- the following workflow takes place after a tech's visit from a Dispatch
- the next steps are done in the office, after that initial Dispatch
- nothing, at this time, has been approved by a Customer or Vendor
Below is a flow chart showing the suggested flow of a call or job, from entering a quote through receiving a payment and paying the vendor bill. ESC is very versatile and you do not need to do all of these steps for the software to work properly. For instance, if you do not want to enter a quote you can start by creating a dispatch and continue from there.
Enter a Quote
A quote allows you to enter an estimate for your customer without entering a sales invoice. The quote can later be recalled and changed to a sales invoice as either a normal invoice or a progressive bill. To enter a quote go to Sales → Quote List and click Add.
When the Quote screen opens; notice the Form defaults to Quote Plain Paper as shown below.
After selecting your customer and location, the Status defaults to Pending, the Quote number fills with the next number and the Date defaults
to the date you logged in with. Choose the appropriate Department number and the Tax Code, or leave them at the defaulted values. The Job field is only required if you are doing Job Costing. Customer PO is used if the customer has issued a PO for the job. Agreement is used for the associated Service Agreement number if you want these items tied to the Service Agreement when the invoice is created. The Price Code comes from the Customer record. The Sales Person and Sales Sort are for reporting purposes. These will come over from the Customer record if they were entered, as do the Terms. Any of the items that auto fill can be changed if desired.
In the body of the quote enter the parts required to do the job along with the number of estimated hours and any miscellaneous items needed to do the job. You can choose which lines print on the quote by checking or unchecking the box to the right of the line under Print. In the example below, all lines will print on the quote. When you are finished with the Quote click Print or Save.
Quote Accepted or Rejected
When you learn whether the job was accepted or not you should mark the quote accordingly. If the quote was accepted you will want to start planning for it and if it was rejected you will want to mark it Rejected so only possible jobs are showing as Pending on any lists or reports.
If you choose Rejected a Reason Rejected box appears to the right. This information is used for reporting, but is not required. Use the Reason Rejected drop-down to choose the appropriate reason.
If none of the choices apply and you wish to add a new Reason click Reason Rejected and the Enter Reason Quote Rejected List window will appear. Click Add New, enter the reason and click OK. The new item will now appear in your drop-down list.
To save the Status change, click Save.
If the quote was accepted choose Accepted from the drop-down and then click Save.
Collecting a Deposit
If you are collecting a deposit upon acceptance of the quote you can record it now by clicking the Prepayment link at the bottom of the screen.
The following screen appears where you enter the payment method, the amount of the payment and the check number, if applicable. When finished click Add Payment, then Save.
The amount of the deposit now appears at the bottom of the quote and will appear as a credit at the bottom of any subsequent invoices until the credit is applied.
Create a Dispatch
Once a quote has been accepted it is a good idea to create a dispatch for it so that the work gets scheduled and any parts needed for the quote get ordered. This can be accomplished by recalling the quote from the Quote List and clicking Create Dispatch.
When you select this option, a screen will appear that will allow you to carry the parts, billing codes and history codes from the quote to the dispatch. Place a check mark next to the items you want to carry to the dispatch. These items will be listed under the Parts tab on the dispatch and then flow to the invoice that is created once the dispatch is completed.
Note that it is possible to create multiple dispatches from a single quote, so only bring over the items that are needed for the dispatch you are creating. The remaining items will be available when another dispatch is created from the quote.
If you need to order parts before scheduling the dispatch, you can use the Schedule tab to assign the dispatch to a "Back Order" or "Waiting for Parts" non-tech column and use a status code set up like Off Job and the icon on the dispatch will change from a folder icon to a "PO" icon when the parts are received. Continue to the Enter PO section below to order the parts. Otherwise, schedule and save the dispatch and skip to the Complete Dispatch section below.
When creating a quote or dispatch it is possible to attach the parts you will need to complete the job. Before performing the work it is wise to see if you have those parts in stock and order them if needed. To do this, recall the dispatch from the Dispatch List or the EDB, click on Activities and choose Order Parts.
The resulting window shows the status of the parts needed to complete the dispatch.
The Warehouse Quantity shows how many of that item are in the currently selected warehouse. The Total Quantity field shows how many you have in stock in all warehouses and the Quantity field shows how many are needed for this dispatch.
To order the part, be sure the box on the left is checked. Then verify the Vendor you want to order the part from. Although the default vendor for that part is shown it can easily be changed if needed. By using the drop-down in the PO field you can add the item to an open purchase order for the same vendor, if one exists, or create a new purchase order if one does not. This field must be filled out for every checked item before continuing.
Once everything is set to your satisfaction, click the Create and Edit button to generate the purchase order and open it for additional editing or the Create All button to create the purchase orders for editing and printing later.
At some point after a purchase order has been created you will want to receive it.
First, recall the purchase order from the Purchase Order / Credit List located under the Vendors tab.
Some vendors will provide a copy of the invoice with the material you ordered. If they do, update the line items on the purchase order to reflect the actual price and add any additional items, like freight, if necessary.
Once that has been completed, click the Save and Receive icon at the top of the screen.
At this point the Receive Items screen should show all the line items and associated quantities that were on the purchase order.
- Receiving Stock Items – When receiving normal stock items into inventory, enter the number of items actually received in the Quantity field on each line. The Warehouse, Department and Job can also be specified at this time.
- Receiving Serialized Items – If the purchase order included serialized items, each serialized part will appear as separate line item on this screen. A serial number must be entered for every serialized part received. The Warehouse, Department and Job can also be specified at this time.
- Receiving All Items – To receive everything on the Purchase Order, click the Receive All button on the toolbar. The Warehouse, Job, Department, etc can still be edited when using this function. Note: If serialized parts are being received serial numbers will still need to be added for each serialized part.
- Splitting Lines – Sometimes it may be necessary to receive a partial quantity of a particular item to one warehouse/job/department and the rest to another. To do this, click on the line to be divided followed by the Split Line icon on the toolbar. Enter the number of items you would like to separate and click OK. Now each line can be assigned its own warehouse, job and/or department.
- Create Bill Later – When you are finished receiving the items click Save if the bill has not yet been received. This will update your physical inventory and item cost in inventory but does nothing financially.
- Create Bill Now – If you have the vendor's invoice at this point, verify the Terms and click the Save and Bill icon on the toolbar. You will be asked if you want to mark the purchase order as billed. If you will not be receiving any more invoices for this purchase order click Yes. If you are using ESC Accounting, the Enter Bill screen opens showing the information from the purchase order (see Creating the Bill below). If you are integrated with Sage 50 or QuickBooks, you'll be asked for the invoice information to send to that program.
Once the parts are received for the dispatch, recall the dispatch, schedule the work and assign it to a technician if desired.
Creating the Bill
If the items were received previously and you now need to create the bill, go to Vendors → Purchase Order List and recall the purchase order. Make any additions or changes and click Save and Bill. You will be asked if you want to mark the purchase order as billed. If you will not be receiving any more invoices for this purchase order click Yes.
Now the Enter Bill screen opens showing the information from the purchase order.
Review the items and enter the invoice number in the No: field. When an invoice number is entered the Bill Received box is automatically checked. When the bill is correct click Save.
Paying the Bill
To pay bills go to Vendors → Pay Bills. Select the account you want to pay from, usually a checking account or a credit card account, enter the date you want on the payment and select the check Status.
Pay bills allows you to quickly select bills that you want to pay. You can select what bills to pay by either selecting the bills individually by clicking the box in the Pay column or you can use the Quick select bills to pay feature, where you can have ESC auto-select bills that fall under a certain vendor and\or that are due on or before a certain day. Once the bills you wish to pay are selected click Save.
When the work is finished change the status of the dispatch to Complete – now you can do one of two things:
- Click Create an Invoice located under the Activities tab of the Dispatch screen to invoice immediately.
- Click Save to save the dispatch for invoicing later.
To find dispatches that are Complete but not yet invoiced go to the Dispatch List and open the Views panel by clicking on the current view.
Clicking on a dispatch in the list will show the information for that dispatch in the Details section. Click Create Invoice.
When the invoice is created most of the information will pull from the dispatch, including parts and labor. The information shown on the invoice below came directly from the dispatch. Notice the costs and gross profit at the bottom of the screen along with the number of hours the tech was on the job mid-screen.
If you have the payment in hand for the invoice you may click the Tender button to enter the payment at this time or click Save to enter the payment later.
Tendering a payment
If the payment is made at the time the invoice is created, before saving the invoice, click the Tender button on the toolbar, or the Tendered link at the bottom of the screen.
The following screen will appear to allow you to choose the Payment Method, Date, Amount Received and Check # if applicable.
When the information is correct click Add Payment and the payment moves from the left to the right and the Balance Due changes to Change Due. If the information is correct click Save.
If changes are required, click on the payment amount and the information fills on the left side for editing.
Clicking Save from this screen saves both the payment and the invoice.
Receiving a Payment
If the money was not collected when the invoice was issued, payments should be entered from Receivables → Enter Payments. When the customer is recalled, all of their open invoices are listed. Enter the Date of payment and Payment Method. For the amount you can either enter the amount of the check in the Amount field and ESC will automatically pay the oldest invoices up to that amount, or if you want to apply the payment to particular invoices you can click the box in the Pay column for the invoices you wish to pay and ESC will calculate the Amount for you. You can edit the Amount to Pay to make partial payments.