Time block agreements in ConnectWise correlate to Deposit contracts in e-automate. These types of contracts function very differently in the two systems and require some manual touches when syncing these types of contracts.
Time block agreements in ConnectWise correlate to Deposit contracts in e-automate. The sync will create these types of contracts in e-automate, based on the agreement in ConnectWise. The options in how these types of contracts are set up are mainly the same between ConnectWise and e-automate, but there are some important differences between the two:
There are several important differences between e-automate and ConnectWise for deposit/time block contracts:
1. ConnectWise will allow additions on the agreement, along with the included time or hours. This is not an option in e-automate, contracts are either deposit-based with an allotment of hours/dollars OR installment-based with line items for each service included in the contract. **e-automate will also not group bill installment and deposit-based contracts together!!
2. ConnectWise will allow hours not used on the agreements to carry over to the next billing. This is not an option in e-automate, hours billed are "use it or lose it".
3. ConnectWise will allow hours that exceed the available hours left on a block time agreement to be applied to the next agreement billed. This is not an option in e-automate; hours on a service call can only be applied against one contract. You have the option in e-automate to bill the extra hours separately or add them to the next billing of the contract.
The sync is limited by the capabilities of e-automate in tracking and applying hours to block time agreements. It's VERY important that you test all phases of time block contracts (creating new agreements, applying tickets, and renewing agreements) before moving to production.
ConnectWise Agreement Templates
In ConnectWise the options for the time block set up are set on the agreement type template:
1. Application Units: The unit by which service calls are applied against the contract, options are amount, hours, or incidents.
2. Application Limits: The maximum amount of dollars, hours, or incidents provided by the agreement.
3. Available Per: The time period for which the application limit is available. (Calendar month, Calendar quarter, etc). To bill the agreement one-time-only (non-recurring), select the option for One Time.
4. Carryover Unused: If checked, any unused amount, hours, or incidents would carry over to the next application time period. **Be aware that this option does not exist in EA**
5. Allow overruns: This allows the application limit to go negative within the available period.
6. Days Expires In: The number of days past the expiration date you will allow the carryover to be used. Does not apply to one-time agreements.
7. Billing Cycle: The billing cycle for the agreement (Monthly, quarterly, annual, etc)
8. Cycle Based on: Sets the year the billing cycle is based on.
Calendar Year - Actual calendar year, January 1st to December 31st.
Contract Year - One-year period that starts with the billing start date (1st of the Month) and ends 365 days later.
**Regardless of the option chosen, ConnectWise always bills on the 1st of the month**
9. Billing Amount: The amount to be invoiced for this agreement each billing cycle. This would be the total amount to charge on the agreement, not the per-call price.
You can set a specific billing rate per hour on these agreements on the Work Role tab:
Set the work role of the technicians that will work on the service tickets and then set the rate to be billed per hour. If no work roles are defined on this tab, the hourly rate will be determined by the hourly rate set for the work role in the setup tables:
e-automate Contract Templates
Each agreement type that is in ConnectWise will have a matching contract template in e-automate. Contract templates for time block agreements will need to have a slightly different setup than the Installment based contract templates:
1. Contract Type: The contract type used needs to be set to Deposit Based to flip the template from Installment Based to Deposit Based:
2. Time block based: If this option is checked, the contract will bill based on hours. If the box is unchecked, the contract will bill based on the amount in the billing amount field.
3. Re-bill settings: The template should be set to reflect the billing option in ConnectWise:
One-Time Billing - Agreement bills once in ConnectWise and does not bill again. Choose "Do not re-bill" on the EA template.
Recurring Billing - Agreement bills on a cycle in ConnectWise. Chose the "Re-bill on cycle" option and set the billing cycle to match ConnectWise.
Re-billing a one-time block of hours - Agreements bills again in ConnectWise when the hours have been used. Chose the "Re-bill when balance is below:" option on the template.
All deposit contracts in e-automate require a bill code with a labor rate greater than zero:
The labor rate on the bill code will be the rate charged on the service calls that are imported from ConnectWise, so should match the rate set for the work role on the agreement.
Types of Agreements:
One Time Block - Customer pays upfront for a set of hours (or dollars) in service. The agreement only bills once, when the hours (or dollars) have been used the agreement is terminated. For example, the agreement covers 30 hours of service and then expires when those hours have been used.
Agreement Type Parameters in ConnectWise:
1. Application units set to hours
2. Application Limit set to 30
3. Option for "or One Time" checked to only bill agreement once
Contract Template in e-automate:
1. Contract type is set to deposit, this will then change the template form to Deposit.
2. Option for Time block based checked.
3. In Re-bill settings, option selected for Do not re-bill.
**A variation on this type of agreement/contract is where you bill the customer a block of hours and when those hours have been used up, you bill the client for another block of hours. A couple of differences in setting up this type of agreement:
1. The template for these agreements will have the Re-bill settings set to Re-bill when balance is below, set either the dollars or hours to appropriate values.
2. When you sell the customer another block of hours, you'll add an addition item to the agreement and use the adjustment amount on the agreement to bill the next block of hours. The new invoice will update the current contract in eAutomate and set it to bill again. (For more details on how to renew time block agreements in ConnectWise, see the ConnectWise University video "How to Renew One Time Block Agreement")
3. It's important to determine how you will account for "overage" hours in this scenario, as ConnectWise and e-automate handle this in different ways. For example, if you have a block of time contract that has two hours remaining and a service call for three hours of work:
A. ConnectWise will allow you to apply two hours to the current agreement, bill another block of hours to the client and then you can apply the "overage" hour to the new contract.
B. There are two different ways that e-automate can handle this situation:
* The contract will show a negative balance of one hour and when it bill the next time will add that one to the block of hours billed.
* If you change the rebill settings on the template to "rebill balance to zero", the contract will bill the extra hours at the rate of the contract. You can then bill the customer for another block of hours.
Recurring Block Time: A recurring block agreement allows a specified block of hours, dollars (amount), or incidents for the customer to use on a recurring basis. If the customer exceeds their allotment for the month, the overage is usually billed at the end of the period. The invoice to the customer bills on the recurring schedule set in the agreement type. For example, a contract that gives the customer 5 hours of service each month and bills on a monthly cycle.
Agreement Type Parameters in ConnectWise:
1. Application Units set to hours.
2. Application Limit set to 5 hours.
3. Available Per set to Calendar Month.
4. Billing Cycle set to Monthly, re bill on a monthly basis.
5. Billing Amount set to 500, to bill $500 each month.
Contract Template in e-automate:
1. Contract type: Switch contract type to one that is set to Deposit based.
2. Billing amount: Enter the number of hours to be billed.
3. Re-bill Settings: Set to Re-bill on cycle and then set the billing cycle to Monthly.
There are several things that you'll need to test related to time block agreements to ensure that you have the proper set up in e-automate:
- Create and bill agreements in ConnectWise for every agreement type that bills hours. You will need to have a separate agreement type for every billing rate used in ConnectWise.
- Are the hours calculating correctly on the contract? The hours showing on the contract will be calculated based on the rate on the bill code.
- Create service calls to decrement the hours from the agreement in ConnectWise.
- Bring calls over to e-automate with the ID965 service sync to verify that the hours are decremented from the contract correctly.
- Test using "overage" hours on the contracts to verify how you want to bill hours that go over what is available on the contract.
- Renew the agreements in ConnectWise and verify the process to renew in ConnectWise and update the contract in e-automate.
Tips and Tricks
- Included blocks or hours or dollars must be set in the application limits on the agreements in ConnectWise, including "2 hours of service" as an addition on the ConnectWise agreement will not transfer to e-automate correctly.
- There is not an option in e-automate to carry over hours that are not used from one month to the next. Hours in e-automate are "use it or lose it".
- ConnectWise allows agreements with both included hours AND line item billing. This is NOT an option when creating contracts in e-automate.
- Service calls applied against deposit-based contracts in e-automate will use the contract bill code rate to determine the cost to apply against the contract so be sure that the rates you are billing in ConnectWise match the bill codes you have set in e-automate.
- If you have agreements that bill different rates based on the work role of the person performing the work, you'll need to use work types to distinguish billing differences when the calls sync to e-automate. See this post on advanced bill codes and how to set that up.
- See this post for best practices on deposit contracts in e-automate.
- If you have an issue with the hours not showing on the contract invoice in e-automate, double-check that the labor rate for the bill code you are using is showing the correct rate: