Setting up activities

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Use the Activities screen to set up activities that describe the services your firm performs to complete client engagements.

Note: The Activities screen is a user-defined terminology screen. Your firm may refer to it by a different name. You can view the default names for user-defined items by choosing Help > Enable Default Terminology (or by pressing CTRL+Shift+H).

To add a new activity, choose Activities from the Setup menu and click the Add button.

Entering information on the Main tab

  1. Click the Main tab and enter a unique alphanumeric ID in the ID field (required). The ID will be saved in upper case letters regardless of how it is entered.
  2. Enter a brief description (up to 30 characters) in the Description field. This information appears in the Description column of the Activity list.
  3. You can optionally enter a more complete description in the Invoice description field.
  4. Click the Calendar button if you want to insert a variable date into the Invoice description field.
  5. In the Type field, select either Expense or Time from the drop-down list. The default for new activities is Time.


    • This is a required field.
    • If you select Time for the activity type, you must then specify a rate for the activity: No activity rate, a Staff rate, or a Fixed rate.
    • If you select No activity rate, there will be no default rate for the activity, and you must enter the rate manually during time & expense entry.
    • If you select Expense for the activity type, you can then specify a Unit Price and Unit Cost for the activity. The activity will be available on the Expense tab of the Time & Expense Entry screen.
  6. In the Class field, select Administrative, Billable, or Nonbillable from the drop-down list.


    • Once you have entered data using an activity, you cannot change its class; this field becomes disabled for activities that are in use.
    • Administrative activities can only be used with clients who are designated as Administrative clients on the Main tab of the Clients setup screen.
  7. If you selected Administrative as the activity class, the Administrative type field becomes active. Choose a type from the drop-down list. The choices are General, Accruable Benefit, or CPE.

    Note: If your firm is licensed for the Staff Management module, administrative activities that are designated as accruable benefits can be administered using that module. For example, Practice CS can track the accrual and use of vacation time based on settings you establish for that benefit. For more information, see Staff Management overview.

  8. In the Status field, select Active or Inactive. If you select Inactive, the activity is not available for use in time entry.
  9. If you want to export general ledger information to CS Professional Suite Accounting Products, enter the appropriate GL number in the GL Account field.

    Note: Currently, the general ledger export process only allows for account numbers of 11 characters or fewer.

  10. In the Surcharge calculation section, you can select a method for assessing a surcharge on the activity.
    • If you selected Time in the Type field, the options available are No surcharge, Hourly, or Percentage.
    • If you select Expense in the Type field, the options available are No surcharge, Per unit, or Percentage.

    After you select a method, enter or select the amount of the surcharge (either percent or currency) from the drop-down calculator.

  11. Select a grouping for the activity from the Category drop-down list.
  12. If you have selected Time in the Type field, the available options will be for rates. Choose one of the following:
    • No activity rate: If you select this option, there will be no default rate entered during time entry. You will need to manually enter a rate in order to save the transaction.
    • Staff rate: If you select this option, select a staff rate from the drop-down list.
      The rate descriptions in the list are set up in the Staff Rate Descriptions screen and are matched up with individual staff rates in the Rates tab of the Staff setup screen.
    • Fixed rate: If you select this option, enter a fixed rate, or enter it using the drop-down calculator.

      Note: If you want to set up a standard nonchargeable time with a zero extended WIP amount, select Non-billable in the Class field, select the Fixed rate option, and enter $0.00 for the fixed rate amount.

    If you have selected Expense in the Type field, the available options will be for amount calculations.

    • Unit price: Select a unit price from the drop-down calculator. The default price is $0.00.
    • Unit cost: Select a unit cost from the drop-down list. The default cost is $0.00.

      Note: The unit cost must be less than or equal to the unit price.

  13. You can optionally mark the Round amount checkbox for Rates to round the amount calculated in time and expense entry.
  14. Mark the Charge Service Tax checkbox if your firm charges service tax for this activity.
  15. Mark the Charge Sales Tax checkbox if your firm charges Sales Tax for this activity.

Custom fields

The Custom Fields tab contains all of the custom fields you have created for the Activities screen. For more information on creating custom fields, see Setting up custom fields.

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