If you have a problem or query relating to Resource Manager, you may find the answer here. This could be quicker than sending us a specific enquiry message (see the On-line support page). Some queries do not easily fit into one of the following categories, so it may be worth browsing through the list.

| General | Projects | Employees | Timesheets | Invoicing | Reports |

Frequently Asked Questions - General

Q: My mouse doesn't work in Resource Manager, although it's OK in other applications.
A: Because Resource Manager was first used before Windows (and mouse devices) were common, early users became accustomed to operating it with the keyboard only. It is still possible to set the system so that it responds only to key presses. Assuming that you have a mouse and driver software to run it, check the following:

Q: Resource Manager is covering the whole of my screen, but I like to be able to see and run other programs from my Windows desktop.
A: Hold down the Alt key and press (at the same time) the Enter key. To adjust the size of the window, select a size from the drop-down box at the top-left of the window, or click on the icon at the top-left of the window and select Properties from the drop-down menu, then click the Font tab.

Q: I'm using Resource Manager with MS-Windows but I can't even get it to run; I'm simply returned to the Windows desktop.
A: See the separate page, MS-Windows 9x for help with running Resource Manager on a Windows platform.

Q: Resource Manager seems to load OK, but when I go into Timesheets or other specific areas it gives me an error message, or simply returns me to the Windows desktop.
A: This is almost certainly because of an error with a file called CONFIG.SYS, which should be in the root directory of your PC, i.e. C:\CONFIG.SYS. Open this file using MS-NotePad or MS-WordPad, and ensure that the following two lines are present:
Make sure that the above is the only thing on each line; the letters "rem" in front of a line means that it will be ignored. Don't forget to save the file. You will have to re-start your computer for the file to take effect.

Q: I don't have a manual for Resource Manager; how can I get one?
A: You do have a manual; it's included with the system in the form of a computer file. You can access it using MS-Word (open the file C:\RESMAN\RMMANUAL.DOC), MS-WordPad (open the file C:\RESMAN\RMMANUAL.TXT), MS-Write (open file C:\RESMAN\RMMANUAL.WRI). Or you can access the file from within Resource Manager by going to the Reports menu, then select Other Reports, then User Manual. If you can access the manual from an external word-processor, like MS-Word, it is much easier for printing, e.g. you can select your own font, size, etc. NB: The manual is being updated, as at December 2000, to run using HTML links, on a browser.

Q: I can't be bothered to wade through your manual every time I want to know something; haven't you got anything more concise?
A: Yes. In most parts of the system, e.g. while at an input field, or when having to select from two or more options, simply press the F1 function key for specific information.

Q: I've just taken over Resource Manager from someone who left in disgrace (well, it could happen!) and I don't know the ID and password to get into the system. Is there a code that will work with all copies?
A: No. Honest. Better telephone/email us.

Q: When I changed a field I pressed the escape key to get back to the menu, and the change I made was lost.
A: This is a deliberate "feature". To save changes you must leave input screens at the bottom, in other words, press the Enter key until you get to the bottom. If you use the Escape key to leave a screen, no changes will be saved.

Q: Because our previous time-recording system couldn't work in hours and minutes, we are used to entering time worked in units of six minutes, i.e. ten per hour. Can we continue to work like this.
A: Not really, no. Resource Manager works in hours and minutes only. Although you're used to working in units of six minutes, you'd be surprised how easy it is to work in hours and minutes. Most people manage it by the time they're six or seven. The alternative is to carry on working in six-minute units and get someone to transcribe it as, or before, it's input to Resource Manager.

Q: The system seems to accept my ID and password OK, but then I get the message: "Cannot log onto your data; ask controller to check user path. Hit any key to continue." Then I'm returned to Windows. What does this mean?
A: Resman is usually stored in two areas: the programs (including some data such as passwords and general settings) are held in one directory, usually C:\RESMAN, and the user data is held in one or more user-defined directories. The data directories are usually called such things as "RESDAT" or "CURRENT" or "RESDAT99", etc.

Each ID and Password combination holds the data directory which the combination will access. This is set up in the Password Control section of the System Details menu.

When the user types an ID and password, the system looks for them and if it doesn't find them, reports an error. The system then reads the data path associated with this ID/password and looks for a file called CONTROL.MEM in that database. This is the point at which this error occurs, and would usually be due to something like transferring the system from one computer to another, or some other reconfiguration.

Unfortunately, the error does not specify whether the system cannot find the data directory, or the file CONTROL.MEM within that directory, so you'll have to use Windows Explorer, or, for the more fun-loving, DOS, to find CONTROL.MEM. If there is no such file, try to restore it from your last backup.

If a copy of CONTROL.MEM is present, then you have a discrepancy between the name of your data directory, as held in your password record, and the actual location of your data in your computer.

If you can access Resource Manager using another ID/password, go to Password Control (if you are allowed to do so) and correct the DATA PATH of the "problem" ID/password, so that it reflects the actual location of the database. Alternatively, your only option is to change the physical location of your database to match the location held against your ID/password.

If you don't know the location held against your ID/password, and can't access the system using another password, you should have kept better notes! The only way you may be able to work it out is to view the file PASSWORD.DBF found in your Resource Manager program (not database) directory, using NotePad. Although it won't look pretty (passwords are encrypted, of course) you just may be able to recognise some directory names. See if these actually exist on your computer. If not, then you'll have to create them and copy your data files, including CONTROL.MEM, to them.

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FAQs - Projects

Q: In the Project Maintenance screen, what is the CLEAR DOWN field?
A: In most departments, projects are on-going, and need to be analysed on an annual basis. Other projects have a finite duration, not necessarily coinciding with the financial year. The first type of project needs to be cleared down at the end of each financial year, so that the totals shown in the ACTUAL column are zeroed. Put Y, for yes, in this field for this type of project. Leave blank, or input N, for no, in other types of project. Actually, any letter can be put in this field, to allow for clear-down at several times in a year, or longer period. To perform the actual clear-down, go to the Utilities menu and select Annual Project Cleardown.

Q: Why is there an ACTIVITY CODE in the Project Maintenance screen?
A: It should be remembered that much of the data you set up in the Project (and Employee) maintenance screen is default information, used when you enter timesheets. So, this Activity Code field is only used if work carried out on this project is usually one Activity. Say you had an activity called "Meetings", which was used generally throughout all your Projects. Say you also had a Project called "Meetings", used whenever a general meeting was being held that did not relate to one specific project. In this case, you may always (or nearly always) want the Activity code when entering timesheets to default to the one for Meetings; put that Activity code in here. (NB: Only works with level-one activities).

Q: What is the ACT field in the Project Maintenance screen?
A: This is a confusingly-named field and means the ACTual date when work on this project was completed

Q: The Projects that I work on are all in the same group. I know I can print reports for just those Projects, but what about viewing them on-screen?
A: In the Project maintenance screen, press Order once to display in Group order. Forward and Backward will then move you through Projects in Group order. The same applies to Category and Description sequence - press Order again, then again.

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FAQs - Employees

Q: When in the Employee Maintenance screen, I can't gain access to the Costs/Charges option.
A: This area, like many other areas of the system, are only accessible by someone of System Administrator or System Controller status.

Q: When creating new employee records, the JOB TITLE and/or SECTION fields do not allow me to type anything in.
A: To complete these fields you have to select from tables set up in the Utilities/System Details area. You cannot enter data to this field directly in the Employee Maintenance screen.

Q: What is the OVERTIME INDICATOR field?
A: When employees work overtime they are often rewarded in one of two ways: a) they receive a payment based on the time worked, or some other agreement, or b) they are allowed to take an agreed amount of time off "in lieu". Resource Manager can store overtime worked in Lieu of leave. When this time is re-claimed it can be recorded to a fixed project - TMINLIEU. If neither payment or time in lieu is given, set this field to Paid overtime. And look for another job.

Q: In the Holiday HOURS REMAINING field in the Employee Maintenance screen I have a negative figure, but I know that the employee concerned has not exceeded her holiday allowance this year. What should I do?
A: This may be wrong because you forgot to carry out a Holiday Year Reset at the end of the last holiday year, or it could be because you are using a Holiday project other than the Resource Manager fixed holiday project, ANULEAVE. If you have set up your own project to record time taken on holiday, Resource Manager will not be able to differentiate between this and any other project, so will not know that it should adjust holiday hours taken accordingly. It is best to use the Resource Manager holiday project, ANULEAVE, unless you have your own reason to do otherwise. To correct the current figure, select "Costs/charges" and Modify the HOLIDAY REMAINING field, which you should change to the actual number of days holiday remaining.

Q: I am starting use of Resource Manager at a time other than the beginning of a financial year. How do I input the current Overtime, Time In Lieu and Flexi Time values
A: Go to the "Costs/charges" section, in the Employee Maintenance screen, and simply change the values to the current ones. Also, see the question and answer above.

Q: What is the Employee PRODUCTIVITY TARGET for?
A: This field, found in the "Costs/charges" section of the Employee maintenance screen, denotes the percentage of hours worked that it is thought that this employee will work on chargeable work. The figure does not reflect the values of the employee's charge and cost rates, it is simply time-related.

Q: Can Resource Manager help me to calculate employee charge rates?
A: Yes. If you put a value in the PRODUCTIVITY TARGET (above) and an ANNUAL COST value against each employee (representing salary plus employer's NI, etc.) Resource Manager can work out your hourly charge and cost rates. Once you've entered figures for all employees, go to the Utilities/System details menu and select Budget Information. By working out how many days per year each employee will be engaged in productive (chargeable) work (it knows the holiday entitlement of each employee), Resource Manager can compute individual charge and cost rates. You don't have to accept them, of course, but it may serve as a good indication.

Q: Our department uses a number of sub-contract staff. How should they be set up?
A: It depends on how you want to analyse work. You can create a separate employee record for each sub-contractor, but give them all the same Job Title which would enable you to generate reports for all of them as a group. Or you can create one single employee record which each sub-contractor uses while he/she works with you. The latter will not really be satisfactory if employees "overlap" their time working for you.

Q: Our timesheets cover a four-week period. How do I cope with this?
A: If you are inputting four weeks' timesheet totals at a time, you should change the employee PER WEEK fields (in the Employee Maintenance screen) from, say, 5 DAYS and 37.00 hours, to 20 DAYS and 148.00 HOURS.

Q: How do I set the system up to allow each employee to see only their own timesheet-entry details?
A: Each employee who you want to set up in this way has to have their own ID and password. When you create the Password Control (in the Utilities/System Details menu), put E in the ACCESS field and the employee's payroll code in the EMPLOYEE field. Then, when that ID and password is input the user goes straight to the timesheet input screen. After inputting his/her timesheets, the user is taken straight out of Resource Manager.

Q: I want to change my hours per week (I've just started working full-time) but, as soon as I input my ID and password, I'm taken straight to timesheet input. How can I access my personal details?
A: You can't because you've been set up as per the previous question. The system administrator, or someone with a higher-level password will have to do it for you (or the system administrator could re-designate your password so that you can do it).

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FAQs - Timesheets

Q: When I select Timesheets from the Maintenance menu, I get an error message and Resource Manager closes down.
A: This is almost certainly because of an error with a file called CONFIG.SYS, which should be in the root directory of your PC, i.e. C:\CONFIG.SYS. Open this file using MS-NotePad or MS-WordPad, and ensure that the following two lines are present:
Make sure that the above is the only thing on each line; the letters "rem" in front of a line means that it will be ignored. Don't forget to save the file. You will have to re-start your computer for the file to take effect.

Q: While I'm inputting timesheets, I want the hours and minutes to add up in the TIMESHEET HEADER box, in the WORKED field. It's not doing it, though, and I have to add the time up for each employee myself, then type it in myself. Shouldn't the computer be doing this for me?
A: Not necessarily. If you want it to add up total hours worked (this week) as you input timesheet lines, go to the Utilities/System Details menu and select Timesheet Entry Options. Here you can set all sorts of things to do with timesheet entry. Press Enter to get to the bottom of the screen and type "N" next to ENTER FLEXI HRS. While you're in this screen, you can "turn off" timesheet fields which you never (or hardly ever) have to enter. If you don't use Tasks, for instance, put "N" against TASK CODE. Then, when you add timesheets, the cursor will skip over that field, saving you a whole key-press!

Q: Why does the cursor go into the SPECIAL CASE field every time I quit from entering timesheet lines?
A: If you never enter anything into the SPECIAL CASE field, turn it off, as per the question above. Its purpose is about the most confusing thing in the whole of Resource Manager. Its purpose is this:
When people work overtime (and people can work overtime even if you have a flexi-time plan) they can either be paid for that extra time, or they can have time off in lieu at a future date. Which of these they have is held in their Employee maintenance record, and shows in the Timesheet Header box, next to O/T INDICATOR. If, say, the current employee's O/T INDICATOR is set to "P" (Paid), entering an amount of overtime in the SPECIAL CASE field will record that amount of time as qualifying for time in lieu. And vice versa.

Q: I changed some employee charge and cost rates (in the Employee maintenance screen) but, from various reports, it looks as if it hasn't made any difference.
A: When you change an employee's charge or cost rates, Resource Manager does not assume that you wish to back-date those changes. The new rates will however, affect future input of timesheets. To back-date rate changes, you must do two things:
  1. In the Employee maintenance screen, go to Costs/charges and, as well as amending the rate(s), put a date in the RATE CHANGE DATE field. This is the date to which you wish rates changes to be back-dated.
  2. Go to the Utilities/System Details menu, and select Process Charge/Cost Changes. Select the first item in the next menu (called Back-date employee rate changes). Answer yes to the questions, and run the function.
Remember that charge rate changes will not be back-dated if the item of work has already been invoiced. Other reasons why your changed charge rates may not have taken effect are:
  1. The work was carried out on a non-chargeable (Method 2) project.
  2. The project's default Charge Method is chargeable (0 or 1) but it was changed on timesheet entry.
  3. The employee's rate changed was not the rate used on the timesheet.

Q: I wanted to allocate 3 hours to overtime so I entered it into the OVERTIME field in the Header box, but it has reduced the CURRENT FLEXI amount by 3 hours. Is this right?
A: Yes. Otherwise the three hours would be accounted for twice.

Q: I input timesheets that other people have filled out. They often omit the Project code and just write a description. Is there an easy way to find the project quickly in Resource Manager?
A: Yes. With the cursor in the blank PROJECT field, in timesheet entry, press Enter (or click mouse). The cursor will move to the DESCRIPTION field. Enter the first letter(s) of the Project description (don't press Enter!) then press the F3 function key. A table will display from the next matching project description. Select the project you want and press Enter.

Q: Rather than just inputting the duration of time I spent on a particular Project, can I input the actual times of day when I started and ended work?
A: Yes. Go to Utilities/System Details menu. Select Timesheet Entry Options. Put a "Y" in the DEFAULT R/TIME field. Resource Manager will re-format your database so that it can store the additional information. Go back to Timesheet input and you'll see a slightly different layout. NB: Avoid doing this in the middle of a week's timesheet input.
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FAQs - Invoicing

Q: When I try to access INVOICING from the Main Menu, I get a message saying that the Invoicing Module is not installed. What does this mean?
A: When Resource Manager was first developed it was sold in separate modules. If you don't have the Invoicing module it is because you purchased the system without it. The cost of upgrading your copy depends on a number of factors, including the number of copies that you wish to update concurrently. You must also have a current maintenance agreement. Contact us for a quotation. "Always look on the bright side" - Eric Idle, is a good one, but we have many more.

Q: When I Scrap Uncommitted Invoices or Commit Invoices, nothing seems to happen.
A: It almost certainly has happened. Test to see whether uncommitted invoices have been scrapped, or committed, by trying to print them. Recent versions (from 4.1a onwards) display a message to say that the operation has been carried out successfully.

Q: I want to create invoices only for work carried out in August but I can't find where you input the Start date.
A: You can't input a start date, only an end date. This is to avoid the situation where you have generated invoices for, say, July but then find that a timesheet was missing or incorrect, so go back and enter additional data. If the next invoice creation run specified an August 1st start date, the late item would be ignored. Instead, Resource Manager, creates invoices for all qualifying timesheets, up to the End date, which have not already been invoiced. So, to continue the above example, a timesheet input for chargeable work carried out in, say, April would still get invoiced. The exception to this is where, for some reason or other, you want to start using the Invoicing features of Resource Manager part way through the financial year, or at the beginning of a financial year where you still have earlier work in your current database. To avoid earlier, unwanted, work being invoiced, go to the Utilities/System Details menu. Select Invoice Start Date and input the date of the earliest work you want to invoice. Make sure that all timesheets for this earlier period have been input before using this facility.

Q: How do I change invoice format?
A: Go to the Utilities/System Details menu (you can do this only if your ID/password is of System Administrator or System Controller status) and select Invoice Format. Change the format and go back to the Invoices menu. Select Print Committed (or Uncommitted if there are any) Invoices and see the changed format. NB: You do not need to regenerate invoices to see different formats; invoice generation creates the basic data - printing simply displays the data in whichever format you have selected.

Q: It is essential to record Payments Received?
A: No. Local Authority users rarely, if ever, use this feature.

Q: I ran Create Invoices twice for the same month! Will this duplicate invoices?
A: No. Now pull yourself together.

Q: I've created (and committed!) invoices but now realise that I had some employee charge rates wrong. How can I re-generate the invoices based on the correct rates?
A: You can't! That's why we have this Uncommitted Invoices stage, so that you can check for problems before confirming them. Resource Manager does not let you generate invoices (and, presumably, send them to your "Clients") only for you to then change the data which created them. It would lead to anarchy! And, worse, accountants don't like it. What you can do is: The adjustment will be generated with your next invoice run. (But it's much easier to get rates right in the first place!)

Q: I've Created Invoices but much of the timesheets have not generated any invoices.
A: Check: Remember that simply having a valid combination of Charge Method and Charge/Cost rates on the Project, does not ensure a charge being generated. You may have modified these since creating the timesheet, or you may have overwritten these codes when inputting the timesheet.

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FAQs - Reports

Q: What do the CONTROL CODES do on the Printer Controls screen before producing a report?
A: This is a bit of a relic from the MS-DOS past. Your printer manual may give you information about printing in different typefaces, usually involving what are called "Escape" characters. They usually involve at least one 27 followed by 15, 18 depending on what you want to do. You could try experimenting if you don't have access to these codes. Otherwise, if you want to have more control over printing formats, you could:
Q: Since creating a new database, for my financial new year, I've been getting an "Error ref 20" message when creating reports.
A: This is a bug in later copies of version 4.1e, and only happens in some cases after creating a new database. Version 4.1f, and later, stores temporary print files in a slightly different way, and so the error should not occur. It is recommended that you upgrade to the current version. If you are unable to do this now, please contact us via the Support page for a temporary bug fix.