Product Update: Jun-28 2016

  • Jun 28,2016

The time and billing product that you rely on just got even better. Here’s what’s new and why your company will be able to work even smarter because of it.

This release, the first of several related product updates, is a big leap forward in executing the work that is critical to the success of your firm. We’ve introduced Smart Match, a new feature that enhances our Zapier integration, making our zaps, well, smarter. If you’re not familiar with Zapier and would like more information on why you might want to integrate with Zapier, check out our previous blog post.

We have also added a new notification feature to make your inbox a powerful management tool. For example, notifications will help managers keep pace with the status of timesheets or expense reports long before end of the month billing. Users will spend less time checking in with managers on the status of their reporting. And, if you use projects, users will receive task notifications in their BigTime inbox, reducing confusing email threads where it’s easy to lose track of project-related tasks.


Smart Match allows BigTime IQ PRO to search for a match on values that exist in BigTime IQ. This is far more convenient for users who no longer have to specify the exact type of data that is being passed into our system. Smart Match improvements have been made for the following Zaps:

  • Create Project
  • Create Timesheet

Instead of telling us what kind of data you are passing to BigTime, the system will check to see if this data is a match by Email, then by Full Name, then by Last Name only.

BigTime smart lookup in Zapier

Smart match will try to match existing BigTime values for these two zaps in the following order:

  • Create Project:

Create new Project into BigTime from another application and allow BigTime to try to find the value you’re passing over for existing Customers. Customers will be linked up with your new projects in this order:

    • Find by Client Name
    • Find by Client Code
  • Create Timesheet

Create new Timesheet will allow users to pass timesheets from other programs using the following fields for the values in the order below:

    • Staffer
      • Find by Staffer Email
      • Find by Staffer Full Name
      • Find by Staffer Last Name Only
    • Category/Labor Code
      • Find by Code
      • Find by Name
    • Project
      • Find by Code
      • Find by Name
    • Task
      • Find by Name
    • No Charge
      • Find by Name (Either Yes or No)


In addition to our previous update, we’ve added more options to Fixed Fee Invoicing. Users now have more ways to customize the appearance of the printed template invoice.

Fixed fee invoicing improved in BigTime

Now, users can change the template to give their clients the Budget-information they want to see, and also include other charge line items into drafted summary pages.


For all of our PRO subscribers, we’ve expanded the real estate of your BigTime Inbox so it’s easier to sort through your messages and to mark them “completed” or “read” using a bulk action. In addition to the enhanced inbox experience, we have made managing the review/approval process easier with the release of this initial set of system-generated notices. Those notices will be sent to users/managers for any firm that has activated the review/approval process. You’ll start to see the following notifications in your BigTime inbox:

  • Managers will be notified if they have timesheets/expenses to approve.
  • Users will be notified if their Timesheet or Expense reports are rejected so they can modify and resubmit them.
  • Users will be notified once their full expense report(s) are approved and ready for payment.
  • If your firm uses project tasks, then users will receive a notification each time they are assigned to a new “task.”


It’s a big headache for managers and financial administrators when users enter their timesheets late, especially if the period has already been billed. Just go ahead and throw that money out the window. It’s an even bigger problem if employees enter their time in advance of the actual date worked. It’s unethical, it can’t be accurate, and it destroys client trust.

In this release, BigTime IQ PRO and Express have both been updated with Timesheet Lock Dates. This feature puts the power of timesheet control into the hands of owners and managers.

With the addition of two new fields, owners and financial administrators can set a grace period (the number of days available for entering timesheets), and a lockout date after which users cannot enter their time.


To activate this setting, go to your Timesheet Settings screen by navigating to Time/Expenses > Timesheets and hit the settings icon when logged in as the Administrator account of BigTime.

Activate Timesheet lock date in BigTime

Within Timesheet Settings you’ll find a new area designed for setting a Timesheet Lock Date.

You will see a grace period field as well as a non-editable Lock Date field. The system calculates the lock date for you based on the number of days you input in the Grace Period and your Start Day/Submission Period.

Lock timesheet grace period in BigTime

Adding a greater value in Grace Period gives your users more time to submit their timesheets.

Timesheet grace period in BigTime

An important thing to remember when setting up Timesheet Lock Dates is that BigTime IQ PRO/Express allows your users to submit time based on the submission period entered into the Timesheet Settings. If the user has hours within the week that does not meet the Lock Date rule, the whole week will be locked from edits or submissions. A user with Financial Administrator rights will have to submit on behalf of the user.


  • Renew QBO Token if it is close to expiration
  • Your service items, classes and terms are all reflecting their “active/inactive” status from QuickBooks now within Integration drop-downs
  • Approval Status now shows properly in the reporting system.

If you don’t have a BigTime account, sign up for a FREE trial and see what everyone is talking about.