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I'm fairly new to PSA but i have been studying it for a couple of months now. We plan to implement PSA and have a very specific requirement where in we would like to have time and expense tracking against opportunity. OOB, PSA allows time and expense entries for Projects and i am not sure if it can be customized to make it work for other entities, in my case for opportunity. I know scheduling can be enabled for entities from the administration option on resource scheduling. So this makes me think that there should be a way to enable time and expense entry on other entities too. With all this said, is it possible to enable time and expense tracking on opportunity without doing heavy customizations?
If PSA dosent allow time and expense entries on other entities, then i am wondering how do customers do time tracking on opportunity. There should be fair amount of time spent before we even think of quotes. Please help if you are aware of any such scenarios that you might have come across or even if you have any thoughts about the process itself in terms of how customers manage time entry on opportunity before creating a quote and project.
As always, thank you all in advance for all the help you guys provide. Its a great place to find answers :)
Welcome to the exciting world of PSA :)
You can indeed submit Time Entries against Opportunities to some extent. What I mean by that is the financial side and how you want to record cost and sales for the hours your personnel log against work they have done. If it is simply to keep track of time, the answer is pretty straightforward:Select the desired Opportunity at Time Entry via a lookup and pass the value on to Project Approvals. Display related Time Entries on an Opportunity if that is of additional value.
Non-project Time Entries do need a Manager to be set up for each user for approval of Time Entries so consider this aspect from a security model perspective.
If you want to record cost and sales for those Time Entries, then you need the records as per "PSA's process" i.e a Project Contract that has a T&M Order Line on it and a Project associated with the Order Line.
In general my "usual" advice is to log Time Entries against an internal project to record cost and possible inter organizational sales costs.
So to sum it up, the way forward really depends on what you want those Time Entries to do for you primarily from a financial point of view.
Thank you Antti Pajunen, i have already tried adding opportunity lookup on Time Entry entity. The problem is that the default time entry form that is presented when we create time entry record from front-end cannot be customized i guess. Please see the below screenshot. If i am not able to customize this then the benefits of using the time entry UI is lost. I will end up creating custom forms and change button logic, this is just the beginning and there might be even more hurdles down the road.
My ultimate goal is to track time and expense against an opportunity using the Time Entry UI and dont want to break anything on PSA in this process. Once time and expense is added we would need to do reporting on it and also generate invoices.
Happy to help Suresh_Satti :)
So back to the subject. If you are using V1 or V2 of PSA then you have the hard coded Time Entry calendar form which can't be customized. You can still submit Time Entries by using the main form for Time Entries by submitting them from behind a Bookable Resource's related records. This is a bit more work and may not be optimal though.
I would consider updating PSA to V3 now that the update is in General Availability. In V3 the hard coded calendar form is no more. More info about updating can be found here:
As your goal is to generate invoices for Time and Expense Entries, you will need the components of Project Contract (with a T&M Order Line with Time and Expense both set to Yes) and Project. Submitting time against Opportunity and then invoicing based on approved entries is not a scenario that is supported OOTB in PSA. It's also against the financial logic built into Dynamics 365 CE as the OOTB "CE process" is Lead -> Opportunity -> Quote -> Order -> Invoice. We invoice what is on an Order, not what is on an Opportunity.
In short there is no quick and easy solution to invoicing Time Entries against Opportunities. What I would do is I would create a Project Contract and a Project when an Opportunity is created and I would then reference the Opportunity on both the Project Contract and the Project. Time Entries would be submitted against the Project - think of it as a presales project for example.
To give you more ideas around this you can check my article on enabling Time Entries in Field Service. The idea is the same: when a record is created or updated, build everything in the background to enable Time Entries. You can find more info here.
This is just my opinion but I do generally argue that Time and Expense should always be submitted against a project component as we can manage and define a project in more detail and depth than what we can an Opportunity. An Opportunity can be grounds for a project as businesses very often have different kinds of effort they have to exert against an Opportunity. These types of effort can quite often be synonymous with project tasks. Project tasks on the other hand can be a target of Time Entries and the project as a whole a target of Expense Entries.
Thank you Antti Pajunen, i completely agree to your point about having time and expense tracking on project. I considered this approach and have started building my implementation. Once again, thanks for all your insights on PSA time tracking.
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