Autotask Configuration: Exclusion on Sub-Issue Level vs. Worktype


Streamlining Time Management for Managed Service Provers (MSPs) in Autotask

Does this sound like your life in Autotask: You’re consistently interrupted by a pop-up every single time you log time on a ticket, waiting for it to load so you can close it.

Does this pop-up look familiar?
Does this pop-up look familiar?

If so, you’re likely experiencing the effects of having multiple contracts in the waterfall within Autotask.

This pop-up, which informs you that the work entry doesn’t fall under the current (often main) contract, can be a jarring disruption.


But why does this happen, and is there a more efficient way to manage it?

For larger or intricate MSPs, it’s common to maintain multiple contracts for each customer. This segmentation serves several purposes. For one, it provides a detailed insight into the revenue and costs associated with your team. Moreover, if you offer a broad or complex range of services, having multiple contracts ensures each service is covered most efficiently. View this diagram as an example:

The larger MSP has a main ServiceDesk contract, and then several subcontracts pertaining to Azure, Connectivity and Time & Materials. This differs from the structure above it where essentially there’s only all-in and Time & Materials. This model is easier for the customer to understand and predict costs, but for larger organizations looking to allocate their budget in various business units and get a clearer picture of their spending, the subcontract structure becomes a necessity.

But here’s where the challenge arises: when should you use exclusion on a worktype level, and when should it be on the sub-issue level?

Why Opt for Exclusion on Sub-Issue Level?

We believe you should only be excluding on sub-issue level when you have sub-level contracts on a customer. If not, it should be clearly defined in Autotask that all tickets for that customer are on the main contract, so as to avoid the pop-up.

When you have an expansive service catalog and several contracts, excluding on the sub-issue level becomes imperative. The benefits of this approach are clear:

  1. Minimized Interruptions: By excluding on sub-issue level, you’ll encounter the exclusion pop-up only once if your work isn’t covered by the default (main) contract. This pop-up prompts you to shift the contract, ensuring that your ticket aligns with the correct one. Whether it’s one of your service-specific sub-contracts or a time-and-materials contract, this shift is automated for seamless integration.
  2. Enhanced Accuracy: Utilizing sub-issue level exclusion ensures every task is accurately logged under its respective contract. This precision is invaluable for intricate service catalogs where specific tasks might fall under different contracts.


At Proxuma, our recommendation is straightforward. If your operation involves just a main contract alongside a time and materials contract, worktypes are your best bet.

However, for MSPs with multiple service contracts where hours are booked across the board, sub-issue level exclusion is the way to go.

If you want to upgrade your ticket management in Autotask, take a look at what Proxuma can do for your MSP.

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