year. In the project Budget tab, populate total contract value and the sum of the task Funded Value fields (and update as tasks are added).
- Considerations: All Task considerations listed above must be considered.
- Pros: One project is needed for the entire contract.
Should I use Tasks to manage contract modifications?
Use this link for methods on tracking contract modifications: KC - FAQ - How are Contract Modifications best handled in Unanet?