Autotask has a relatively robust CRM “convert opportunity to billing entity” process.. once you fully understand it. It’s a tad cumbersome however and there are little gotchas that aren’t really covered by their documentation, so let’s review it in more detail.
In Autotask, when you win a deal you convert it into a billable entity using the Win Opportunity wizard. You could actually reproduce a lot of what the Win Opportunity wizard does by hand, but it would be tedious and error prone so it’s best to use the wizard.
The Win Opportunity wizard will do this for Projects:
- Create Sales Order
- Create Project
- Assigned Charges and Products to Project
- Update Opportunity Status to Closed
For each, I’ll go over the right way to do it. Again, Autotask has good documentation on the features, but it’s left to you to “figure it out” in many ways. So this solves that. Also, I’ll tackle a few things you may miss otherwise.
Step: Create Sales Order
This is only relevant if you have the Procurement Module enabled in Autotask. When the Win Opportunity wizard runs, it will create a Sales Order for any Products in the Quote. It will NOT attach Charges or Labor, only Products. That’s important to understand! If you don’t want an item to go through the Procurement Module, then quote it as a Charge. Do you want it to go through Procurement? Create it as a Product. (That said, you can bypass Procurement via the Product configuration in Admin Settings.)
Sales Orders are the parent of Purchase Orders as you can have multiple internal Purchase Orders for various vendors.
Sales Order -> (PO#1, PO#2, PO#3, …)
Step: Create Project
If you want the Won Opportunity wizard to “create” a Project, you actually have to create the Project first via the Quote which is a child of the Opportunity. This is a “Proposal Project”. If have a Sales Engineering (SE) process, often the SE’s will fill out the Proposal Project. (My thinking is that Autotask assumes you will follow that SE style, but in my experience this is just an unnecessary step and the Win Opportunity wizard should auto-create Projects if requested.)
So let’s create the Proposal Project first. If you don’t have a Primary Quote attached to the Opportunity, you’ll need to create that first. Then, let’s create the Proposal Project:
- Open the Primary Quote
- Click Edit Quote
- Go to the General Tab
- Click + under Proposal Project Name
- Name your Proposal Project (I usually copy&paste the Opportunity name)
- Click Save in the Project
- Click Save & Close in the Quote
There! You now have Opportunity -> Primary Quote -> Proposal Project
Now, when you Win Opportunity, you’ll be given the option to convert the Proposal Project into a billable Project.
Step: Assign Charges and Products to Project
When running the Win Opportunity wizard, you’ll usually want to have the wizard add your quoted Charges and Products to the Project and bill them from there. I’ve found this is the simplest way to keep everything in one place and visible. Some Autotask shops may create tickets for hardware and Projects for labor. Personal preference!
Gotchas to Consider
Assign Purchase Order before running Win Opportunity
If you want to assign a customer Purchase Order (we’ll say “customer PO”) to the project and all billable items, and you really should, then this should be done BEFORE running the Win Opportunity wizard.
- Open the Opportunity
- Click on the Primary Quote
- Click Edit Quote
- Go to the Terms tab
- Enter the customer PO# into Purchase Order Number
- Click Save & Close
Now, when you run the Win Opportunity wizard, it will automatically add the PO to all created items!
Create and Use a Purchase Order Naming Standard
Often, customers won’t have a customer PO. However, POs are incredible for ensuring the Autotask billing system keeps related items on the same invoice. If a customer doesn’t provide a customer PO, make one up. The best solution may be to use the Opportunity ID with a PO in front, like so: PO-3434343234 where 3434343234 is the Opportunity ID. It’s guaranteed unique and will help you reference the Opportunity/Quote that generated the invoice.
Opportunity Status: Closed vs Implemented
The wizard will update the Opportunity Status to Closed (aka Won). You should only update the Opportunity Status to Implemented when you have either completed the related ticket/project or, and this is a business rule you need to decide on, you have completed the work and billing. Don’t just automatically update the Status to Implemented.