Ora Time and Expense Getting Started

Configuring Ora Time and Expense

  1. Click the Configure button to setup Ora Time and Expense
  2. Fill in the user form with your information. This data is included in generated timesheets, expense reports, and invoices
  3. In Settings, set the reimbursement rate for mileage – this is in units of $ per mile. This is used in the mileage wizard. The Minutes Per Day setting is used for creating all day tasks. Date format allows you customize how dates are displayed. Hour and Money decimal places customize the precision of hour and money values. Default time value sets the time until to use if time is entered without any unit (minutes, hours, or days) specified.
  4. The Project tab is used for creating new projects. All tasks and expenses are tracked by project
  5. The Client tab is used for creating new clients. All Projects are assigned to a Client. Clients are used for filtering data when generating reports (timesheets, expense reports, and invoices). If you are an employee, then Client is you company. For consultants, Client is where you indicate your hourly billable rate that is used for generating invoices.
  6. The Task Type tab is used for setting up the type of tasks you want to track for timesheets and invoices
    The Expense Type tab is used for setting up the type of expenses you want to track for expense reports
  7. Projects, Clients, Task Types, and Expense Types can be de-activated here. De-activated items will not be selectable when creating new task or expense entries. Also tasks and expenses using de-activated items won’t appear in the grids or in reports

Entering Timesheet Tasks

  • There are 2 ways of entering timesheet tasks, the Start Timer or New Task buttons
  • Use Start Timer to track tasks in real-time. Click the Start Timer button when you are about to begin a task. The button will now display the amount of time that has passed for the task. Hovering your mouse over the button, will display the current task information. Click the stop timer button when you are done with the current task, and a timesheet task entry will be created with the total duration from start to stop.
  • Use the New Task button to enter tasks that have already happened. In the New Task form, you can enter task durations in minutes, hours, days or hours/minutes. For minutes, append the number with an “m” (ex. 5m, 60m, 90m). For hours, append the number with a “h” (ex. 2h, 1.5h, 0.5h). For days, append the number with a “d” (ex. 1d, 2.1d, 0.5d). For hours/minutes, use the format 0:00 where the number before the “:” is in hours and the number after is in minutes (ex. 0:30, 1:45, 4:00)
  • There is a checkbox in the New Task form for multi-day tasks. If you check this and enter a task duration that is greater than the Minutes Per Day setting in the Configure section, the task will be divided into multiple entries – one for each day.
  • Timesheet tasks can also be edited in the task grid

Entering Expenses

  • There are 3 forms for entering expenses: New Expense, Hotel, and Mileage
  • The Hotel form will divide the total Hotel expense amount across multiple days. So you will have one entry for each day between the start and end dates
  • The Mileage form will automatically convert the total number of miles entered into the expense amount using the Mileage Rate setting
  • You can also attach a scan of the receipt to any expense entry by clicking on the scan link in the expense grid. You must have a webcam attached to your computer to use this feature. If you need help enabling your webcam, there are instructions.
  • Expenses can be edited in the expense grid

Backing up your data

If you need to backup your Ora Time and Expense data, please back up the following folders:

  • for Macs: ~/Library/Preferences/ com.johnwu.ora.7C6CA62034ECEF7F45C524416D6FEE987A4E8AAB.1/Local\ Store
  • for Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\com.johnwu.ora.7C6CA62034ECEF7F45C524416D6FEE987A4E8AAB.1\Local Store
  • for Vista or Windows 7: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\ com.johnwu.ora.7C6CA62034ECEF7F45C524416D6FEE987A4E8AAB.1\Local Store

Generating Reports

  • Before generating timesheets, expense reports, or invoices, you will need to “approve” all timesheet tasks and expenses that you want be included in the report. You can do this by checking the approve column for each item. Or selecting multiple tasks or expenses and clicking the “approve” button
  • Click the Report button to generate timesheets, expense reports, or invoices. Reports are filtered by starting and ending dates, and by client.
  • After reports have been generated and saved, they are opened in your web browser for viewing or printing. All reports are automatically saved in the OraReport folder within your Documents folder
  • A list of generated reports can be viewed in the View Reports grid

Customizing Invoice, Timesheet and Expense Reports

  • The report templates used by Ora Time and Expense are in xml format. The existing templates can be modified, or new templates can be added. Simply add the new report template to the template folder.
    • for Macs, ~/Applications/Ora Time and Expense.app/Contents/Resources/templates
    • for Windows is C:\Program Files\Ora Time and Expense\templates
  • I recommend opening existing templates with a text editor for examples.
  • Place customized reports into your user storage folder, so they do not get replaced with updates. Also change the filenames so they are different than the existing report templates that come with Ora.
    • for Macs: ~/Library/Preferences/ com.johnwu.ora.DD9F5A6FF81F3E23AD0CA89C1357F05F5211EBA6.1/Local\ Store/templates
    • for Windows: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\com.johnwu.ora.DD9F5A6FF81F3E23AD0CA89C1357F05F5211EBA6.1\Local Store\templates
    • for Vista or Windows 7: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\ com.johnwu.ora.7C6CA62034ECEF7F45C524416D6FEE987A4E8AAB.1\Local Store\templates
  • The report templates contain xml tags that are processed and replaced:
    • The document xml tag needs to define the ora namespace with the attribute xmlns:ora=”http://johnwu.com/ora”
    • <ora:UserName /> inserts the user’s first and last name
    • <ora:UserAddress /> inserts the user’s address and contact information
    • <ora:ClientName /> inserts the project’s client name
    • <ora:ClientAddress /> inserts the project’s client’s address and contact information
    • <ora:StartDate /> inserts the report’s starting date using the specified date format in setttings
    • <ora:EndDate /> inserts the report’s end date using the specified date format in settings
    • <ora:TaskQuery containsHTML=”true|false” decodeHTML=”true/false”>Select-Result</ora:TaskQuery> inserts timesheet results filtered by the report’s date range. If output of select results is xml/html tags, set containsHTML to true. If you want to decode HTML codes, set the attribute decodeHTML=”true”. Use SQLite expressions for formatting the select result.
    • <ora:ExpenseQuery containsHTML=”true|false” decodeHTML=”true/false”>Select-Result</ora:ExpenseQuery> inserts expense results filtered by the report’s date range. If output of select results is xml/html tags, set containsHTML to true. If you want to decode HTML codes, set the attribute decodeHTML=”true”. Use SQLite expressions for formatting the select result, see SQLite expression reference.
    • Both the TaskQuery and ExpenseQuery tags have post-query functions to modify the output of the query. Wrap the portion of the query these function by concatenating strings together like ‘FUNCTION_NAME(/’ || [field] || ‘/)’
      • DATE_FORMAT. Formats date values to customized date format specified in settings.
      • HTML. Html encodes values. If your report generates parser errors, you may need to wrap database output with this function.
      • CURRENCY_FORMAT. Formats money values to number of decimal places specified in settings.
      • HOUR_FORMAT. Formats time values to hours with number of decimal places specified in settings
      • CALC_FEE. Calculates and outputs fee values to money/hour with number of decimal places specified in settings.

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Updated September 5, 2011 by