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Prohibit tracking time for closed budgets

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    dev

    Hi Stephan

    thank you for reaching out to us! 

    I would like to ask a couple of questions about your business logic / current process if that's OK.

    First of all - when is it that you close a budget? Does it happen at the end of a project for example? Secondly, do you ever encounter a scenario when someone has a legitimate need to log time against a budget after it has been closed? Or does this only happens by accident?

    Thank-you for your input!

    Kind Regards,

    Andrea

    Product Owner - www.7pace.com

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    Stephan Polley

    Hi Andrea, thanks for following up. Let me tell you how we use budgets:

    Our budgets correlate one to one to actual internal orders (similar to account numbers) in our SAP system. We have a monthly extract of our time tracked in Time Tracker and import it into our SAP system (FI), which in turn charges the corresponding accounts with our cost.

    Q: When is it that you close a budget? Does it happen at the end of a project for example?

    A: Once in a while we close those internal orders in SAP for various reasons. For instance when the project is done, the accounting structure changes, accounts get merged or get separated. That's when we need to make sure nobody can track time against those orders anymore. Otherwise the import into our SAP will fail.

    Q: Do you ever encounter a scenario when someone has a legitimate need to log time against a budget after it has been closed?

    A: I cannot think of a scenario where this is wanted in our use case, but of course I can't speak for everyone. Maybe it is a good idea to make it configurable in the settings: "Allow tracking against closed budgets"? But in my mind "closed" means I lock the budget and nobody can track time against it anymore. If I still want to track time then I shouldn't close it...

    Q: Or does this only happens by accident?

    A: In our process, developers (or other project members) don't have to know anymore what budget or account they need to put their time against - the project managers/product owners assign the correct budget. That's the beauty of it, because developers have a hard time figuring out to put their time in the correct bucket, but the project managers do know. So, developers only track their time against a work item, not knowing what budget it was assigned to. It is possible this work item is still assigned to a budget that was recently closed and therefore time tracked against it (accidentally) shows up under this closed budget. That should not happen and will cause or SAP time import to fail. In this case it should not have any budget, which will then trigger the project manager to assign the work item to the correct budget and correct the error when the review the budget assignments at the end of the month.

    If a closed budget was determined for a time entry, either because the associated work item was assigned to a budget or inherits it, then it should ignore that budget and assign no budget at all in my opinion.

     

    But I have a question too: Obviously it is possible to close a budget in TimeTracker. But what does it mean? Does it just mean I can hide it in the budget view or is there any other logic behind that?

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    dev

    Hi Stephan,

    Thank-you for the detailed response, this is very helpful! Recently we have been getting some very valuable insights into how our customers are using budgets as well as our 'Billable' feature and there is definitely a theme around revisiting what a user can and cannot do once items have been closed/approved. The challenge here is identifying a solution that works for all (or most) of our customers, because as you pointed out each organisation has a slightly different process. So maybe yes, just making this more configurable via the settings is the way to go. This is something we will be keeping a close eye on going forward so we can get a better understanding of the most common use-cases and hopefully start implementing some improvements in the next months.

    Back to your question, currently if a budget is open it can be assigned to iterations and items, once it's closed it is no longer assignable.

    Thank-you again for your input and if you have any other thoughts on this please feel free to reach out!

    Regards,

    Andrea

    Product Owner - www.7pace.com

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