Version 8.2 April 2022

New Features

Timer added to Windows Native App

Context

Although a timer has been available for some time within Smokeball Billing in a web browser, the majority of timekeepers for firms on the Grow and Prosper tiers register their time within the Smokeball Windows native app and it has been awkward to have to open Smokeball Billing in a web browser just to access the timer.

Solution

To allow the timekeepers fast and easy access to the timer, we have moved it into the Smokeball Windows native app. The timer is now fully accessible from within the Smokeball Windows native app, in the top toolbar.

Feature Details

The timer can now be accessed in several areas within the Smokeball Windows native app:

  • On the main Smokeball window
  • On individual matter pages
  • On the Time & Expenses pop out page

Timers can be started by clicking on the timer feature in the toolbar, and then selecting the "Add A Timer" button. This will start a new blank timer.

The subject can be added from here, as well as the ability to search and select a matter to register this timer against.

If a timer is started from a specific matter page, the "Matter" field will be automatically filled out with the current matter. This can be edited and changed to a different matter if required.

Additional timers can be added by clicking the "Add A Timer" button. Any existing timers will be paused, and the new timer will start.

Timers can be completed by clicking on the green tick when hovering over the timer entry.

Or optionally, a timer can be deleted by clicking on the bin icon.

Completed timers will give you the ability to set rates, activity codes, descriptions, and more before registering the time entry against the selected matter.

A notice will be shown as an info icon within the timer in the Smokeball Billing browser letting you know that the timer will be moving to the Windows native app. A week after the release of 8.2 we’ll discontinue the web’s Add Timer button, however you will still be able to complete existing timers. After there are no more non-completed timers, the timer will disappear from Smokeball Billing in the web browser.

Permissions

Context

As firms grow, there can come a time where an individual staff member's activities and rates can become more sensitive, and it may be no longer appropriate or desirable to allow staff members to view activity or financially specific information on a matter.

Solution

To meet this need we have released User Permissions.

User Permissions can be set by a Firm Owner and are designed to restrict sensitive information to best suit the firm’s needs.

Feature Details

User Permissions have four primary areas of access:

  • Full Billing App Access: This gives full access to all of Billing, and is the default permission
  • Hourly Rates: This will show or hide a staff member's individual rates, though it will still show time entries
  • Time Entries: This will show or hide a staff member's time entries, including the rates
  • Billing Widget: This will show or hide the Billing widget shown on a matter, which contains financial information about that matter

Full Billing Access is the default setting and will give full access to Billing and staff billing related information on a matter, or as a Smokeball firm owner you could optionally, for individual staff members, set levels of access to allow them to either view and access information based on the information type and even by individual colleague.

For example, your firm could allow junior staff members to view only their own activities but allow mid-level staff members to access other mid-level colleagues' activities and rates but not senior staff’s activities and rates.

Firm Owners can access permissions by logging into the Smokeball native app, going to the Settings icon, selecting "Staff & Users" and then clicking on the "Permissions" button.

The ability to set permissions is limited to Firm Owners only, and permissions will be honoured in the Windows native app, the mobile app, and the Smokeball Billing web app.

Permissions are applied in two main ways – removing staff listings from select boxes where the current user does not have permission to see their information (such as adding new time entries on behalf of other staff members), or by hiding rates and fees by showing a padlock in their place.

This gives your firm the ability to keep confidential information secure to just the staff members who need to see it, whilst still allowing your team to work as usual, without Smokeball Billing.

Additionally, there are many more refinements and bug fixes in this version that everyone will benefit from.

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