Creating an invoice is preceded by a few steps involving some billing preparation:
- Start Billing Session: When starting a billing session, you need to check all the possible billing records using a combination of filters and settings. For instance, you might want to include all active projects or all active projects with at least $500 in approved time and expenses (WIP). The main filters are for projects and dates. It is important to define a billing period where you pick a date range or an 'As Of' date because that period controls the approved WIP brought into the billing session. You can apply other filters too to bill selectively.
For phased projects, so long as one of the phases is active, it lets you generate an invoice including all the phases. You have an option to set a Minimum Amount for the invoice. There are also other options that you can select for billing. The final option is setting the Invoice Date, although you can override it manually per billing record. After all the filters and options are set, Core retrieves all the relevant records from the database and locks them down until that session is over.
Core remembers the last session’s settings when you return next time.
- Review Unapproved Time and Expenses: This step is user-dependent, meaning you might choose to ignore it or you might review the unapproved time and expense entries for a possible workflow error. The record count of each category, say 100 time entries and 50 expense entries, is displayed and you are prompted to run a report to get those details. You cannot approve entries during a billing session; you have to end the session for now or just continue on.
- Review Pre-Billing Reports: You might want to preview the billing report and then send it to someone like a project manager. If the reporting stage is skipped, you can directly check out the Time Details and Expense Details screens. You can also skim through the billing records and look at the Net Bill amount to make sure all is accurate. You can also view the Billing Details containing a summary of previous and current billings.
- Make Billing Adjustments: When dealing with hourly and recurring projects, you generally bill them 'as is'; however, you can adjust the bill value and exclude related time and expenses as needed. For example, if you want to hold a $500 expense from a billing session, you can go to Expense Details and exclude that entry. Projects that are fixed or percentage-based can be adjusted in terms of the bill amount or % Complete value. In complex scenarios, instead of adjusting the bill amount, you can use the Write-Up/Down tool. E.g., if you need to charge $1000 for a 'wire-framing' activity on a software project, just use the WUD tool to adjust the revenue amount against that activity.
If project phases are not set to be combined on the same invoice, you can still join them here, if needed. Besides this, you can override the invoice date or use Batch Update to update multiple rows at once.