This video is intended to help you get started so it's quite brief. We will be updating our knowledgebase over time with lots of new videos and tutorials on how to use Briefcase.
Let's login, and take a look around.
Once we're in we are presented with the Dashboard. The dashboard is the perfect tool for your design team as your staff members will be able to see what has been scheduled, quickly access job and task information, and add in their time.
The dashboard also allows users to see their committed time, utilization and capacity.
We’ll come back to the dashboard when we cover time entry a little later in the video.
Briefcase keeps your client and supplier details in one place with all the necessary data you would expect to find in today’s CRM systems.
Contact numbers, emails, address details and URLs are all within easy reach and accessible throughout the system. We’ve even got a place to store those pesky FTP & CMS logins that are always so hard to find – you can even password protect them!
Your clients and suppliers can be easily searched, filtered and sorted making it easy to print out lists, envelopes and labels. You can even print off your Client Work in Progress from this view.
Jobs are at the heart of Briefcase, if you are an account manager or production coordinator you'll spend most of your time here.
Jobs are automatically numbered using the clients prefix and can be configured to pre-populate with many default settings to save you time.
Briefcase tracks changes to keep a detailed log on all job activity. In addition, you can log your own notes to create a complete job history.
You can group the type of work you do using the kind field, enter in due dates or link your job directly to a related folder on your network.
You can use the assets tab to store multimedia directly in the job record for easy access and commenting.
One of the key strengths Briefcase offers is in its estimating capabilities. Apart from being able to create beautiful estimates in seconds there are a host of features to help you build detailed estimates and proposals.
Each estimate has its own descriptive title and scope, you can even list specifications relevant to the scope of work you are doing.
In the line items tab you can build up your estimate using rates from the rates matrix defined in the settings area. In order to add a line to your estimate, all you need to do is select the category and rate, and then define the quantity or hours you need. You can even go into our complex pricing mode and introduce options, mark-ups or discounts against specific line items.
Within Briefcase you can generate quote requests and register costs for services you use from external suppliers. You can create these directly on the job, and even use the line items from your purchase within the estimate. You can then apply markups or discounts accordingly.
Once your purchase has been approved you can generate purchase orders directly from Briefcase and export these to accounting systems such as Quickbooks and Xero.
You can preview or email your estimate direct to your client from within Briefcase.
Once the client approves the estimate you’ll notice that Briefcase can update the job status and generate tasks for you, even automatically selecting the resources for you if chosen.
You can update the title, instructions and allocate multiple resources to a task.
On the right hand side you’ll be able to leave comments related to the task, this is the perfect place to leave changes or feedback you’ve received – Comments here will automatically email the manager and resources of the task.
You can define the task start and due date if you already know it, in a situation where you wouldn’t you can proceed to start scheduling time needed for the task.
Scheduling time is as easy as selecting a resource and then clicking and dragging the required time on their calendar. You can drag against multiple days or change the calendar viewed to schedule for different resources. Briefcase will even tell you how much time you’ve got remaining to schedule as you’re scheduling time.
We’ve also included a tasks view which allows you to schedule tasks for all current jobs against any resource, and we also have a resource view so you can see multiple staff members availability by week.
Back to Tasks
Once you’ve scheduled time you can navigate back to tasks and set the task start and end dates accordingly.
You can even set up dependencies, so in case a task due date was to extend, any future scheduled time for dependent tasks would automatically be pushed out also.
External tasks can also be set so you can keep tabs on client approval or external factors that would contribute to task start and end dates such as receiving items from your suppliers.
You can review time that’s been added in by viewing a specific task, or alternatively you can go to the Time tab within the job to view all scheduled and committed time for the job.
The most convenient way to add time is to do so via the dashboard. Any active tasks and jobs for the logged in user will appear allowing them to quickly access related information such as comments on tasks, assets and a link to the job folder.
Clicking on a task will highlight any related time that is visible on your schedule – It’ll also highlight the time frame where the task needs to commence and end by. Clicking on the schedule icon will change the date range of the calendar to show the relevant starting week for the task. You can double click on to view the instructions for the task, comments and you can also view time entries against the task.
Clicking on the job will highlight any related tasks and double clicking provides you with information about the job, client, activity, as well as the detail and assets tab direct from the job.
Adding time to a task on the dashboard is very easy. You can record your time by selecting a task and clicking and dragging the time to your calendar. Once this is done you’ll be prompted to enter in a description for your time entry and then your time entry is saved.
If you’ve already been scheduled time to work on a task, all you need to do is click on the scheduled time, resize it according to how long it’s taken, press the time icon to add in your time and leave a description.
Just like the schedule, You’re able to conveniently schedule time for tasks directly from the dashboard – Select the task, click and drag over the time frame needed and You’re ready to go.
You can navigate to the Time and Expense tab for greater control over large sets of data and for producing dynamic reports.
Briefcase also does invoicing, but more important is what Briefcase can do before invoicing. Our invoices can collate fees from approved estimates, suppliers and directly from time and expenses. The colour coding helps you see where a line item has been taken from.
With Briefcase you can invoice elements of a job for progressive billing or you can even invoice by percentage. Briefcase will even show you how much of your line items you’ve already invoiced.
Briefcase integrates seamlessly with most accounting systems including Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB. Move all your invoices with just a few clicks and see them appear in full detail mapped to all your existing account codes within your accounting system.
Summary & Printing
At a job level you are able to see a summary of internal time, alternatively if you’re after the financial progress of a job you can navigate to the Summary tab where you’ll be able to see current profit margins and the amount remaining to invoice.
There are a variety of templates that you can print to help you manage jobs. Financially you’re able to print out a Job Cost Report, for more general job management we’ve got templates like the Client Facing Plan, Job Plan and Work in Progress templates to help you manage timelines and jobs.
When it comes to reporting we’ve got you covered. We’ve worked with business analysts to curate some of the best out of the box reporting you can find on the market today.
Let’s take a look at the reports screen.
To create a report, select a report template
Select a time period for the report.
Add criteria to limit the results
Finally click run report
You can use one report with a combination of criteria to get hundreds of variations. Reports can also be created and modified to suit your requirements, which opens up an unlimited number of possibilities.
Briefcase is purpose built for the creative industry. We've spent many years working closely with leading agencies and creative teams refining our product to deliver the best solution available in the market today. I hope this video has helped your assessment of Briefcase, if you have not done so already please check out our free trial or contact our team if you have any further questions.