Previously, the changes made to Cost Rates not only carried into the future, but also echoed into the past. Updating Cost Rate for today meant updating the Cost Rate for all time, but we understand that's limiting and we've heard your feedback! With our new Effective Dates release, Cost Rate changes can now be associated with a specific date - past, present or future. Check out below to find out more!
|What are Effective Dates?
|We’ll cover just exactly what we mean when we talk about Effective Dates.
|This section is about how using an Effective Date applies to Cost Rates that are historical, current or upcoming.
|Where can I set Effective Dates?
Here we'll break down where you actually add an Effective Date for a Cost Rate.
|Effective Date Log
We'll break down the Effective Date Log and how to use it.
To streamline Effective Dates, we've also added Export and Upload CSV functions - check them out in this section.
What are Effective Dates?
An Effective Date is very much what it sounds like; it’s the date in time at which the change to Cost Rate will take effect. This allows you to set checkpoints for changes that occur over time, so that a Cost Rate which applies today isn't necessarily the Cost Rate that applied last year and won't necessarily apply indefinitely.*
Note - Cost Rate vs. Bill Rate
Keep in mind that Cost Rate (what the Employee costs to pay per hour) is different from the Bill Rate (what you charge the Client). The Bill Rate you charge is determined by the Rate Card you apply to a particular Project, so it is *not* affected by Effective Dates, since Bill Rates will vary from Rate Card to Rate Card.
Past, Present and Future
The best part of this change is that Effective Dates are not limited to the day you make the changes! If you want to catch up on past Cost Rate changes, you can make changes with past Effective Dates that won't impact the Current Cost Rate. If you want to predict Cost Rate changes you expect to occur, you can add a future Effective Date. Accidentally add the wrong Effective Date for a Cost Rate change? Not a problem - we have a Log of Cost Rate changes that not only shows the Dates each Cost Rate began, but also allows you to remove Effective Dates!
Let's say you want to add an Employee whose Cost Rate was $95 on April 1, is $100 as of October 1, and you expect to increase to $105 in October 2023. You can just:
- Add the Employee with a Cost Rate of $95
- Then, update their Cost Rate to $100 with an Effective Date of October 1, 2022
- Finally, update their Cost Rate to $105 a second time with an Effective Date of October 1, 2023
The Employees Cost Rate will then be $95 when applied to any date prior to October 1, $100 when applied to any date that falls between October 1, 2022 - October 1, 2023, and $105 when applied to October 1, 2023 or later.*
*Parallax Tip - What about existing Employees?
This is great for new Employees I create, but what about existing Employees that already have a Cost Rate? The answer is simpler than you'd think - start by making sure you've got the Employees correct Start Date entered into their Employee page. Then:
- Update their Cost Rate to their starting Cost ($95 from the example above) and use their Start Date as the Effective Date.
- Update their Cost Rate again to their Current Cost ($100 in the example above) and use the date of their most recent Cost change to set their current Cost Rate.
- Update their Cost Rate as many times as you need to for other past Cost Rate changes, while including the dates those changes took effect as Effective Dates
The wonderful thing is this: the order you take those steps doesn't matter! If you missed a date that Cost Rate should have changed, you can always update it with that Date, and the change will take place retroactively.
Where can I set Effective Dates?
Effective Dates will be selected in the same place where you make Rate Changes. Since Cost Rates can be set in three different places, depending on who you want to affect, we'll outline them here, starting with the broadest changes and working our way to the narrowest.
- Default Cost Rate - The Organizational Default is the Cost Rate that will be applied to any Employee with no Role and no custom Cost Rate. It is set on the Settings > Roles Page.
- Role Cost Rate - This is the Cost Rate that will be applied to any Employee within a Role that has no custom Cost Rate. It is set on when editing a Role from the Settings > Roles Page.
- Employee Custom Cost Rate - This is an individual Cost Rate that will be applied only to a specific Employee, and is set when editing the Employee under Settings > Employee.
Regardless of which of these places you are editing, you will now be asked to select an effective Date each time you update the Effective Rate. In each of these places, you'll also see the Effective Date Log where you can see the Effective Dates that each change takes place, and Delete incorrect Effective Dates.
What does it look like?
Here's a couple of quick examples of what the process of updating an Effective Date will look like.
When updating Roles:
- Editing the Default Cost Rate (or checking the Log for Default Cost Rate) will occur at the top of the page.
- Editing the Role Cost Rate will use the "..." menu on the right side of the Role
- In either case, after making Changes to the Date in the Edit module and Saving, a New Module will ask you the for the Effective Date.
- If you select a Past or Future Date, the Rate in the Cost Rate column won't change - instead it will be in the Log.
- However, if your Default or a Role or Employee has an Upcoming change, you'll see an "!" alert to let you know to check the log!
To set an Employee's Cost Rate Effective Date, the process is the same as it previously was - just Edit the Employee in Settings > Employee:
- Make sure you've selected "Override with a custom cost rate"
- Enter the desired Cost Rate
- Select "Save"
- You'll be given the same module to select the desired Effective Date
Effective Date Log
Regardless of whether you're editing the Cost Rate for your Default, the Role or Employee Custom Cost Rate, the Log will look essentially the same, with three separate parts:
- Year Filter - This is the year you're Viewing/Editing Cost Rate Changes for.
- Effective Dates Table - This will show you all of the Effective Dates and the Rates that take/took/will take effect on those Dates.
- Delete - This Trash icon is where you'll delete any Effective Dates that are unwanted
These Dates are chronological based on the Date, not when you entered them - so you don't delete an Effective Date just because you entered them out of order!
We couldn't leave this sundae without a cherry on top - and that cherry is the Export/Upload CSV functions. We understand you may have lots of Cost Rate changes that need to make it into Parallax and we wanted to make that as easy as possible. To facilitate this, you can use the Export CSV function to export a CSV file containing all of your current Employees and the Effective Dates of their Current Rates. All you need to do is add line entries for any additional Custom Cost Rates along with the Effective Dates for those Rates, then upload them using the Upload CSV function!*
The CSV Upload function can only add Cost Rate entries, it cannot delete them - so you'll want to double-check the Cost Rates and Effective Dates before doing an Upload. You can always delete Cost Rates manually from the Log, but there isn't currently a way to do this en masse.