Contracts Setup

  • Updated

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The Contract section of BigChange enables you to simply manage all of the documents pertaining to individual contracts in a single place, regardless of the complexity. This includes everything from scanned attachments of your original agreement to a host of financial documents. 

Not only can BigChange simplify your business processes by, for example, creating invoices against a pre-determined schedule but it also allows emails or pdf downloads of either individual or summary documents to be available at the touch of a button.

Financial - 87.pngWhere you see this icon next to an invoice in the list view, it indicates that the invoice was raised against a contract.

The filter on the left-hand side allows you to filter invoices that relate to contracts

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Setting Up a Contract in the Back Office

In order to get the most from JobWatch, it is highly recommended that you spend time personalising the back office fields, setting up the contract types which you are likely to use, creating predefined invoicing items, contract recurrence patterns and Financial document Recurrence Patterns. 

If you integrate with a financial package, it is also worthwhile setting up your department and nominal codes in accordance with them.  If in doubt, your Accounts department should be able to advise you.

To begin, navigate to: [Top menu] Profile (icon)Admin Settings [side menu]Financial → Financial document’s custom fields → Contracts:

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One of the great joys of JobWatch is that it can act as a blank canvas for your individual business needs but with huge amounts of inbuilt functionality.  This means that you could use the form above in lots of ways eg:

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Types of Contract
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Sales Manager
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Special terms
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Number of assets included eg vending machines, coffee makers, etc

Remember to tick the checkbox for ‘Mandatory’ if you wish to ensure that this custom field is answered.

The Possible answers/Default value input here will appear in the Detail tab of your contract Form, as shown in the example below:

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As previously mentioned and whilst still in the Financial section, it will be useful for you to input information in some or all of the highlighted sections to speed up the process when using the system.

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Some examples are shown below:

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Sample Contract Recurrence Pattern
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Sample Financial document recurrence pattern

When viewing jobs in a list which are recurrences, this is symbolised by the recurrence icon:

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Web User Roles

Additional permissions are also available for Web Users around Contracts.

  • Navigate to: [Top menu] Profile (icon)Admin SettingsWeb UsersUser roles and you will see 4 new User Role options:
  • User can view contracts
  • User can create contracts
  • User can edit/delete contracts
  • User can edit jobs within contracts

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If users without permissions attempt to edit Contracts, they will be shown an error message.

For further information on Web Users, please read the separate article.

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Completing a Contract Form

Now we can start to add things from the front end of the website. 

  • Navigate: CRM → Financial → Contracts → [icon] New contract:

General Tab

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It is worth noting that whilst not all fields are mandatory, the more information you put into the Contract fields, the more ways there are in which it can be used to save time later.

On the invoice creation field, you can decide between invoices which will be automatically created at preset periods ie weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc, or manually, creating them on an ad hoc basis.

There is similar flexibility around pricing, allowing you to select the method which best suits your agreed contract terms for this specific customer.

‘Line item behaviour’ options will allow users to identify new line items as either ‘Global contract line items’ or ‘Contact specific line items’ which are attributed to specific contacts via the use of the keyword, ‘Contact name’ in the line item description. Users can also choose whether to invoice to a single Contract destination eg Head Office or to different site contacts.

 

Detail Tab

This establishes the type of contract you wish to set up and will show all of the Contract custom fields which you added in the back office (Administration):

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If you do not see the type of contract you wish to create, displayed, simply return to Administration and edit to add in the new type.

 

Invoicing Period Tab

You will not be able to save the details from the first 2 tabs until you have set at least one period for time for the contract to cover.  Begin by clicking Add:

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This will now display as follows:

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Contract line items are added in the same way as in other areas of JobWatch, for example, invoices. They are added via the 3 option buttons below:

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  1. Clicking on ‘Add item’ will add a blank line item to be completed with new information as free text
  2. Clicking on ‘Add predefined item’ will draw on options already input into the system (via My Account →Administration→Predefined invoicing itemsFinancial - 106.png
  3. Clicking on ‘Add stock’ will draw on stock options already input into the system Financial - 107.png

Alternatively, you can use the Import line items icon for instances where large numbers of line items need to be added:

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‘+’ buttons on the right of your line items allow you to add keywords into the line item descriptions:

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You should also take special care when completing the recurrence field. You can choose ‘Recurrence’ and complete it as in the example below:

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or if this is a job which recurs regularly, you might wish to set up a recurrence pattern in the back office. In the example below, th example we created earlier, ‘office clean’, was selected from the dropdown menu and the additional information auto-populated.  You can see that the fields here are greyed out as it is a pattern and they are not editable:

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Once these items have been added satisfactorily, the contract will look like this:

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Which will display from the General tab as:

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You can now add additional periods, for example, if a price change needs to be added after a specific period or there are additional terms.  Simply repeat the process you followed above:

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You will notice that on the General tab it now tells you that the period shown is 1 of 2.  You can view all invoicing periods by clicking on the eye icon:

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Additional Contract Keywords

To enhance the Contract documents the Financial section of Keywords contains.

  1. Start date of invoiced period – when invoices are automatically produced against a contract, this field will show the beginning of the period covered eg if a 12 month contract states that an invoice is to be created on the 1st of each month, the first invoice would have a creation date of 1st February, a Start date of 1st January and an End date of 31st January.
  2. End date of invoiced period (see above)
  3. Contract start date
  4. Contract end date

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You may be interested to view additional invoicing options.  If so, see sections on Aggregated invoicing.

 

Jobs Tab

Now that the Contract has been created, jobs should be attributed against it, thus ensuring that the correct financial links are established between the job and the contract and that the agreed contract terms are applied to the jobs.

  • Navigate: CRM → Financial → Contracts → [tab] Jobs 

Now scroll down and click on the New job icon:

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This will open a ‘New job’ window which you will notice has already populated the ‘Contract’ field (outlined below) with the correct reference number.  You should complete the rest of the form and save:

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All jobs attributed to the contract in this way will then be shown in list form, with the symbol in the far right hand column showing that they have been created as part of a recurrence:

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Importing & Exporting Files

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There are two methods of importing jobs against the contract:

  1. From the jobs list, by providing the Contract Reference of the contract it is to be created against, and two optional fields of Job Pattern/Pattern end date.
  2. From within the contract itself. If this method is chosen the Contract Reference field is not required as the contract the jobs need to be imported to is the one already selected.Financial - 123.png

The Export CSV button will allow you to export the job information relating to this contact, simply fill out the popup which opens and choose between emailing the file or attaching it to the contract.

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Financial Tab

Once a contract form has been created, provided the start date is 24 hours in advance, an invoice will automatically be created displaying the invoice line item description, along with either the minimum payment, or the after minimum payment value:

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You will now be able to easily send or download the invoice.

Click on the relevant invoice you will then receive a ‘File’ option.  Click on it:

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Click on either Download or Email.

An example of both options can be seen below:

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Stock & Equipment Tab

This tab allows you to attribute stock and equipment items against the contract.  Items here may either be the same as the line items on the Detail tab of the contract, or additional to those.

  • Navigate: CRM  Financial  Contracts  Stock & equipment [tab].  Now scroll down and click on the ‘Add stock’  icon:

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This will open a popup window which will allow you to select relevant item of stock or equipment using the ‘Model’ search field:

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Once added, the items will be listed as shown below:

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Notes & Attachments Tabs

As you would imagine, these tabs contain any notes or images/documents which relate to the contract

Invoice Jobs Against Contract that are Planned or Due in a Period