Monthly retainer jobs

Jo Grant -

For ease of use and to gain maximum reporting within Synergist the following structure is
recommended if you have clients that require a monthly structure due to invoicing
requirements or a monthly time budget.

  • Each Phase represents one month (or one quarter / period etc.).
  • Estimated hours could be entered per month.
  • Actual timesheets should be recorded per month.
  • Monthly Sales Invoices should be created at Phase Level.

Monthly Phase Types
Monthly phase types can be set up so when selected as a phase type, they auto calculate the start and end dates per phase (this is dependent on date dependencies setting on the Company Settings' Advanced tab allowing phase dates to be editable). These can be set up in:

  • File Maintenance
  • Phase Types
  • New
  • Select month from 'Phase type month'


Using the ‘Monthly Phase Types’
Go to the details page of your phase and click on ‘phase type’. Once selected
the dates will auto calculate.


Sets of monthly phases

From within the phase tab at job level, you can create whole sets of monthly phases via the 'new' button:


This then presents you with some options for months, years etc. If you want your existing phase to be included, rather than added to, remember to tick the 'select start month to initial phase' box. This is particularly important if you want Phase 001 to be January for example.



You may find it useful to make use of a view to list all phases of a specific type, or for a specific month in order to simplify invoicing.  For example, a view of all the July phases on retainer jobs can then be invoiced at once via the batch draft invoice creation feature.


  • Use the data viewer to create capacity reports based on estimated hours per
    staff resource per Client per month.
  • 2 tier estimating is often used by PR Agencies who might estimate a number
    of hours of work at charge code level but need actual timesheets to show the
    detail about the type of activity recorded during a month.
  • ‘Timesheet’ list report at phase level to show timesheets recorded per month. Particularly useful as it includes timesheet ‘work done’ notes if you needed to supply a timesheet report to your Client.

Closing Each Month (phase)
In order to report accurately each month (phase) should be closed off.
When invoicing a monthly Fee or Retainer the Sales invoice may be raised at the beginning,
middle or end of a month. Timesheets should be recorded throughout the month.
In order to produce any profitability reports then the Sales Invoiced figures and Timesheet
figures need to be ‘joined together’. Timesheets that are recorded after an invoice is raised
would sit on a WIP report. It may be best in those cases to raise a final write off to close the phase down and ensure all costs are ticked off:

  1. Go to the month (phase) that needs to be closed and then go the Invoice tab.
    Click ‘New’, ‘New Write off’
  2. The New ‘Write off’ is similar to an invoice but is marked as ‘final’. Any remaining costs in WIP (i.e. all the timesheets from this month) will now be allocated to this write off.
  3. Ensure the date of the “Write off” is the same date as the month that the invoice and timesheets relate to. Each Month should have an Invoice and a Write off zero value invoice. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR REPORTING.
  4. Run the ‘Job/Phase Profitability’ report at phase level to see all months (Phases) that have been invoiced for the previous month with costs incurred during previous month.
  5. The ‘Write off’ will mark each month as ‘completed’ and ‘final’. This should leave the current month open. Timesheets can only be recorded against phases that are still incomplete and not final invoiced.
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