Tracking the Advice Process

At EE, we track Advice Process proposals (APs) as light touch as possible, using a simple Google sheet to record essential details.

Investment Tracking Overview

We track all APs in the Advice Process Proposals tracker which helps us to improve our reporting and monitoring. It is the reference source to determine how to manage each advice process.

Categorising an AP

In the Tracker, our COO assigns a category to the AP, using his judgement based on the criteria below:

Decisions

An AP that is required to meet the immediate needs of a business unit, are costed within the BU's P&L and has no global investment needs. We still want to surface and record these decisions, but don't collectively track them as investments. E.g. “hire 1 recruiter to meet the demands of sold work” or “Get a bigger office because we run out of space”. Those decisions are still important to surface and discuss in the open.

Investments

Any AP that is seeking to improve our business that is speculative is considered an investment. We track these as a total global investment (GIT) so we can monitor - and ultimately limit - how much money we invest in these. We distinguish between:

  • Indirect Investment. Any improvement that does not contribute directly to the bottom line, or generate sales (or leads). E.g. investing in Airtable solutions, or in co-working days to share knowledge.

  • Direct Investment. Any thing we do that is explicitly to contribute to the bottom line through generating leads or sales. E.g. creating a pre-engagment team or a Healthcare practice.

  • Practice Investment. category is used where the AP is directly related to the investment in a practice only.

Allocating costs for an AP

We allocate costs for an AP to one of three places; Business Units, Practices or Global Investments. We apply these principles:

  1. If an AP is clearly part of the ‘business as usual’ for either a BU or Practice, then it will be allocated directly to them.

  2. If an AP is not BAU but has a clear focus on the local needs of a BU or Practice then it will be allocated to them.

  3. If the AP is not clearly above or is explicitly for more than one BU (even within a country) it will be allocated to Global Investments.

Other things to remember:

  • You mush use the APID for your AP on invoices for payment, and on any timesheets setup (this can be found on your AP, or in the Advice Process Tracker)

  • The APID is essential for all invoices, expenses and timesheets.

  • Invoices from Associates cannot be paid without a non-billable timesheet, don't forget to get one setup in plenty of time.

  • We don't estimate or track opportunity costs for employees.

Tracking Cash

This means any actual money that we have to spend, such as paying an associate or paying for a venue. The Finance (Account Payable) team will track actual money (cash) spent using current approval processes, using the APIDs.

  • the APID is used on any invoices that need paying at the time you approve them. This can just be a note when you send the invoice by email (accounts@equalexperts.com).

  • highlight the APID in the Project field of any expense claim submitted.

Tracking Time

We track the time spent by employees and associates on APs, where

  • the AP is allocated to the Global Investment, and

  • a significant amount of an employee's time is dedicated to the AP. Use your judgement on what is significant, but as a rule of thumb would be more than half of a working month.

  • all of an Associate's time on an AP must have a non-billable timesheets created. Please ask on #ask-timesheets with the BU and APID as needed. Associates’ invoices can't be paid without a non-billable timesheet (either in Kimble or ETZ, , depending on which tool the Associate is setup to use.)

Please agree with the person(s) involved and then request a timesheet on #ask-timesheets as above. We never track small amounts of time spent by an employee, like a day a week, or ad-hoc time.

Useful links:

Changing the Status of an AP

To Complete your AP, you need to make sure you complete all the steps.

To Abandon an AP, just post into the channel, your intention to abandon and why. This will be reflected in the tracker by the AP Operations team.

Limiting the global investment pot

Based on the categorisation above, we will constrain the global investment pot maximum spend between 1st October and 31st March (amount TBC) - the end of this fiscal year.