Emailing Invoices from BigTime

Invoice Email Customization


When you email invoices to customers, the text in both the subject line and the email body are merged from a template that you control. While you are free to personalize the message body each time you send out an invoice, this article will walk you through how to edit the template instead — changing the base message for each new email you generate.

Step By Step: Customizing Your EMail Template

  1. Navigate to the INVOICES...CONFIGURE. This will open a dialog that allows you to adjust the Invoicing Engine options.

  2. Select the Tab for Email settings. This screen will allow you to customize the details for each new invoice email you compose.

  3. Edit the settings on this page as required.  There is more detail on each section in this article (below), and there are links on the page to help you understand each field's purpose.
  4. Click Save once you're finished editing your email template. The next time you generate an invoice email message - the system will use your new template.

Updating your EMail From Address

The External Delivery Settings section of the editor form allows you to adjust the name/email that will appear in your invoice email's "from" line.  While all email messages originate from BigTime’s email service, your address can be used as the “reply to” address -- so customer replies can go directly to you. 

Adjusting EMail Subject/Body Text

The Invoice Email Details section on this form will allow you to edit both the subject line and the email body for each email you send out.  Note that you always have a chance to personalize individual emails before they are sent out.  This template simply changes the "base" text that appears in your EMail dialog when you send out an invoice from the system.

Working with Merge Fields

BigTime's email engine allows you to incorporate data from the invoice, project, client and/or billing contact into your email message.  We do that using a syntax called handlebar.js.  Both the email subject line and the message body can be customized with handlebar syntax.

Let's say, for example, that you'd like your email subject line to read:

ABC Company, Invoice #123 (3/1/16)

Instead of typing each subject line by hand, you can setup your email template for your subject line to read:

ABC Company, Invoice #{{Invoice.InvoiceNbr}} ({{dateFormat2 Invoice.InvoiceDt}})

Now, each invoice you email will be merged with that generic subject line.  For example, let's assume you have an invoice with an invoice number of "ABC-16-007" and a due date of "OCT-15-2016."  When the invoicing engine merges that invoice with a new email, the subject line would read:

ABC Company, Invoice #ABC-16-007 (10/15/16)

So, instead of Typing a custom message, you can use these merge fields to create a personalized message for each email.

What Merge Fields can be Included?

You can include any of the fields that are listed in the BigTime API documentation for Invoice or for Project, Client and Contact data.  Note that you precede the field name you'd like to use with the name of the object that field belongs to (e.g. - the primary contact's first name field is called {{Project.PrimaryContact.Fname}}).

Formatting Date, Currency and Numeric Values

In addition to fields, BigTime supports a small number of custom handlebar formatters:  formatCurrency, dateFormat2, dateFormat4, formatNumber are all available to use in your emails.  Formatters are placed before the field in handlebar syntax (see the Example column below).

Formatter Example Description
formatCurrency {{formatCurrency Invoice.InvoiceAmt}} Applies your firm's home currency format to a numeric value.
dateFormat2 {{dateFormat2 Invoice.DueDate}} Converts a date to a date string with a 2-digit year format.  Note that we use the date format that is appropriate for your firm's home timezone.
dateFormat4 {{dateFormat4 Invoice.DueDate}} Converts a date to a date string with a 4-digit year format.  Note that we use the date format that is appropriate for your firm's home timezone.
formatNumber {{formatNumber Invoice.InvoiceAmt}} Formats a number with commas and decimals as appropriate.  Note that this formatter omits the currency symbol.

Putting it All Together

Putting all of those options together, you can use to email system to generate a template for an invoice body that looks like this:

Hello {{Project.BillContact.Fname}},  
Thank you for your continued business!  Attached is Invoice#{{Invoice.InvoiceNBR}} issued for {{Project.Client.LegalNm}}.   The amount due is: {{formatCurrency Invoice.InvoiceAmt}} and is due on {{dateFormat4 Invoice.InvoiceDtDue}}.  

For any questions, feel free to contact us!  

That message, once merged, would produce an email body that appears like this:

Hello Richard,  
Thank you for your continued business!  Attached is Invoice#ABC-16-007 issued for Allstate Insurance, Inc.   The amount due is: $25,550.00 and is due on 11/15/2016.  

For any questions, feel free to contact us!  


  • Can I preview a custom email message before sending it to my clients?
    Absolutely. When you are about to send a Client an invoice and would like to get a preview of the message sent, you can click the email icon to get the added option to email yourself a preview copy.

  • I added a field using handlebar syntax but nothing is populating?
    Make sure the field that you are attempting to reference is spelled correctly and that the invoice you are testing with has that field populated.
  • Can I add fields outside of the Client, Project, and Invoicing objects?
    At this time only the Client, Project, and Invoicing fields can be added to an invoice email message.
  • I have custom fields on my project dashboard, can I reference those fields?
    Although Custom fields are a part of the Project Screen we can not incorporate those into your invoice email at this time.
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Further Reading

Need more details? Once you understand the basics, the articles below will take you a little deeper.