Reason #2 to invoice out of BigTime: Flexibility.

  • Feb 15,2013
As mentioned last time, one of the best features of BigTime is its powerful invoicing engine,  which can be used to create invoices of all sorts — all of which can be easily customized. But did you know BigTime offers both an invoicing system and an invoicing document?  Today, let’s talk about the difference between the two and the benefits you can derive from invoicing out of BigTime vs. QuickBooks. To start, a quick definition: Unlike QuickBooks, BigTime sees an “invoice” as a collection of line item charges and credits you see on screen while the invoice document is the physical piece of paper you send to your customer. It’s a simple but important distinction to remember as you review BigTime’s invoicing options. bigtime invoicing with quickbooks

In BigTime, your client invoice can be different from the one you post to your system.

So what does this mean? It means simply that when you’re invoicing you have the option to  choose what level of detail you share with a client and what data you post over to QuickBooks for tracking your firm’s financials. With BigTime, you have the option to select data out (or in) when preparing invoices — a feature limited when invoicing with QuickBooks. There are some big benefits to this. First off, by keeping clutter out of your QB file you make your accounting cleaner and easier to understand. This makes life much simpler when you get a question like, “What did we invoice ACME Services for on-site consulting last quarter?” The report spits back “1 invoice for $10K —Professional Services,” instead of a laundry list of hourly charges (and the brass loves you). Second, having the ability to create varying levels of detail at the click of a mouse gives you enormous flexibility. Let’s say you need to split up your accounting data for a given project, but the client only wants the summary: the $10K retainer. You post it over to QB as $2,500 consulting, $2,500 in admin and $5,000 in partner consulting (and the bank loves  you). A few simple scenarios to illustrate your options:
1. Summary file for your accounting system, detailed project notes for the client.
The user has the option to select an uncluttered “on-screen” invoice, but auto-generate a far more detailed invoice document for the client that includes time entry/expense details, day-by-day, with rates and notes attached.
2. Overview for your system, full project breakdown for the client.
The user posts a no-frills summary invoice to the internal system, while outputting a document for the client that provides a detailed breakdown of work done on a long-term “phased” project that includes billings per phase (including both prior billings and current charges). And lastly, when you want to see a detailed breakdown but keep things simple for the client:
3. Detailed breakdown for posting internally, simplified invoice for the client.
In this scenario, the user may have dozens of time entries associated with a given monthly invoice, but the customer only wants a single line item with a “flat fee” amount (especially useful for retainer arrangements). To learn more about how invoicing works in BigTime and how its invoicing engine is different from QuickBooks’ visit our knowledge base at