How-To Guide

Creating Percent Complete Invoices

  

Even though BigTime allows you to track time spent on all of your projects, many firms use the invoicing engine to produce fixed-fee invoices.

Once you setup a budget for your project, you can use the fixed-fee invoicing style to bill a portion (or percentage) of that budget each time an invoice is generated. This article will walk you through that process. 

TIP: Create Your Budgets First

Keep in mind that you will need a budget to bill against before you can create this type of invoice.  Budgets are created by adding a task-list to your project.

 An Example Fixed-Fee Invoice

The view below shows the budget-status section of a fixed-fee invoice.  In this example, you can see a fixed budget of $26,200, and you can see that invoices for $3,125.00 have already been sent out.  Finally, you can see that the current invoice includes $5,835.00.

You control the billed amounts when you create this type of invoice.

As you can see from the screen shot below, the fixed-fee invoice calculator gives you total control over which budgets to bill and how much of those budgets to include on each invoice.   

 

Your fixed-fee invoices can include line items that fall outside of the project's budget, but the invoicing wizard puts your entire budget history in front of you at the time you're creating each invoice -- making it accurate and timely billing easier.

Creating a Percent Complete Invoice 

  1. Click Create Invoice. This will begin the invoice wizard.
  2. Select the Project you’d like to bill. The picklist displayed will show all of your active projects. Select the appropriate one to bill and click next.
  3. Click Fixed Fee. If you do not have Fixed Fee displaying, make sure to click “More Invoice Styles” to enable this feature. Click next
  4. On step 3 of the Invoice Wizard, select “% Complete Billing” that is found by clicking on the header of the second column. This will allow you to utilize the percent complete features.

Viewing WIP, Prior Billings and More

When finalizing a percent-complete invoice, you can adjust the information you see on each line item, toggling on/off the the information most important to your billing process:   WIP (unbilled time/expenses), prior billings and more. 

You can turn on/off this supplemental information using the gear icon on the finalize screen. Check off the display settings here and then press save to apply your changes.

In addition to these line item display setting, you can also adjust how the system will behave once it creates your invoice.  Those settings are in the left hand pane on that same finalized screen:

  • Clear WIP for Selected Tasks. With this settings toggled on, you can include any unbilled time or expenses on the invoice you create, marking them as "billed" and clearing WIP in the process.  Note that all we are doing is clearing WIP from the unbilled pool (not adjusting the invoice amount).
  • Create Separate line items for the Expenses I’m invoicing. This setting will allow you to bill fees/expenses separately.  Often, project budgets are net of expenses.  If you budget for fees, but bill expenses separately, then select this item to add pass-through expenses to your invoice.
  • Populate line item notes with the notes from selected tasks: Toggling this setting on will populate the notes from your task details directly onto your invoice.

Choosing the Tasks You'd Like to Bill

By default, any tasks that are in progress are displayed on this screen. As you project managers mark tasks complete (or update the percent complete field for those tasks), the system is smart enough to determine what ought to be billed.  Those suggested billings will be pre-checked and you’ll see a total displayed.

Updating Percent Complete will flow through to your task list 

As you can see, it's possible to update the % complete for each task on this screen.  If you do, your updates can flow right into the project's task list.  

As you updates percentages, the invoice dollar amounts update automatically.  We maintain the link between the % complete field and total dollars invoiced by updating the This Invoice amounts.  You can uncheck or check any tasks you'd like to omit or include on this invoice.




Once you're finished, click Finalize to save your changes.

Once you’re done making your edits, you can then click Finalize to create your invoice and to update your project's completion percentages. You can make adjustments as needed and print your invoices to show any progress billed in a custom invoice.


TIP: Add Budget Status to your Printed Invoice as well.

Most of the time, when you create a percent complete invoice, you'll want to include budget status data on the printed (PDF) invoice document.  You can do that by creating a printed invoice format that include those fields.

You can even decide to show only the budget status section (omitting the invoice's line item details, time/expense WIP, etc).  Your firm can choose to show only the information you need on the invoices you send to customers.


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