I am often asked if it’s possible to run a quoted job in WFM, invoicing different sections of the quote progressively each month, and also have extra tasks added to invoice charge up labour. At the end of this blog I've explained one way to do this, and along the way I've explained some of the implications on how WorkflowMax runs. This method does have some compromises, and in general I recommend running one job for the Quoted parts, and another job for any Charge-Up parts. In my view, having two jobs helps to keep the charge-up work well separated and reduces the risk of that work accidentally getting included in the quoted price, when really it should be billed as extra.
That said, sometimes a business really does want to keep Quoted and Charge-up together and that's OK too.
This blog only talks about Tasks. Costs are simpler, but I'm not covering them in this blog.
For the method I use:
- All quotes are Fixed Price Quotes (not Calculated Quotes)
- All invoices are Fixed Price Invoices (not Calculated Invoices)
- The invoice is always created based on Actual Time and Costs (not Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs).
This doesn't mean it's the only way to achieve the outcome you may want, but it's the way I'm explaining today.
How can time be logged onto a Quoted Job?
On a Job that has both Quoted and Charge-up elements, you might have time being logged onto several different types of tasks. It important to be clear about what each task is, whether it is going to be invoiced or not, and what will happen with the WIP. The main types could be:
- Tasks that are part of the Fixed Price Quote.
- Tasks that are Fixed Price Variations that have been added to the original Fixed Price Quote, by generating a new and updated quote on the job.
- Task not included as part of the quote Quote, to record and invoice charge-up work not included in the Quote.
- Tasks added for internal use that will not be invoiced. An example might be where quote has 4 items to be invoiced, but internally the work needs to be broken down to 10 items. Or another example might be a task for recording remedial work from the mistake, that can't be on-charged to the client.
What will appear for billing?
My method given at the end of this blog uses invoicing by "Actual Time and Costs" but you may want to understand how this is different from invoicing by "Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs".
If you invoice using “Actual Time and Costs” only the tasks that have WIP on them (unbilled time) will appear for billing.
- As long as there is unbilled time on the Quoted Tasks, they will appear for billing. The amount showing as due for billing on those Quoted Tasks will be based on the time logged, not the amount from the quote.
- Any charge-up tasks with time logged on them will appear for invoicing as normal, with the amount showing based on the time logged on the tasks.
If you invoice on “Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs” the tasks that are part of the active quote on the job (the most recent quote), will appear for billing + additional estimated tasks.
- If you have added additional tasks purely for logging time internally (non-billable), and they are not in the quote, they won't appear.
- If you have added extra charge-up tasks without estimated time, you won’t see them.
- If you have added extra tasks with estimated time (either for charge-up or fixed price work), these will appear in Pink. The amount to invoice will be the amount based on the estimated hours you entered. You won’t see the actual hours logged on that task for billing.
What information will be viewable when invoicing?
If you invoice by “Actual Time and Costs” then the billable amount is based on the time logged. You won’t see any information on what the quoted price originally was, or how much has been invoiced so far.
- If you want to invoice some of the quoted amount based on how much work has actually been logged, then this amount could be a useful guide.
- If you want to invoice a set pre-agreed portion of the quoted amount you will need to refer to other reports or job information to check how much has been invoiced so far, what the arrangement was, or any other factors that might influence how much you are invoicing.
- When you invoice the WIP on the task is written off, so new time must be logged for the task to appear for invoicing next time.
- If a Calculated Price invoice is run (rather than Fixed Price) then at next invoicing time, the Estimated Billings in the Financial Tab will show you what is theoretically available to invoice based on how many hours have been logged, rather than what's left to invoice from the quoted amount. I don't recommend this. As above, I have specified for this method to always use a Fixed Price invoice type.
If you invoice by “Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs” then you will see the amount still due to be invoiced based on the quote. This will be the original fixed quoted amount, less whatever has been invoiced previously from each task. This is a great feature which I often recommend using to keep track of progressive invoicing on Quoted jobs.
- If you want to invoice some of the quoted amount based on how much work has actually been logged you will need to check another report first to confirm this.
- If you want to invoice a set pre-agreed portion of the quoted amount you may need to refer to other reports or job information but you will be able to see how much has been invoiced so far.
- When you invoice the WIP on the task is not written off and will accumulate in the WIP ledger. The value you have invoiced appears in the WIP ledger as a negative amount - a bit like a deposit that's been paid. This gets sorted when you do a final invoice type at the end of the job.
If you invoice by “Progress Amount”, or “Percentage of Quote” you will not see any detailed information and the amount invoiced will appear as a single credit. I’m not detailing these features in this blog.
How does WIP show on the WIP Dashboard?
If you invoice based on "Actual Time and Cost", WIP is removed from the tasks invoiced. If you edit the invoice to reduce the number of hours being invoiced, WIP will still be written off for all hours logged.
If you invoice based on "Quoted/Estimated Time and Cost" the WIP of the hours logged on the tasks remains and the amount invoiced shows as a negative amount on the WIP ledger ( a bit like a credit or deposit against the quoted totals).
Why do Tasks Sometimes Appear in Pink for Invoicing?
If you add a new task to the job that is not part of the quote sometimes it will pop up in pink if you generate a new invoice based on "Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs":
- If you add estimated hours, the task will appear highlighted in pink when you generate a new invoice based on Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs. Actual hours will not show and you will only be able to invoice based on the estimated hours.
- If you don’t add estimated hours, then the task will not appear at all when you invoice based on Quoted/Estimated Time and Costs.
- A task will never appear in pink when you are invoicing from Actual Time and Costs. As long as there is time on it, it will just appear for normal invoicing. If there is estimated time added it still won't show in pink.
The purpose of the Pink Pop Up is to help you remember to invoice new fixed price which has been added to the job, outside the quote. However, you can’t bill it progressively over several month, like you can with fixed price quotes. You can only bill it once. The amount will show based on the estimated hours you put in. You can change this and invoice a different amount, and all WIP will be written off. In the method I prefer, I don't generally use this feature. If there is a new task with a fixed price, then I prefer to add it as a variation to the quote, by adding a new updated quote to the job.
METHOD - Invoice Fixed Price and Charge Up together
- Start with a Fixed Price Quote on the job, on the expectation to progressively invoice off the various quoted amounts month by month.
- Add in any extra charge up tasks after the quote has been accepted and created the job. Add estimated hours for internal purposes as required.
- When it’s time to invoice do a progress invoice based on Actual Time and Costs. This will pull up all tasks that have any time logged on them, including both tasks that are part of the Quote and any additional charge up tasks. The amount to invoice will show based on hours logged.
- Use the Fixed Price invoice type to invoice off each task. Invoice the amounts off the quoted tasks you want, and also invoice the charged-up hours.
- Add any Fixed Price Quote Variations to the original quote by adding a new quote which will override the old one.
- There must be some time logged each month on all quoted tasks, otherwise they won’t show for invoicing.
- The Financial Summary Report, or other reports will need to be used to first see how much of the quoted amounts has been invoiced.
What to do when you have more tasks for internal breakdown, but only a few summary tasks to invoice for the client?
First you will need to set up tasks that will only be used for invoicing - no time will be put on them. Assign these tasks only to the Admin person, so other staff don't see them. These tasks will have Zero value for Cost and Billable rates (Business / Settings / Tasks).
Each time you want to invoice these tasks you will need to add some token time, otherwise the task wont appear for invoicing. The time will be written off when you invoice.
You will also need to ensure that the token time added to the task has no value, otherwise your reporting will be compromised. If you invoice based on Staff rates the user who will have their token time logged should have their custom rate for that tasks set to Nil. (Business / Settings / Staff)
IF you like to use WorkflowMax as a calculator to build up a detailed quote:
- Create your first quote on the job with the detailed breakdown you need for internal use. Accept and create the job from this so that estimated hours and tasks populate the job.
- Create another quote on the ob deselecting all the internal tasks and adding in billing tasks that you need. These tasks should not have estimated hours, only the fixed price to be progressively invoiced. Don't delete the internal tasks from the first quote as doing this can also remove them from the job (unless they already have time on them).
- You will need to go back into each of the internal tasks on the job and mark them Billable – updating with the new quote changes them to non-billable.
IF you work out your quote details outside WorkflowMax then start with only the billing tasks in the quote, create the job and then add the detailed internal tasks after that. That way you don’t have to go back into each task and change it back to billable.
- Add any extra charge up tasks to the job as required and log time on them as required.
- When it’s time to invoice, add some token time on the billing tasks so that those tasks will appear when you run a progress invoice based on Actual Time and Costs.
- Produce a Fixed Price progress invoice based on Actual Time and Costs. Un-tick all the internal tasks (don’t invoice them), invoice the charge up tasks, and invoice the amount your want off each of the billing tasks.