Billing worksheets overview [in-depth guide]
Guide contents: Overview | Setup | Worksheet types | Workflow | Items for consideration | Next steps | Resources
Your current billing workflow may consist of printing reports that provide budget, transactions & prior billing amounts, then going over these with the AE/PM to decide what to bill during the current period. Others may be creating invoices & sending these to the project AE/PM for approval which may trigger rounds of deletes/adjustments/reprints before arriving at the final invoice to send to the client. Workamajig provides a billing workflow that can be adjusted to best fit your team's needs with the end result being a "printed once" invoice for your client. Billing Worksheets allow you to route project transactions & information to the AE/PM for feedback & approval before creating the invoice or use it as an action list management for the billing period. The AE/PM can control when projects are available for a billing cycle, how projects are billed and invoice layouts at the project & client level, to provide a smoother billing cycle and decrease instances of lost income due to tracking the billing cycle outside of Workamajig.
A typical billing cycle would be for the billing department to generate worksheets. The worksheet will be directed to a specific person, usually the AE. Whether billing transactions or a percentage of the budget, the worksheet provides all of the project information along with transactions and prior billings to evaluate what to do in the current cycle. Once completed, the AE will submit the worksheet for approval, where it can be evaluated/edited/approved and thus an invoice created based upon client needs. The worksheet will allow the team to mark up/down, transfer, mark as billed, or write off transactions. These will not be committed to the system until the worksheet is approved and the invoice is created.
Since the billing worksheet workflow may be new to your team, we recommend that you try a small run of invoices or with a specific account executive first. This will allow you to identify specific workflow needs and any areas that need adjusting before release to the entire team.
Client level settings
The client record allows you to set up a default billing method, invoice style & invoice printing layout. These can be adjusted on individual projects & during the billing cycle. The purpose is the AE can set up defaults based on client needs that will then flow into the project and through to invoicing.
Billing method: This defines how a billing worksheet will be generated
Fixed fee: billing is based upon percentage of budget. You can define if expenses are included or not included in the budget percentage for billing.
Time & materials: billing is based upon project transactions
Retainer: billing is based upon a predefined retainer. This is typically not set up at the client level
Invoice style: This defines how the client invoice and invoice lines are created
One invoice per-
Project - Each project will generate one billing worksheet leading to one client invoice for each project
Client - Each project will generate one billing worksheet plus one "master" worksheet used for grouping all worksheets together leading to one client invoice for each client
Parent client- Each project will generate one billing worksheet plus one "master" worksheet used for grouping all worksheets together leading to one invoice for the parent client.
Division - Each project will generate one billing worksheet plus one "master" worksheet used for grouping all worksheets together leading to one invoice for the client division.
Product - Each project will generate one billing worksheet plus one "master" worksheet used for grouping all worksheets together leading to one invoice for the client project.
Campaign - Each project will generate one billing worksheet plus one "master" worksheet used for grouping all worksheets together leading to one invoice for the client campaign.
Invoice layout/template: this defines how the client invoice will print
Project level settings
Though defaulted in via the client record, an individual project can be set up with a different billing method and invoice printing layout based on the specific needs of the project.
Billing schedule: each project can be set up with a billing schedule that allows the AE/PM to define when a fixed-fee project will be available for billing or if a revenue or advance bill invoice is created. For a T&M project, the timing of an advance bill invoice can be created.
Campaign level settings
Typically the project defines the billing method and the client record defines the invoice style & invoice printing. However, the campaign may allow you to override the client settings and group things by campaign or bill using the campaign estimate.
Bill by: The following defines how worksheets will be created if connected to a campaign
Campaign fixed fee (based on the campaign set to 'bill campaign' with 'bill campaign budget' checked):
Projects connected to campaign: This will create a fixed-fee worksheet for the campaign budget and one worksheet for each project. If projects are linked to the campaign, there will be a master worksheet. The campaign will generate a fixed-fee worksheet, and each project will generate one billing worksheet. A "master" worksheet will be added for grouping all worksheets together leading to one client invoice for each client.
No projects connected to campaign: This will create a single fixed-fee worksheet.
Campaign project (based on the campaign set to 'bill by project'): This setting will not create a master worksheet unless the client is set to 'one invoice per client' or 'campaign'.
Campaign campaign (based on the campaign set to 'bill campaign' with 'bill campaign budget' unchecked): This setting will create a master worksheet, individual worksheets will be based on project setting.
Once worksheets are generated, you may see the following labels associated with the worksheet:
Master - This is used for grouping together individual worksheets to generate a single client invoice. This will be generated based upon the setup from the Client record > Billing > Defaults: One invoice per = Client | Parent client | Division | Product | Campaign.
Fixed fee - generated when project billing method = Fixed fee or Campaign billing method = Bill by campaign plus Bill campaign budget checked.
Time & materials - generated when project billing method = Time & materials
Retainer - generated when retainer is created in the system. If the retainer has extras, the projects will create a time & materials worksheet and potentially a master worksheet depending on retainer settings.
NOTE: For a campaign set to Bill by: Project, the projects will generate worksheets based on the billing method of the individual projects.
The unbilled amount is calculated differently on fixed fee vs. time & material projects.
- Fixed fee project: the unbilled amount is calculated as budget amount - invoiced amount.
- Time & material project: the unbilled amount is calculated as unbilled amount.
- Campaign budget: the unbilled amount is calculated as campaign budget amount - invoiced amount.
Our integrated billing process allows you to complete the review process faster and with fewer mistakes and missed billing opportunities. The billing process goes through the following steps.
1. Generate billing worksheets
- Typically the accounting department (which has the security right to create & edit client invoices) would be the one to generate billing worksheets.
- Only one active worksheet can be open for each project or campaign.
- Worksheets are sent for review to the account manager designated on each project or campaign. If generated, a master worksheet is sent to the account manager defined on the client record or campaign.
2. Review billing worksheets
- Worksheets that are sent for review will appear in each user's My items to approve widget.
- Based on security rights, the review might only have the ability to add comments vs. editing transactions.
- There are a variety of options when editing transactions via the Form actions menu.
- Reviewers can also see the project snapshot, which includes the overall budget & profitability.
- Once a reviewer is done commenting or making changes, they can click Approve or Send for approval. This depends on if they have the right to add client invoices, or if there is a billing manager setup in the client record.
3. Approve billing worksheets
- Any person with the right to create & edit client invoices can approve a billing worksheet. Or just the billing manager set on the client/project.
- Approvers have access to the same screens as in the review process. With the additional option to reject or approve.
- Once a worksheet has been approved an invoice can be created.
4. Create invoices from worksheets
- This step shows all worksheets that have been approved and are ready to be turned into client invoices.
- Select the worksheets and create client invoices. The line format and other settings are controlled by the client setup or campaign.
- Afterward, you then move on to the processes of reviewing & approving client invoices that were generated, sending the invoice to the client and posting them to the GL to run your financial reports.
Items for consideration
A project or campaign can provide additional settings to determine how the project or campaign is to be billed.
The billing method is usually defined on the client record. However, once created, the project or campaign can be adjusted to fit the needs of that specific project/campaign agreement. From the Project settings > Billing options or Campaign settings > Billing, the billing method can be changed from the client's default settings.
Typically used for fixed fee project/campaign billing, the billing schedule can be used to define the timing as to when a billing worksheet will be generated.
Keep in mind that a billing worksheet will NOT be available to generate unless the defined date in the billing schedule has been met.
Fixed fee project: An entry can be tied to a date (user determined) task (plan complete date) or both (uses the earlier of the two dates). You can also designate a dollar amount or percentage of the budget to create the invoice for. The Billing Schedule can also designate if the invoice generated will be an Advance Bill Invoice or a Revenue invoice.
Fixed Fee Campaign: An entry can only be tied to a Date (User Determined). You can also designate a dollar amount or percentage of the campaign budget to create the invoice for. The billing schedule can also designate if the invoice generated will be an advance bill Invoice or a revenue invoice.
Time & materials project: Only used to create an advanced billing Invoice. An entry can be tied to a date (user determined) task (plan complete date) or both (uses the earlier of the two dates). You can designate a percentage of the budget to create the advance billing invoice for.
NOTE: A normal time & materials worksheet will be available to generate anytime there are approved/unbilled transactions on the project. If you have approved/unbilled transactions and the billing schedule date is ready to create an advance bill invoice, then you will see two worksheets to generate for the same project. The one listed under (time & material) is for the approved/unbilled transactions, and the one under (fixed fee/time & material with advance billing) is for the advance bill invoice.
For clarity in your billing cycle, generate worksheets in the fixed fee/time & material with advance billing section first. Then select 'all' for the remaining worksheets and generate.
Create invoices from worksheets