This guide will show you how to set up & use the 'get rate from' setting to streamline your billing process. This can be applied at multiple tiers in the system, such as transaction preferences, project setup & client setup. Depending on your workflow, you can have it so rates apply from a specific area, such as per client.
The most versatile & recommended way of handling rates is to use the base services or service rate sheets. For definitions of other ways you can get rates, please refer to the Billing rates & markup overview [in-depth guide].
By default, the system, templates & clients are set to get rates from service rates. What this means is that when time is entered, the current rates of your services will be applied.
This determines what the rates will be on any new client & new project when you DO NOT copy from another template or project.
When a new project is created, it will apply the 'get rate from' in the client setup to the new project.
Same rates apply for all clients/projects at all times
WORKFLOW: Establish your base services > Applies to all new projects.
If you bill all clients the same rates for your base services, then simply leave the 'get rate from' defaults in place, where all 'get rate from' options are set to 'service'. Just keep in mind that if you adjust the rates of your services, then all new time entries will use those rates.
Rates are set based on the year the project was created
WORKFLOW: Create a service rate sheet per year > Apply/update to each client & project after the new year.
Think of this more as a way to dictate rates based on timing factors. For example, let's say all projects (regardless of client) created in the current year will use a rate sheet that defines that current year's rates. Then, next year you have a new set of rates that apply to all projects (regardless of client) created after the new year.
To do this we first want to create a unique service rate sheet for each year. Then on the first of each year, we open every new project & client and apply the new year's rate sheet.
The benefit here is that projects started in the previous year will continue to use the rates previously set. Only new projects will use the new rates.
Different rates for each client
WORKFLOW: Create a service rate sheet per client > Apply the rate sheet to each client's setup.
This scenario can get tricky as it requires you to have all your ducks in a row for things to flow smoothly. Yet this is a great way to have a streamlined process.
We recommend using service rate sheets for this purpose. You can create a rate sheet for each client to establish unique rates, that apply to multiple clients.
First, plan out the necessary rates. For example, if you are going to create a rate sheet per client, then get to work on this right away as you have more set up to do afterward.
Next, go through each client record and change the 'get rate from' to 'service rate sheet'. Then, in the drop-down below that, choose the pre-defined rate sheet.
When updating rates
Regardless of how you use rates, keep in mind that if you update your services, rate sheets, Etc, it will affect any project and time entry that is associated with those rates. You can also use the Recalculate labor function to update the rates on all unbilled time entries in a project.
If your projects 'get rate from' are set to 'services', and you change the rates in your base services, then any time entry entered after that time will use the new current rates of your base services.
If your projects 'get rate from' are set to 'service rate sheet', then if you change the rates on that rate sheet in use, any new time entry for that project will use the new current rates on that rate sheet.
To ensure rates don't change on a project, it's best to use a rate sheet that doesn't need to be updated once it's been created. Also, in this situation, it's best to create a new rate sheet when things change, and would be applied to new projects, but not existing ones.
Recalculate labor rates
When the rate changes or if something was not quite set up correctly, it's important to know how the Recalculate labor rates function works.
You can update the unbilled time entries only. This means if the time was already billed on an invoice, marked as billed, or written off, then it will not be updated. You must first get the time in question into an unbilled state before updating.
You can choose a date range to update, so say you want to update unbilled time from last month only.
Keep in mind that if you change the rates on a project, the estimate is not automatically updated with this information. And now actuals will most likely differ from your budget dollars.
You have two ways to update the rates of all unbilled time entries on a project.
- One project at a time - From the Project settings, click on More > Recalculate labor rates.
- Multiple projects at once - From the project's views, check the box next to each project you want to update, then click on Recalculate labor rates at the top of View.