Overview of the Most Notable Changes
Aside from various minor bug fixes and internal enhancements, we've made significant changes in these areas:
Saved Reports: We've added the ability to save the conditions for the interactive reports that Chronicle provides in the Job Manager, Labor Manager, Marketing Manager, Collections Manager, Task Manager, and Graphs. Choose all of the conditions that you need for any report and click Save Report conditions. The report will become available on your home page in Chronicle, and, unless you've made it private, will also be available to anyone else in your company who might need it. (Read more about this below or watch the new Saved Reports video on the Training Videos tab.)
Improved Profitability Evaluation: The job manager financial report now lets you evaluate gross/net profit and labor percentages based on sold price or initial bid amounts if the job hasn't been invoiced yet, and the job file now lets you track initial bids on a departmental basis.
Collections by Responsible Party: In addition to the other recent improvements to the collections process, we've added a new collections view that lets you group collection amounts by the person or organization that you've indicated is responsible for payment. This lets you see, for example, all invoices that a particular adjuster, mortgage company, etc. is responsible for.
Person Import Improvements: You've been able to import contacts from an Excel file into Chronicle with the Import button on the People tab. We've made a number of improvements to this process.
Miscellaneous Improvements and Fixes: We've made a number of minor improvements and fixes throughout the program. The most noticeable changes were in these areas: calendar reminders, document adding, Financial tab, locating people, Collections Manager, Labor Manager, Email, Excel merge, Respond import.
We've added the ability to save the conditions for the interactive reports that Chronicle provides in the Job Manager, Labor Manager, Marketing Manager, Collections Manager, Task Manager, and Graphs. Choose all of the conditions that you need for any report and click Save Report Conditions. The report will become available on your home page in Chronicle, and, unless you've made it private, will also be available to anyone else in your company who might need it.
We've given a quick summary of this new feature here; for more complete explanation, see the full Saved Reports help topic.
New Saved Reports Video
We've added a new training video that explains the saved reports; see it on the Training Videos tab.
To save any report, go to the appropriate module and go to the tab with the report you want. At the top of the screen, select the conditions to use for the report. To make sure the report includes what you want, you can run it before you save, but you don’t have to: you can just save the conditions.
Most of the conditions save exactly as shown, but two types of conditions need special notice:
reports for yourself: If you save a report that’s limited to just showing information for yourself, then any employee who runs your report will get a report for him or herself rather than for you. This way, a single report can be useful to many employees. However, if you save a report for an employee other than yourself, the report will always run for that specific employee. This is useful if a manager or owner wants reports on specific employees.
date ranges: If you enter a date range rather than using one of the radio buttons, we don’t save the exact dates shown; rather, we save conditions that produce the corresponding range regardless of when the report is run. (For example, if on Dec 14, you pick Nov 1-30, you don’t want to look at a November report in June, you want the last completed month.) As the report is being saved, a date dialog lets you confirm or override our guess about what dates you’re interested in.
Once you’ve selected the right conditions, click Save Report Conditions.
Enter a name that clearly indicates what the report is for. In the list of All reports, your report will be shown with reports that other users have created, so enter a name that will be clear to everyone and not just to you.
Indicate whether you want the report in your own reports list. If this is checked, the report will be in the list of reports that you initially see on the home page. Any report that you’ll use regularly should be in your list. If this isn’t checked, then the report won’t go into your list, but it will be added to the list of All available reports so you or others can find and use it when you occasionally need it.
Also indicate whether the report should be available to everyone in your company who wants to, to users who meet a particular security level, or only to yourself. (Private is good if the report is only useful to you; it keeps the report list from being cluttered with lots of reports that aren’t generally useful to anyone else.)
If you meet the security level for managing the reports list, then you can add the report to the My reports list for other employees. (This security context is called REPORTSLISTMANAGE; it can be changed on the Security tab in the setup.) For example, if I create a report that all estimators or all marketing employees need, rather than telling them that I created the report for them, I can just add it to their lists. If you don’t meet the security level for managing the report list, you won’t see this section of the screen.
Click Save to add the new report. If your report includes a date range, a date dialog will come up here that lets you indicate what date range to use when the report is run. We take our best guess based on the dates you had selected, but you can change this to any range you want.
Managing Your report list
Once reports are saved by you or other users, you see them on your home page in Chronicle.
Initially Chronicle shows you only the reports that you or a report administrator put onto list, but you can go the list of all reports and run other reports or add other reports to your list.
To run any report: click it, or right click and pick run.
To add any report to your own list: On the list of all reports, either check the In My List box or right click and pick Add to My Reports.
To remove a report from your list: Uncheck the box, or right-click and pick Remove....
Editing name/type/who can see: If you created a report or if you meet the REPORTSLISTMANAGE security context, you can also edit the name and type of report and who can see it.
Deleting reports for all users: If you’ve created a report that ends up not being what you needed, you can also delete the report: but just remember that deleting a report removes it from the list for ALL users; if you no longer need a report but others do, then remove the report from your own list rather than deleting it.
Limiting/Filtering the Reports List: If you have many reports, you can limit the list in two ways. If you aren’t sure of the name of the report you want, use the Type dropdown to limit the list to a particular kind of report. Or, if you do remember the name, type either part of the name or the kind of report in the search entry. Clear the search to get back to the full list.
Once you run any report, you can further modify conditions, drill in to get more detail, or interact with the underlying information just as you can with any report generated manually in Chronicle.
Improved Profitability Evaluation
The Job Manager Financial Report has previously shown gross and net profit percentages and labor percentages based on the amount invoiced on the job. This is important to evaluate the profitability of completed jobs. However, also it's important to be able to see as the job progresses how much labor has been used and what the current profitability of the job is. Based on this, we've modified the Job Manager Financial Report so that, if a job hasn't been invoiced yet but has a sold price or initial bid amount, it now projects the gross profit and the profit and labor percentages based on those values rather than skipping the percentages for non-invoiced jobs. This lets you evaluate job profitability as the job progresses rather than waiting until the job is invoiced. (Once the job is invoiced, then calculations are done based on the invoice amount.) Percentages based on the invoice are in black; percentages based on sold price or initial bid are in green.
To improve evaluation of costs on a departmental level, in the job file, initial bid amounts can now be entered on a departmental basis.
Collections by Responsible Party
In Chronicle 8.3 we introduced many improvements to the collections process; see the Collections section of the help for more on the previous changes. In this version, we've added a new collections view that groups collection amounts by the person or organization that's responsible for payment. For example, if a number of invoices are associated with a particular adjuster or mortgage company, this view groups together all of the invoices each person or organization is responsible for, so it makes it easier to follow up on multiple invoices with a single call and easier to identify those contacts responsible for the largest amounts.
This view doesn't necessarily show all invoices; it only shows those invoices where you've indicated payment responsibility, so you'll still need to use the List by Invoice Order view to see invoices that are not yet assigned.
To Assign Payment Responsibility
For the Group by Payment Responsibility view to work, you must assign responsibility in the List by Invoice Order view. To do this, either right-click the invoice and pick Change Who's Responsible for Payment, or click Add/Change Who's Responsible in the Payment Responsibility section at the bottom left of the screen.
Once you've assigned payment responsibility, then the invoice will be reflected for the corresponding people or organizations in the Group by Payment Responsibility view. If you assign responsibility to multiple people or organizations, the invoice will appear for all responsible parties (with the amount they're each responsible for) in the Group by Payment Responsibility view.
Person Import Improvements
You've been able to import contacts from an Excel file into Chronicle with the Import button on the People tab. We've made a number of improvements to this process.
- We added the ability to import company/office information even if person is blank or already there. This enables importing a list of offices without people.
- If a person you are trying to import is already in Chronicle, the person is skipped (as before), but the process now imports the work phone, cell phone, fax, and/or email if any of these are different from what Chronicle has for the existing person.
- After importing, we added an Export to Excel button so you can save the import results.
- SQL errors occurred if a zip code was blank or if there was a problem adding an office to an existing company; we've fixed these.
- Progress bar now includes customer name being imported, and now gives you the option of cancelling the import process.
- We added an option to correct city names based on zip code database without asking for each mis-matched city/zip.
- Zip + 4 is no longer regarded as an invalid zip.
- Results now distinguish between a person that failed and a person that was skipped (because the person was already there).
- Reformatted right-click menu for better readability.
- Fixed issue where some columns are missing from shorter import files, and blank columns are now omitted when showing columns that can be imported.
- Minor improvements to the error highlighting.
Miscellaneous Improvements & Fixes
- Reminders from the Email tab: You can now right-click any email on your email tab to add a reminder.
- When the journal autocorrects spelling, it previously sometimes repositioned the cursor at the beginning of the word rather than the end, causing subsequent text to be entered in the wrong place. We've fixed this.
Moving Reminders with Calendar Events: When you create a calendar event, Chronicle can remind you before the event. However, previously, if you moved the calendar event to a new date or time, the reminder didn't change with the calendar event; it still reminded you based on the date/time of the original calendar event. We've fixed this so that if you move the calendar event, the reminder now correctly moves with it.
Improved Efficiency When Associating an Existing Document: Previously, when you associated an existing document with a job, Chronicle associated the document, but it also opened the document for you to review. To reduce steps when adding documents, we now just associate the document without opening it. (If you want to open it, just double-click the added document in the list.)
- The header was revised to make the Days Out summary clearer and to show additional cash on deposit and an adjusted total.
- Job ID was moved to its own column in the grid to improve readability and to allow sorting by either job ID or by customer name.
- Other minor layout adjustments were made to improve readability.
Locating People: The dialog that you see when you are trying to find a person in Chronicle now has several minor improvements:
- process is now faster.
- up and down arrow keys scroll the list of people who are found, even if the cursor is still in the locate text box.
- Enter key now selects the highlighted person.
- various minor display improvements.
- The security context COLLECTIONSMANAGERACCESS now controls who can and can't use the Collection Manager.
- Total Due for All Invoices for a Job is a new optional column. If a job has multiple invoices, this column shows the total due for all of them regardless of which invoice you are looking at. (The customization options in the Collections Manager determine whether this and other optional columns are visible.)
- Customer Email and Dept. Status were added as optional columns. (The customization options in the Collections Manager determine whether these and other columns are visible.)
- Collections Manager was oversensitive in warning about an unsaved note. If you enter a note and don’t save, the warning now only comes up if you click on the collections grid.
- If you right-click an associated person or organization in the job file, the right-click menu now has an option for opening the file for the associated person or organization.
- For jobs for organizations, the customer was incorrectly not showing in the associated organizations list. (The customer was correctly associated; this was just a display problem.)
Job Manager Financial Report: In addition to the changes mentioned above, we've also changed the following:
- Financial columns are now wider.
- Sold price previously showed the sold price of the job as a whole (i.e., the total for all departments) even if you were looking at a single department; we've fixed this so initial bid and sold price are shown only for relevant department(s) if looking at a departmental or division view.
- Added views for current and prior half month to both the Detail and Summary views.
- Labor add screen now allows negative discretionary bonuses.
- Labor entry no longer prevents two events of the same length for the same day & job if the start time is blank.
- We fixed a number of issues that were mostly specific to a few businesses; support contacted those businesses directly.
Blanking out columns on highlighted row: On several reports that used an alternating band color (for example, the Labor Summary Report), some columns blanked out on the highlighted row. We fixed this.
Excel Merge: Addresses merged into Excel showed ^p instead of line break. Fixed and also turned on text wrapping automatically for the cell if there is a line break.
Respond Import: Imported respond jobs can now be associated to existing jobs.