Time and Expense Entry

Written By: Betsy Stadick

from January 11, 2012

Summit Group Software implemented a time and expense entry system for our consulting practice using Microsoft Dynamics CRM as the platform.

It started out as a simple use of some additional entities for projects, time entries, expense entries in order to track our billable time and expense entries for clients. These entities have relationships to customers and are integrated (using Scribe Insight) over to our Microsoft Dynamics GP accounting for billing purposes. In the past couple of years since we have been working on this evolving functionality, two great benefits have been achieved over our legacy time entry system.

  1. Natural linkages with all our customer data in CRM– account/contacts, links to cases for support incidents, etc. That insight to every person in the organization on who has been billed and for what has been a great thing.
  2. REPORTS, REPORTS, REPORTS! Ah! Finally – instant insight to our billing data for clients, on a per-project basis, and of course our own utilization reporting. The old system left us with almost no insight. As the consulting team manager, every day I sing the praises of my instant reporting through CRM and SQL Reporting Services! It has changed the way I work.
  3. A third benefit is one that we always talk to our clients about and it is really cool to see it ourselves — Flexibility with our changing business needs.

Summit Group has rolled out numerous changes to our business in the past year including the allowance of discounted, prepaid time and a Managed Services plan that really changes the way we look at billable services for our clients. Using CRM as the platform for our time entry system has allowed for new entities, many-to-many relationships between all of them, and very fast changes to reporting through SRS to be agile and make our time entry and project tracking system bend to the needs of our business. When I think of the way we could think about turning parts of our business model upside down and just have the systems ‘work’ to support whatever changes we needed for our business… that is priceless. A ‘custom’ built time and expense entry system with the supportability of being built into the rest of our CRM system. What more could a consulting manager ask for?