CCH Practice Management helps you carry out work for a client within a structured and organised system that allows for descriptive and accurate entry of WIP. This benefits you and your practice in the recording of information, encouraging a time-efficient and accurate billing process, and increased reporting flexibility. Clients benefit as they have a personalised workflow that is geared towards meeting their requirements. You can also easily keep your clients up to date because you know the type and cost of the work being carried out.
The type of work carried out by the practice is broken down into work units which have a time and cost associated with them. Work units benefit the practice and the client because they form the basis to accurately estimate the work to be done, how much time is involved and the cost associated with them — in turn, the information gives you the tools to better manage your business resources, cash collection and workflow.
The work is broken down into:
All time and disbursements are recorded against assignments. The Assignments module allow you to logically group the different work types into (chargeable) and internal work (non–chargeable). You may already know these as 'matters'.
When entering WIP and expenses into the system you select assignments to record them against. The assignment can either be
a chargeable assignment linked to a client and therefore available to raise bills against
non–chargeable against which you will record such things as annual leave, sick leave and training
You can also set up a standard set of assignments which you can use for each client when they ask for your services. In setting up standard assignments, you save time and ensure consistency in the workflow of the practice and estimation of the costs involved. These standard sets of assignments are called Assignment Templates.
You create a Schedule within a client’s assignment. Each schedule contains stages which comprise tasks and milestones. You can use these two features if you want to track and monitor the work you do for a client. Tasks and milestones are added to the schedule via the Assignment page Schedule tab and can be added individually or from a pre–defined schedule template.
A Stage is a level that a practice might want to budget for and monitor work carried out within a schedule. A stage groups various tasks essential to get work done for a client. The practice usually groups a stage around certain types of staff who have the skills and authority appropriate to undertake the work. You can also specify an end date to the completion of a stage so that you can monitor how works is progressing as well as allocate a budget to a stage so that you can monitor the costs involved in the process. If you enter a stage without a start or end date, it is seen as a milestone and is displayed in blue on your Home Page if you customise it to show Schedule Details.
A task is an activity or the basic step that each employee does when carrying out work for the practice. A task forms part of a stage allocated to an employee category as part of a schedule.
The time taken on a task, or an expense associated with a task is either chargeable or non-chargeable to a client and is accounted for by way of recording information on Timesheets and Expense Sheets. Each task has a code associated with it and is maintained in the system under a Task Code.
You can set tasks and assign them to stages. You can also attach documents (via the Activities tab), define timeframes (schedules) and track progress. How simple or detailed the assignments become is up to you. The more detailed and structured the assignments, the more detailed the profit analysis per work type, allowing you to really get an understanding of the profitability of the services offered to your clients.