Software Reference

Overview of the Billing & Invoice Process

Table of Contents  > Invoicing and Accounting > Invoicing and Billing > Overview of the Billing & Invoice Process

The System makes creating professional invoices very simple. There are two types of invoices you can send from The first type is a basic invoice. The basic invoice can be configured a variety of ways, but by default it breaks down your billables by hourly billing and expenses, and includes the standard total and rate information you would expect on a standard professional services invoice. The second type is what we call a bill. A bill has all the information of an invoice but includes the standard total and rate information you would expect on a standard professional services invoice. The second type is what we call a bill. A bill has all the information of an invoice but includes last payment, balance forward, and total due information.

You'll be able to choose which invoice type your account uses by selecting the option in the Settings->Invoices screen. You can change this setting any time you want.
If you use the bill invoice type, you'll want to make sure you receive payments from your clients.

Regardless of the invoice document type you use. The fast and easy work flow will be the same. First you create a bill batch of one or more clients, and then you click Create Invoice next to the client's name. It's that simple.

However, the Billing and Invoice features are also very powerful, so you can run your hourly billing business exactly the way you want. Some companies bill their clients on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Other companies don't follow a set pattern and bill their clients when cash flow gets low or for no other reason than the employee responsible for sending out invoices finally found the time to do it.

If you are a sole proprietorship billing out your own service (without the help of workers), then invoicing on an irregular basis is easier to handle than when you have multiple workers whose time you are also billing to clients. But even if you are the only employee performing billing hours, you still need to track what hours you've billed a client, so you don't accidentally double-bill the client, nor accidentally exclude a billing item because you mistakenly thought you had already billed for it.

To keep track of what was billed to whom, the System uses the concept of a Bill Batch. A Bill Batch is simply a collection of the hours you wish to bill at any given time. The System groups the hours together by client, so you can create a separate invoice for each client, and doesn't force you to bill everything at once, so you can filter and bill for only the work entered by a certain worker, or bill for only a certain set clients, or for hours that were entered within a certain range of dates. There are many other ways to precisely determine what you want to bill, all of which are detailed in the Creating a New Bill Batch section.

If you are just starting out in business and you haven't billed hours before, you might be wondering why the System can't just always create invoices for every item entered. The short answer is that it can. If you do not apply any filters than that is exactly what will happen. Your latest Bill Batch will include everything.

However, if you have a lot of experience running a business that bills hours, you can probably immediately see why there are many reasons to have this sort of control. Here is just a short list of a few:

Sample Scenario #1: A client is disputing a particular set of hours. You don't want to hold up invoicing over this dispute, and you want to bill your other clients and even this client for the hours that aren't being disputed.

Sample Scenario #2: You bill every 2 weeks or so, and it's been almost 3 weeks and you are worried about cash flow. However, there is one particular project for a client that very close to completion and you don't want to invoice this client until it's completed. You bill all of your other clients, and then bill this client a few days later when the project is complete.

Sample Scenario #3: A client is late paying you, and you don't want the client to see the latest billing until you get the payment for the previous invoice because you know that having that much money outstanding might cause the client to become nervous about giving you more work. In this case, you batch hours as normal, but you wait to create and send the invoice.

Sample Scenario #4: A client insists on being billed on a monthly basis, but you normally bill on some other interval.