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home Help Center keyboard_arrow_right Getting Started Series keyboard_arrow_rightStep 5: Estimates & Retainers

Step 5: Estimates & Retainers

Task-Based Estimates

Task-Based Estimates allow you to create a project budget by entering in the estimated hours for each task on the project. This can be very useful when working against tight budgets or needing to provide a quote to a client for project approval.

To set up an Estimate by Tasks:

  1. Navigate to 'Projects > Estimate' in the left menu.
  2. Select the Client and Project in the drop downs.
    FunctionFox product image select client project menus.
  3. Scroll down to the listed tasks and enter in the Estimated Hours for each task. (The estimated hours field is in-line editable and the entered hours are saved automatically).
    FunctionFox product image entering estimated hours.

Note: The estimated fee totals will automatically be calculated based on the task rates for each task and the hours you have entered.

Once the estimated hours have been entered, you’ll notice a comparison graph for each task. As your team tracks time against the project, you will see the comparison bar update: teal for under estimate, and red for over budget.
FunctionFox product image estimate under comparison FunctionFox product image estimate over comparison

Creating estimates allow you to quickly view the progress of your Project against the set budget. Project Estimates can be monitored from the Project Info pop-up (image below), the CEO Desktop, and the Estimate Report. FunctionFox product image viewing estimated hours in project info modal.

Project-Level Estimates

If you prefer to create a project-level estimate without breaking out estimated hours by Task, FunctionFox also allows for project-level estimates. Under Settings and Preferences > Account Preferences > Other, check off the option 'Use Project Estimates'.
FunctionFox product image setting account to use Porject Estiamtes.

If project-level estimates are active, this setting will be applied to all existing projects and new projects going forward, any task-level estimates will no longer be displayed.

When adding a new project on the Projects > Manage page, you can add your estimated amounts by filling in either the Hours or Fees field (or both, to track against both an overall estimated fee, and an overall amount of estimated hours). This can also be done on the Projects > Project Estimate page.
FunctionFox product image setting account to use Porject Estiamtes.


FOX TIP: You can choose to receive email alerts to be sent at multiple stages of estimate completion — Letting you know sooner if your budget is getting off track. Go to Account Preferences > Alerts.


Retainers allow you to create a set monthly budget of either hours or fees over a given period of time. As time is tracked on Projects that are part of a Retainer, you will see that time accrue against the set monthly amount in real time.

To set up a Retainer:

  1. Go to Projects > Retainers
  2. Select the client the retainer belongs to.
  3. Enter in a name for the retainer.
  4. Enter in the effective start date of the retainer.
    FunctionFox product image setting retainer start date.
  5. Enter the duration in months (max 24 months) for the retainer.
  6. Enter in the amount per month of the retainer and select if it is fee or hour based.
    FunctionFox product image setting retainer amounts
  7. If your retainer is fee based, you can also choose to "include project costs" to be included against your monthly retainer amount.
  8. Select which projects to be included for the retainer (to have all projects included under the retainer leave the selection blank).
    FunctionFox product image choosing retainer jobs.
  9. Select the retainer manager. This person can choose to receive email alerts when the retainer has reached a set percentage of the monthly amount.
    FunctionFox product image selecting a retainer manager.
  10. Enter in any specific notes that are applicable to the retainer.
  11. Click Save New.

Retainers are best viewed from CEO Desktop > Retainers or by pulling a Retainer Report.


FOX TIP: Have a retainer that has a higher budget for a month or two? You can adjust/customize individual months for a retainer by clicking on the month icon playlist_add beside the retainer.

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