Setting up engagement templates

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Engagement templates allow you to set up information that you can copy to new engagements when adding them to a client. They also allow you to specify a default engagement for new clients. Every client must have at least one engagement assigned.

Adding an engagement template

Note: Items you select from the drop-down lists in this dialog come from entries you have made via the Setup menu (for example, Setup > Taxes > Tax Areas). If you have security permission, you can also right-click in any of these drop-down lists to add, edit, or delete items from the list.

  1. From the Setup menu, choose Templates > Engagements.
  2. Click the Add button.
  3. In the ID field, enter a unique alphanumeric ID, up to 11 characters.

    Note: This is a required field. The ID will be saved in upper case letters regardless of how it is entered.

  4. In the Description field, enter a brief description of the engagement that will be easily recognizable to your staff.
  5. In the Invoice description field, enter a description of the engagement as you want it to appear on client invoices.
  6. If you would like to designate the template as the default for all new clients, mark the Default Engagement for new Clients checkbox.

    Note: Every client must have at least one engagement. You can select one or more engagement templates to serve as default engagements for each new client you add.

  7. Accept the default value (Active) for the Status field.
  8. Enter the GL account number, if appropriate.

    Note: The GL Account field is optional, and is used for integrating with Creative Solutions Accounting.

  9. Select a tax area from the Tax Area drop-down list.
    A tax area is a collection of assigned taxing authorities for a given geographic area. For example, the area in which a firm or client operates may have a state sales tax and a county sales tax. A tax area may also have different rates for goods and services.
  10. You can select groupings for Office, Category, Biller, Reviewer, and Manager from the drop-down lists. Groupings let you categorize engagement templates for filtering the list of engagements and for creating reports.
  11. On the Rates subtab, you can choose one of three options for the engagement rate.
    • No Engagement Rate: This is the default rate for a new engagement.
    • Staff Rate: Click this option to select a staff billing rate from the drop-down list.
      Staff billing rates come from information you enter in the Rates tab of the Staff screen (Setup > Staff > Rates tab).
    • Fixed Rate: Click this option to enter a fixed rate amount.
  12. In the Markup/down factor field, you can enter a markup or markdown factor for the selected rate. The default factor is 1.00. You can enter a number less than or greater than 1.00.
  13. On the Recurring Bills subtab, choose the following from the drop-down lists:
    • Description: Select a description for the recurring bill.
    • Method: Select a method for handling WIP when the recurring bill is generated.
      • Adjustment
        Use this selection if you do not keep track of time in Practice CS, or if you want to generate recurring bills as adjustment entries instead of associating the entry to existing WIP or creating a progress entry.
      • Fixed Expenses + Time at Standard
        Engagements set up for recurring bills with the Fixed Expenses + Time at Standard method will have their expense entries billed out at the amount specified when the recurring bill was set up on the engagement, and time will be billed at its standard amount (the calculated amount of the entries in Time & Expense Entry). In order to be billed, the entries must have a date prior to the invoice date used when generating the recurring bill. The entries must also be assigned the engagement for which the recurring bill was set up. Available expense entries will be billed proportionately at the amount set up in Engagements setup, and time entries will be billed at their standard amounts.
      • Fixed Time & Expenses
        Engagements set up for recurring bills with the Fixed Time & Expenses method will have their entries billed out at the amount specified when the recurring bill was set up on the engagement. If the entries are for an amount greater or less than the recurring bill amount entered on the engagement, then the entries will be adjusted up or down during billing. In order to be billed, the entries must have a date prior to the invoice date used when generating the recurring bill. They must also be assigned the engagement for which the recurring bill was set up. The bill amount from the recurring bill should be allocated proportionately to the entries based on their amounts.
      • Fixed Time + Expenses at Standard
        Engagements set up for recurring bills with the Fixed Time + Expenses at Standard method will have their time entries billed out at the amount specified when the recurring bill was set up on the engagement, and expenses will be billed out at their standard amount (the calculated amount of the entries in Time & Expense Entry). In order to be billed, the entries must have a date prior to the invoice date used when generating the recurring bill. The entries must also be assigned the engagement for which the recurring bill was set up. Available time entries will be billed proportionately at the amount set up in Engagements setup, and expense entries will be billed at their standard amounts.
      • Progress

        Use this method if your firm typically generates a recurring bill for a client before the time and expenses for the work are entered. Progress bills create negative WIP, and at some point you will later have to match up the progress billings to actual time and expenses entered to clear the progress bills.

        When you set up a recurring bill with the Progress method, you will be required to enter the components of the progress bill (staff, activity, and so on). During billing, you will need to select a date for the invoice. The bill amount of the recurring bill will be the amount set up for the recurring bill on the client’s engagement and may include taxes or surcharges, if applicable. The activity and staff associated with the progress bill come from the engagement setup.

      • WIP at Standard
        Engagements set up for recurring bills with the WIP at Standard method will have all their time and expense entries billed out at their standard amount (the calculated amount of the entries in Time & Expense Entry). In order to be billed, the entries must have a date on or prior to the invoice date used when generating the recurring bill. The entries must also be assigned the engagement for which the recurring bill was set up.
    • Amount: Select the amount of the recurring bill.
  14. On the Surcharges subtab, select a surcharge option for this engagement template.
    • No surcharge: This is the default option.
    • Based on Activity: If you choose this option, the surcharge amount will be based on engagement activity.
    • Flat amount: If you choose this option, select a dollar amount from the drop-down list.
  15. On the Links subtab, add links to any items that you want to associate with the engagement template. You can link to files, websites, or documents outside of Practice CS, including documents stored in FileCabinet CS or GoFileRoom .

    The links you add to an engagement template will be added by default to all new engagements generated from that template.

    To add a link, right-click within the Links tab and choose the appropriate command from the context menu. Then link to the item and click OK.

  16. On the Custom Fields tab, use the available custom fields (if any) to enter additional information for the engagement template. Custom fields can be checkboxes, dates, lists, numeric fields, staff lists, or text-entry fields. Custom fields for dates have a drop-down calendar. Numeric custom fields have a drop-down calculator. See Custom fields setup overview for more information on custom fields.
    Practice CS allows you to create your own custom fields and field names for offices, staff, activities, clients, engagements, projects, tasks, and time & expense entry. Using custom fields enables you to track additional information in the application. You can create checkboxes, date fields, numeric fields, text fields (up to 4000 characters long), lists, and staff lists.

    To create custom fields, choose Setup > Custom Fields and then Offices, Staff, Activities, Clients, Engagements, Projects, Tasks, or Time & Expense Entry, depending on where you want the custom fields to appear within Practice CS.

Modifying an engagement template

  1. From the Engagement Templates list, click the engagement you want to modify.
  2. Click the Edit button.
  3. Make the necessary changes to the engagement template information.
  4. Click the Enter button to save the changes.

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