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Did Someone Say Improved Collaboration?

This is what we've been up to in 2019

As always, our favorite hobby is to chat with all of you and listen to what you have to say about Jellyfish; what works for you, what could be improved, and what’s missing to make this tool even more awesome! You’re the ones that shape how Jellyfish is molded, because it was built to make your lives easier and your work more efficient so you can make a bigger impact.

In 2019 we’ve been learning how important it is for project teams to work in collaboration with others as well as with the rest of the organization and external project stakeholders.

So here’s what this means on Jellyfish:

1. No restriction on the number of users

Most subscription-based software tools out there base their model on the number of users and charge you for every extra person you invite to your account.

Jellyfish is collaborative at its core: we want you to work with as many people as you can because we believe that it is by working together that we can achieve great things. Jellyfish’s pricing model is project-based and your account is open so that you can invite an unlimited number of users. By doing so, everyone involved in your project(s), all the different stakeholders, will be able to work with you, in real time so you and your project can move forward without having to wait for back-and-forth reports or updates.

All of our plans have unlimited users, so don’t shy away and start getting people on board as soon as you start!

2. Different people have different levels of access

Projects have different types of stakeholders and so does Jellyfish. We’ve got 4 predefined user types for the different levels of access to each Jellyfish account as well as each project. Here they are:

The Account Owner

The all-knowing and all-powerful. The user that signs up for a new Jellyfish account is an account owner and you can also add others. This user has access to all features and all data across all projects by default; they can add new users and control their access.

The Project Manager

Monarch in their realm, project managers have access to all data and power over all features within their project(s). They can add, edit, and delete: collaborators, budget and funding estimations, as well as expenses and receipts.

The Team Member

Do you have project coordinators or anyone else on your team who’s responsible for the follow-up of tasks and tracking of day-to-day expenses? This team member will mainly have data-entry privileges to add expenses as they happen.

The Guest

A guest is an external stakeholder; quite often someone we need to report to or who is monitoring the project’s budget progress. This user is normally a client, donor, investor...someone funding the project or benefiting from its services.

3. Automated budget updates straight from your Jellyfish project

The first step in automating budget updates was to create a revamped budget update PDF report with a graphical representation of the budget progress, and it looks so much cooler! Check it out:

Then, based on your feedback, we noticed that often project stakeholders don’t find the time to log in to Jellyfish for updates on the budget, especially when those stakeholders are managers, donors, or clients.
For this reason, we’ve integrated an email updates feature with which you can send out an email update with the PDF report attached directly to all project collaborators. This way, they would receive the budget update in their inbox and stay informed of the project’s financial progress without breaking a sweat!
Here’s what it looks like when generating and sending out this budget update report:

4. Coordinate with finance and accounting

Almost all of us work within a larger structure. Besides coordinating with other project teams, management, or external stakeholders, we quite often have to report to or collaborate with an accountant or a finance department. Some of us handle the entire process ourselves but still use another tool for the company or organization’s accounting.
Jellyfish was built to play well with others: it can be used as a standalone tool to manage the project finances, but it also allows for easy data export and import to and from other software tools such as Quickbooks or Xero. You could simply export the data to a spreadsheet for further analysis or import data from our accounting software into Jellyfish. Another option is to invite your accountant or financial officer directly to Jellyfish so they can monitor and extract the data themselves.
Depending on the preferred process, there are usually two approaches:
The first approach: Input all expenses and receipts in Jellyfish to track the actuals vs. budgeted amounts then export those to a CSV that you can send to our accountant or import into our accounting solution. Here’s what exporting data looks like:

The second approach: For processes that require data to be input into the accounting system first, then imported into Jellyfish to track and report per project, a template CSV file can be downloaded from Jellyfish, filled out with the data exported from your accounting software, then uploaded back to Jellyfish.
All you need to do is make sure the project is mapped out in the CSV file for each expense and Jellyfish takes care of distributing them into the different projects!
Here’s how you can do that:

Are there other ways we can make Jellyfish a better collaboration tool? Don’t hesitate to let us know and we’ll make sure to add them to this year’s objectives!

See you next time!

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