Time entries in Core must have both a bill rate and a cost rate. One of the best features of Core is the ability to assign an unlimited number of rates to employees, activities and projects. You can use the default rates or special rates to bill your time and expenses. A manager can determine these rates in agreement with the client and project contract, allowing the timekeepers to record their time without even knowing about them.
There are three screens in Core where you can define rates:
- Fee Schedules: Core assigns the bill rate, cost rate and overtime multiplier based on a combination of employee-activity and classification.
Core allows you to set fee schedule rates and specify a classification (job title) for the employee. You can have several titles for an employee and might want to set different rates for different titles. For example, an employee can be called a Research Analyst by one agency and a Junior Consultant by another. In addition, quite often we end up negotiating a fee structure with our client based on the employee’s classification or title. For example, Senior Designer = $200, Engineer = $150, Drafts-person = $95 and Junior Engineer = $125.
Sometimes you might want to use the fee schedule to have both their Bill Rate and Cost Rate default to zero, but keep the entry billable. Core enables you to specify a zero value ($0) rate or null value (blank) in the fee schedule, if you check that rule in Global Settings.
- Activity Items: Core assigns the bill rate and cost rate of an activity.
- Employees: Core assigns the default bill rate, cost rate and overtime rate of an employee.
The logic used by Core to determine which rate to use is:
- When entering time, Core searches for any fee schedule associated with the project. If it finds one with a matching combination of employee and activity, it applies that bill and cost rate to the time entry. Else, it proceeds to step 2.
In case of multiple matches, Core follows the priority order set in the fee schedule. This priority number is based on the original sort order of the line items, but can be changed.
In case of zero rate, Core applies it to the time entries. In case of blank rates, Core ignores the fee schedule and searches for the next rate in the hierarchy.
- Core searches the project record to for the ‘Use rates from the Activity Items screen’ rule. If it is checked, Core uses the bill and cost rate of the activity. If this rule is not selected, it proceeds to step 3.
- Core uses the default bill rate and cost rate of the employee.
This is the rate hierarchy followed in Core.
Note: Core follows similar rules in determining which cost rate to apply to expense entries. If there is no fee schedule, the rate of the expense item is used. If there is no rate set in the Expense Items screen, you must enter it manually when recording expenses.