I. Estimate Settings
To edit a Project's Estimate settings, you can (a) select the Project and choose Project Menu > Edit Project Estimate Settings, (b) click the Estimated Totals in the Project Overview, or (c) click the Edit button below the estimated totals in the Project Editing Window.
Projects in Studiometry can have their estimate information determined in one of four ways:
- Itemized Estimates (Invoice Based on Tracked Work) - You create any number of work items on your Project and mark them as Estimated. These will count towards the project's calculated Estimated Hours and Estimated Total. You will then track your work within Studiometry and bill for your tracked work at the end of the project.
- Itemized Estimates (Invoice Based on Estimated Work) - You create any number of work items on your Project and mark them as Estimated. These will count towards the project's calculated Estimated Hours and Estimated Total. You will then track your work as non billable, and bill for the original estimated items as the end of the project.
- Calculated Estimates - You will enter the estimated number of hours or estimated total for each Work/Expense Category. No individual estimated items will be created, so the amount of details you can include in your estimate will be limited. This mode also gives you the ability to compare Estimated to Actual work based on each Work/Expense Category.
- Manual Entry - You type in an exact amount for Estimated Hours and Estimated Total. This method is the fastest way to enter an estimated amount, but you will not be able to compare estimated to actual totals for individual categories.
II. Creating and Sending an Estimate
The way you create and send an estimate will depend on the estimate settings you selected from Section I. If you chose to create an Itemized Estimate, you can enter one or more Estimated Items onto the project, and then generate an Estimate that will display the item's information. If you chose to use manual entry or calculated estimates, you will need to create an estimate template that will work to show exactly what you want your clients to see.
1. Setting Up Estimate Templates
The first step to sending out estimates is making sure you have a good Estimate Template. And Estimate Template is basically the same as an Invoice Template, it's just used for your estimates. You can view and edit your estimate templates in the Preferences Window > Templates section. You can set up the templates to show as much or as little information as you'd like, including or excluding information about individual items. For more general information about setting up templates, please see this KB article. Studiometry comes with several built-in estimate templates, but if you decide to customize them you will only have to do so once and then they can be easily used on all future estimates.
2. Entering Estimate Information
If you've chosen to use Manual Entry or Calculated Estimates, your estimate information is already done.
If you've chosen to use Itemized Estimates, you can enter one or more Estimated Items onto your Project using any combination of several methods. You can use the Timesheet window to enter multiple items quickly, use the Work Entry window to add detailed information about a single estimated item, or add Estimated Blueprints to your project that you've previously set up.
3. Creating the Estimate via Reports
Reports in Studiometry are used to create any template-able content that isn't an invoice. Estimates fit this description perfectly. To create an Estimate for a Project, go into the Project's Reports section (select a Project, click on Project Overview button up top and select Reports). Next click the Plus (+) button to open the report editing window.
Here you can select the items you'd like associated with your estimate. You can simply select Item Set: Estimated to select all Estimated Items attached to the associated project, or you can select individual items. You can also enter your Report Fields into this window, which are customizable fields that are displayed based on the Report Template you're using.
Once you've selected your items and your template, you can Save or Send your estimate to your client. Click the View Estimate button at the top of the window to view the generated estimate and select different templates. Once you like what you see you can Email or Save the estimate content using the buttons up top.
Press OK in the Report Editing window to save the report to the project so you can see it in the future.
III. Worked Totals vs. Billable Totals
Studiometry differentiates between Worked totals and Billable totals for your Projects based on each Work/Expense item's mode (which are Billable, Non-Billable, Estimated, Purchase Order). This means that when you're viewing the Project Summary, you may see different hour totals than when you're sending out an invoice, because worked hours aren't always equal to billable hours.
What Studiometry considers Worked or Billable time for a Project depends on the setting selected when editing a Project's Estimate information. The two options available are Invoice Based on Tracked Work (Standard) and Invoice Based on Estimated Work. Invoicing Based on Estimated Work is only available for Projects with Itemized Estimates, as Calculated Estimates and Manual Entry Estimates will always default to the Standard mode.
Below is a chart of what each Work/Expense item mode is considered within a billing mode:
IV. Billing for Estimated Items
If you create a Project in the Itemized Estimate mode and select Bill For Estimated Items, you will have to at some point tell Studiometry you're ready to convert the estimated items to billable, and thus Bill for the Estimated Items. Studiometry will automate this process for you, all you need to do is right-click on a work item within a project, or right-click on the project itself, and select Bill For Estimated Items.
This will bring up a window that will help you duplicate your Estimated items and convert them to Billable.