Invoicing in BigTime, an Overview
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BigTime has a powerful invoicing engine that you can use to create invoices for your clients and projects. The engine supports T&M ("time and materials") invoices, retainers, fixed-fee invoicing, and more.
Before you dig into this section of the KB, it's helpful to understand the basic workflow within the BigTime invoicing engine. This article will walk you through that workflow.
Invoicing Workflow within BigTime
Whether you are using the Invoice Wizard to create a single invoice, or you are creating invoices "in bulk" from the Invoice Overview screen, the basic workflow for creating/sending invoices is the same.
Set Up Your Project Billing Rates. The first time you create an invoice for a client, you will need to set up your billing rates. While T&M invoices use the billing rates to convert hours to dollars, fixed-fee projects also utilize the project's billing rate (e.g., to determine whether the fixed-fee bid was high/low).
Billing rates are setup in the Project Dashboard. There are a few specific articles in the KB to help you understand how rates are applied.
Create Draft Invoice(s). Once you're ready to bill a given project, you will use the Invoicing...Overview menu item to create a "draft" invoice.
Invoices that have not yet been sent to your customers are considered "draft invoices". Most firms create invoices in bulk at the start of each invoicing period, however you can create a draft invoice at any time by clicking the Create Invoice button on the Invoice Overview page.
Review/Edit Your Drafts. You can use the Draft Invoice screen to see a list of all your drafts. Click on any item in that list to edit, make comments on, write it up/down, etc.
Print/Send Your Invoices. Once the draft invoice is ready to be sent to a customer, you can use one of the invoice PDF templates to print that invoice. BigTime supports both email invoices and physical invoices via PDF.
Don't see a format you like? No problem. You can use the Template Editor to create an invoice that fits your specific needs and make additional changes such as:
- Adjusting the logo/address formats on your invoices.
- Changing styles/colors and more to match your firm's corporate look and feel.
- Including specific details you need based on your client's need (e.g., adding time/expense details, budget status information, tax rates, et cetera).
- Adjusting the payment and/or page footers on your invoice, to include details such as remittance details, federal/provincial tax numbers, and others.
For more information about adjusting the printed format(s) for your invoices, refer to the Customizing your Invoice PDF article in the KB.
Post Final Invoices to QuickBooks. You can use BigTime to track invoice payments, or you can post your final invoices to QuickBooks and use your accounting system to track A/R for your firm.
Where to Go From Here
The invoicing chapter is divided into articles addressing each of the specific invoicing functions. You can also find articles on how to create invoices for several common billing situations.
Need more details? Once you understand the basics, the articles below will take you a little deeper.