Create an Invoice Using a Combination of Actual & Estimated Values
Creating and sending Invoices is an important feature for many fp. users. Invoices can be created based on Estimated amounts, Actual amounts, or an amount of your choosing. You may have a situation in which you need to build an invoice in part on values you estimated, and in part on values from tracked time or expenses. Please review this article to learn how to create an invoice for a combination of values.
Create the Invoice
An Interim or Final invoice can be added to any active Job. Here on the Financials tab of this Job, I can see all the values associated to this work. For this article, let's say I need to invoice the Estimated amounts for my Internal Services, but the Actual amount for my External Expenses.
From the top of the page, just choose the Add New menu, and then select Add Invoice.
Please note that if you do not see the Add Invoice button, then you do not have the permissions needed to create invoices. Speak to your in-house fp. Administrator should your permissions need changing.
When you click Add Invoice, you will move to a new screen. Here you can make some choices about the Invoice, before it is created:
- At the top of the screen you will see your Job name and number. This will be repeated as the Invoice Name. Through a setting in your Admin area, you can open this field to be a name/ number of your choosing when you create an Invoice, or have this field be locked down .
- Choose your Invoice Type. An Interim invoice is any that needs to be sent during the job, a Final invoice is the last invoice for a job, and will in turn move the job to an inactive (can no longer have time tracked, or task statuses changed) status. To learn about Deposit invoices, please review this article: Creating Deposit Invoices
- By default, the Invoice Date will be the date you create the invoice. Type in another date of your choosing, or select the date from the calendar widget.
- View a summary of what internal services (timesheets), internal expenses or external expenses have yet to be invoiced for this job, and for the date you selected above. If you change this Invoice Date, the information here can change as well.
- From this drop down menu choose to calculate the invoice total based on the Actual values, Estimated values, Remainder from Actual values, Remainder from Estimated values or None. For this example, we want to pick to calculate from None, as that will give us a clean slate on which to build the mixed value based invoice.
- Enter a percentage from which to calculate the invoice. For example, enter 50, for 50% of the calculate from value you selected above. Note that if you leave this field blank, the system will assume you mean to invoice 100% of the value.
- Choose from your available Tax Group(s) as needed. To learn about adding taxes in the fp. system, please review this article: Setting Up Taxes
Click Add Invoice when ready.
Viewing & Adjusting the Invoice
The invoice has now been created, and you will land on the Service Groups/ Services tab. Here you can see the Invoice Total, totals per row and any Taxes you may have included. The values in the Invoice column are empty, as we chose to create the invoice based on no values.
In the top portion of the page, you can change the Invoice Date and Billing Percentage as needed. If you do change these values, click the Reset button to have them affect the Invoice content.
From this screen you can also:
- See all the Service Groups and Services from your Estimate/ Job listed. Add or change the descriptions of these items as needed.
- Use the up/ down icon(s) to change the order of line items within the invoice.
We now want to configure the invoice to show our combined sources (estimated and actuals) of billable values. We have a couple of options for this.
Option 1 - Type in the Desired Values
I can click into any of the blank fields in the Invoice column, and just type the value I want to invoice. I can easily refer to the Estimated and Actual columns to see the values I want to enter. I would click Save to keep these changes.
Option 2 - Auto-Populate the Invoice
Most of the values I want to Invoice in this example are based on the Estimated values. Clicking the word Estimated on the Invoice, will populate the blank Invoice column with those values. The same would be true if I clicked Actual or Remainder in that top row. Clicking Invoice in that row, puts the values back to blank.
Now I can just manually change the one row to which I want to bill to Actuals.
No matter which method you choose, be sure to click Save once you're happy with the Invoice.
On the Basic Info tab, you will see information that has pulled from both the Estimate/ Job and the Invoice. Click Edit Details to open these fields for changes.
There may be nothing that needs updating, but these are some commonly adjusted fields:
- Choose to change the Payment Terms. There is no limit to the number of options you can have, and you can add or edit options via List Maintenance.
- Choose to add or edit the Description on the Invoice.
- Choose to show any Payment Notes. There is no limit to the number of options you can have, and you can add or edit options via List Maintenance.
- When the client pays you, enter the Payment Amount, Method and Date here.
Click Submit to save any changes.
Print the Invoice
Print the invoice as a PDF through the Print button in the top right. You can create up to 3 different single invoice printouts, depending on your needs - for example, one that shows great detail, but another that shows less. To learn more about creating a custom Interim or Final Invoice printout, please review this article: Add a Printout - Invoice Single
Please keep in mind when printing invoices:
There is an option to print your invoice as well as a couple of related reports - the Expanded Summary Report and/ or the Status Report. These reports are completely optional, and can be configured as to the level of detail they show, when and if you choose to create your own configured versions of Invoice printouts.
- Expanded Summary Report: As the name suggests, this report is a detailed view into the Actuals (time tracked & expenses) on the Job you are invoicing. It breaks down to Estimated hours/ quantities, Estimated amounts, Actual amounts, Service Group, Service type and more.
- Status Report: This report also pertains to Actuals. It shows the date on which time was tracked, the staff initials, Service Group, and shows the hourly rate, quantity of hours and totals.
Screenshot above taken from the Admin > System Set Up > Printing Preferences area. Again, be encouraged to learn more about configuring printouts here: Printouts in fp.
We have found that clients can encounter issues though, if they are manually adjusting values on Invoices, as well as including the Expanded Summary report on the Invoice printout.
Let's say that on my Invoice, I've billed to Actuals, but decide to over-write a value into my line for Printing. There are no actual Actuals for this row, but I'm putting $5000 here.
When I print this Invoice, and that printout includes my reports, I run into a problem. On the Expanded Summary portion, my client can see that the $5000 is a bit out of thin air. We understand that there may be occasion to over-write in this way, and it may be ok'd by the client, but know that the reports (should you include them in the printout) will show another story.
Send Out the Invoice Via fp.
Rather than printing, or in addition to printing, you can also use the Notify Client option, to send the invoice directly from the fp. system to your client. Note that in order for this feature to function properly, the Invoice Contact must have an email address on their Contact Details page.
Clicking Notify Client will bring up a new screen. You will have a few choices you can make before sending the Invoice out.
- Choose who the invoice should be sent to. Click "More Contacts" to select from other job contacts (who have email addresses in the system). The notification can include them in the To line, or the Cc line.
- If you have pre-built email templates in your system, you can select one of them here. To learn more about the email template feature, please review this article: Creating Email & Note Templates
- The Subject and Content of the notification will pre-populate for you, but you can change as you see fit, or use the template option in step 2.
- Choose to include in the notification a link to the fp. Portal, and/ or a PDF version of the invoice.
- Choose from your created single invoice printout options.
- Choose to save a copy of this notification to the Notes tab of the Job. This is a recommended step, as you will be able to easily see from fp. when your invoices were sent out to clients.
- Cancel the notification, send it to yourself as a test (which you could then choose to forward to the client from your inbox so the message comes from you rather than firstname.lastname@example.org), or Send to the contact(s) selected in step 1.
Post the Invoice
Marking an Invoice as "Posted" may happen sooner or later in your invoicing routine. Some clients mark an Invoice as Posted to indicate it's been reviewed by another member of the team. Others mark it as Posted once it's been sent to the client. Yet others, only use Posted as the required step before exporting an invoice to an accounting system.
There is an option to have new Invoices be automatically marked as "Pre-Approved", and then marked as "Approved" once reviewed. To learn more about that option, please review this article: Invoice Approval Routine Scenario
Once the Invoice has been created, it is immediately accessible back at the Job level. You will see changes on Job related financials, on the Summary tab.