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Are you getting the most from WorkflowMax?

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WorkflowMax is a fantastic programme and we love it but there are reasons why things sometimes don’t go as planned if an  experienced implementation specialist is not used. WorkflowMax is incredibly flexible and customisable which makes it a good choice across a wide range of industries. However, this also means there are many variations and the best way to do things for your business is often not clear. Also, the layout can sometimes not feel very intuitive and some features are very well hidden.This month I’ve put together a guide to some of the set ups we see in WorkflowMax every day, and some of the ways we help both new and experienced users of WorkflowMax to make sure they are getting the best outcomes possible.

– Work In Progress
– Quote Variations
– Profitability Reporting on Jobs
– Dealing with Overheads
– Keeping track of billing with progress invoices on quoted jobs over multiple months
– Setting Tasks and Staff Rates
– Custom Billing Rates
– Staff Log ins
– Moving Timesheets in Bulk
– Merging Clients
– Handling Back-Costing for multiple options

Work In Progress

The Work In Progress ledger (Business / Work in Progress) is designed to show how much labour and costs is accumulated that has not been billed yet – a fantastic tool to see how much is expected to be billed at the end of the month – or right now.

Often we see Work In Progress that is not accurate so is not helpful to the business. One reason this happens is when Labour and Costs stay on the job that are never going to be billed, even after the job has been has been invoiced and completed.

DO mark tasks and costs as unbillable if the client facing info is different to the tasks and costs being used for internal back costing.

DO NOT forget to account for any tasks and costs that are never going to be billed, when a job is completed. This needs to be done if the invoice is generated through different costs and tasks from what is used internally. Either overwrite with fixed price invoicing, or use the Remove From Invoice List button in the financial tab.

DO NOT mix quoted and charge up billing on the same job. It just doesn’t work. Make up a separate job for quoted and charge-up sections.

DO easily clear out old jobs you know will never be invoiced again directly from the WIP ledger. Business/ Work In Progress – List Tab, then tick the jobs that have been invoiced already and select the red Remove Button. This is the same as using the Remove From Invoice List button within each individual job.

DO check the Work in Progress list at least every month. This is an excellent cross check to do after invoicing.

Quote Variations

When a quote has been accepted and then there is a variation, this is often not handled correctly.

Once a quote is accepted, it is not possible to edit or revise it and this is for audit reasons.

DON’T just make a note and then add on the variation when invoicing. This will create other issues.

DON’T try and add charge-up work onto a quote as a variation. DO Set up a new job for the charge-up work.

TIP – Add new additional costs and new tasks with Estimated time to a quoted job, and these will appear in pink to add for optional billing. Logged time will not appear, only estimated time.

Profitability Reporting on Jobs

Some users are not aware of the Job Financial Summary and are missing out on the single most useful report in WorkflowMax.
This is a report available for a single job from the Financial Tab – look for Print Financial Summary on the left side menu below the buttons. It’s also available as a bulk PDF print for all jobs from the All Reports list.

The meaning of the columns is sometimes misunderstood so here’s the explanation:

Est. Cost Column

This column shows Estimated Hours that have been entered into Tasks (Labour), and also Estimated Costs (those without a green tick). Dollar values are calculated in WorkflowMax based on the base rates for each Task that are loaded in the settings. These base rates should be an average rate across the organisation that is being used for working out how much to quote – before it is decided who will carry out the task. These rates may get tweaked over time.


The column shows what has be loaded as quoted values on the job.

Actual Cost

WorkflowMax calculates the cost to your business of carrying out the tasks based on how much time has been logged, multiplied by the cost rate you have put in for each individual staff member. This means if staff who are higher paid, are spending too much time doing work that can be done by a lower paid employee, you will see this. Staff must have individual logins and base rates loaded to get accurate reporting in this column.


WorkflowMax calculates the dollar value that your business should be charging for the work done, based on the billable rates you have loaded for the tasks. For example if you have a labour rate of $80 per hour and have quoted on that basis, but then the job runs over time, you will see how much you should have billed if you had been working on charge-up. If things are going well – then the Quoted column should always be higher than the Billable column, when there is a quote on the job.


This will show what has actually been invoiced off the tasks and costs.

Other useful data on the report includes a summary of whether tasks took more or less than the estimated time, and who more likely to be over or under estimated times.

Dealing with Overheads

In general overheads are not designed to be tracked in WorkflowMax.

DO load Staff rates as the hourly rate + around 18% to cover annual and sick leave. In my opinion it is rarely worthwhile to track leave in WorkflowMax – this should be done in a payroll system.

DO track all time to a job that is related to that job, whether it’s billable or not. Best practice is to have at least 1 “Admin” task on a job for staff to put time to that is not chargeable.

DO track other time that cannot be tracked to a job onto Overhead Jobs set up just for that purpose. These are often set as a yearly job and reported on monthly.

DO NOT try and build in other overhead costs into the staff hourly rate.

Keeping track of billing with progress invoices on quoted jobs over multiple months

If your business is one that quotes fixed prices, perhaps several different sections on one job, and then invoices these over several months, there is a trick to doing this and it’s easy when you know how.

Work up your quote as normal resulting in perhaps a set of quoted prices for different parts of the job.

DO change the type of quote to Fixed Price rather than Calculated Price, even if you are not over-writing the values to change them.

DO ensure you use the Fixed Price progress invoice when you partially invoice at the end of each month, perhaps a different amount for each section.

IF you do it like this, you will find the remaining amounts not invoiced will be there for you next month, and WorkflowMax will keep track of how much you have invoiced and how much there is to go.

DO NOT try to do this with a Calculated Price quote. If you partially invoice a Calculated Price quote, WorkflowMax will write off the remaining portion you have not billed.

Setting Task and Staff Rates

Sometimes this area is misunderstood and base and chargeout rates are put in without any mark-ups. The rates for every staff member should include both their base rate (hourly rate + 18%), and their charge-out rate even if that rate is theoretical. The rates for every tasks should include the base rate (the average rate it costs the business to carry out that task) and the charge rate for that task.

DO adjust your organisational settings to reflect whether you normally charge based on the Type of Task that is being carried out (Task Billable Rates) OR if you charge depending on who is doing the job (Staff Billable Rates). (Business / Settings / Organisational Settings – Under “Job” the field is “Task Invoice Rate” drop down selection.

IF your organisation is set to billable by Task, WorkflowMax will use the base rate on the task to help you calculate quotes.

DO adjust this on a job by job basis if your business sometimes bills based on the Task being performed, and other times bills depending on who did the job. (Financial Tab – under the heading at the top called Financial Settings, click on the blue link “click here”.

Custom Billing Rates

There are multiple ways to achieve custom billing rates in WorkflowMax. Read the help article to get a handle on them all as they are very flexible.
You can set up a custom billing rates for:

– a task according to the staff member working on it
– a task according to the client
– a task according to the job

Heres’ the link:

You can also over-ride the rates manually within the job when you are producing an invoice.

Staff Log ins

This is one we see all the time. It is never recommended to have multiple staff members sharing the same log in email.   This is because permissions cannot be separated between staff with duplicate emails and you cannot later change the emails for any of the duplicates.

DO NOT add in extra staff members with the same email as an existing staff member, even if that staff member is never going to log in.

DO set up a unique email for each staff member. (gmail or any email address that will be accessible to the staff member). You can do this even if the staff member will never log in.

DO rename each staff member that has a duplicate email something like “Mary” changes to “Z-Mary”. This means you won’t get confused between the old Mary log in and the new Mary login.

DO then delete each staff member that has a duplicate email. All reporting on the deleted names will be retained but a side effect is that the old names will also appear as a selection choice in some areas.

DO add each new staff member back in with their unique email and unique rates and permissions.

Moving Timesheets in Bulk

This is a quick tip for users who haven’t found this feature.

DO go to the Information Tab in the job, and click on the Options button on the left. Select Move Timesheets and go from there.

Merging Clients

This is a quick top for users who haven’t found this feature.

DO go to the Client. Go to the Notes or Documents tab within the Client and click on the Options Button to the left. Select Merge Client.

Handling Back-costing for multiple options

What do you do when your business quotes for multiple sections of a job and they all have their own set of Tasks and Costs within one job?

This can be done in WorkflowMax with a work around solution.  This is because unlike some other Job Management software, you cannot easily group subsets of Tasks and Costs together on a job. The best solution will depend on the individual processes and priorities of your business. Here’s some thoughts:

DO consider breaking up the job into multiple jobs and linking them with some kind of reference in the job name. If they are all parts of a quote they can be invoiced together for the client Business / Invoices / New / Progress or Final – then select the client, and all the jobs for that client will pop up to select to invoice together.

DO build up each section at a time using labels on the tasks to show the groupings and some kind of code to identify the costs. Templates speed this up, and can include pre-loaded Labels and Estimated times. Once you have your first subtotal add it as one summary cost with relevant text to identify it. Then untick all the back costing tasks and costs – they will still go through to the job when you create it, they just won’t be billable. Then add your 2nd set of tasks and costs, note the sub-total and add this as your second summary cost, and so on.

DO use Options in the same way to build up summary costs from estimating sections with task and cost components.

Living Business are WorkflowMax specialists working daily with WorkflowMax across a wide range of industries. Contact me for a no obligation chat on 0508 937 666 or email me at