As you draft invoices this quarter, you’ll be impressed with our invoice redesign. It offers a clean, easy-to-use interface with new features, several of which you’ll use in conjunction with invoice review and approvals—a new BigTime feature that verifies that drafted invoices are complete and accurate.
Our invoice improvements are just part of the many features and fixes in our November 2018 release. We’ve also added new reports, created a new display for receiving expenses with receipts, and made several software updates.
Here’s what you can expect from this release:
- Invoice Review and Approvals
- Invoice Redesign
- Pick Up Unbilled Time and Expenses on a Drafted Invoice
- Utilization Dashboard Link Directs You to a Time Detail Window for a Staffer
- New Display for Reviewing Expenses with Receipts
- New Reports, Reporting Fields, and Other BigTime Enhancements
Read about these new features and fixes below.
Gone are the days of sending an invoice with a typo or mistake. BigTime’s invoice review and approvals catches invoices errors before your client does.
The idea is simple, but effective: have several reviewers, of your choosing, review a drafted invoice. Your designated team of reviewers accepts or rejects an invoice; rejected invoices are re-submitted, and the review process starts again. This optional feature ensures that invoices are complete and accurate.
NOTE: The number of approvers depends on your BigTime package. Firms with IQ Pro have up to two approvers. Firms with Premier have up to four.
Plus, you can choose to streamline the invoice review process with leapfrog. Say you have four invoice reviewers, and the secondary reviewer approves an invoice before the primary one. With leapfrog, the primary reviewer is skipped and the review is left to the tertiary and final approvers.
Our invoice redesign not only looks sleek, but it’s also a practical tool to use with invoice review and approvals.
On a drafted invoice, you can:
- Preview an invoice in your various invoice templates,
- Take snapshots of invoices to capture what an invoice looks like in a particular template,
- Start the invoice review and approval process,
- Email an invoice to a client, and
- See the status of an invoice: where it is in the review process.
Click here to read more about these features in detail.
Add time and/or expenses in WIP (work in progress) to a drafted invoice by clicking the “Pickup Unbilled Time & Expenses” hyperlink in a drafted invoice. Enter a date range to have BigTime to pick up time and expenses during a designated period of time. Or leave the date range blank to include all of the time and expenses in WIP.
This feature is designed to save you time. You no longer need to delete and recreate the invoice if a charge was not included on the original invoice or new charges have incurred since the invoice was drafted.
Get a detailed view of how staffers spend their time on a particular project with the “time detail” window on the Utilization Dashboard, a feature that’s available to Premier users. Hyperlinks for input and billable hours provide a time-detail window for a specific staffer and project.
Plus, you can customize this view by adding or removing columns using the “gear” icon.
There’s a quick way to view receipts in expense review and approvals. Click into the details of the expense entry, and then click on the grey and white view option (highlighted in the red box below). This will change the display for the user reviewing the expenses.
Expenses with receipts will display to the right of the expense entry. This will expedite the approval process: reviewers no longer have to open each expense entry and click on the image to download and view.
We’ve made changes to several reports. We’ll highlight these changes below:
- Activity reports are a new report type that allows users to report on “activities” created in BigTime.
- Resource allocation reports contain new fields—input fees, remaining projections, and projection ratios—that you can add to when customizing an allocation report.
- Invoice and project list-type reports have a field called “total credits” that shows the dollar amount for an invoice line item with a negative value. For invoice type reports, this field is specific to any invoice with a negative line item. For project-list reports, this field will give you the total dollar amount of negative line items on all invoices.
- Add more people to the invoice emails you send from BigTime. There’s a “more” option when emailing an invoice out of BigTime. Click this option to select project contacts, team roles, or yourself to the Send To, CC, and/or BCC fields.
- A firm can set which date is used when posting expense reports to QuickBooks. In the QuickBooks integration setting, either post the submission date of the expense report or the post date. This setting is located in QuickBooks tab: Integration Settings…Manage…Time/Expenses tab. The setting is labeled “Post Expenses using the Submission Date.”’
- You have more options when showing time and expenses separately on invoices. In our last release, we included an option to show time and expenses separately on a printed invoice. To enhance this feature, we’ve included two more options: “Additional Settings” and “Sort By.” Now you can sort, summarize, and subtotal when showing time and expense details separately.
- Bulk update invoice statuses to “Sent.” This option will allow you to add a “sent” date that’ll apply to your selected invoices.
- QuickBooks payments show in the projects payment history screen. Open the project and navigate to the “Billing History” tab, and click “Payment History.” Any payments that were applied to your BigTime invoices will appear here.
- Opt-in staffers to receive email notifications. In Notifications…Email Settings there’s a setting that automatically enables email notifications to new staffers.
- Update rates on the “Time Detail” tab on an invoice. The current rate on that project will apply to the time on only that invoice.
- Allow staffers to view the Utilization Dashboard. Access to the Utilization Dashboard will require two user rights to be enabled: “Access Task Budget Data” and “Reporting, All Access.” Turn on “View/Manage Any Staffer” for access to all staff.
- Set a “bill rate lock date” (Invoicing…Configure..Defaults). Rates will be locked on any submitted time prior to the set lock date.
- The “Update Rates” button is only available to users with these user rights settings enabled: “View/Manage Any Project” and “Create Invoices.” Financial administrators will always have the ability to Update Rates as long as Create Invoices is enabled.
- Show AR on invoice templates. Include outstanding invoices on invoice templates without having to include line items. Find this setting below the “Include Line Items” setting.
- Bulk update time. Make changes to several time entries at once on your Project Dashboard. Once there, click on the tab with three dots, select Time/Expense History from the picklist, and click on a hyperlinked dollar value under the Input hours column. Check the entries you want to update, click Bulk Actions, and select Update from the picklist. A new window will populate where you can update the time for the selected entries.
- Deactivate a project. Premier users have the option to deactivate a project, which prevents entering and/or editing allocations for that project. Find this option on the “project” tab of your Project Dashboard, near the bottom left of the window. Click the white triangle next to Delete Project, and select “deactivate project” from the picklist. Deactivated projects can be reactivated by clicking on the same option.
We hope these enhancements make it easier to use essential features, like invoicing, and get the details you need to have a productive fourth quarter. Keep an eye on our blog for more BigTime news and updates!