Add billable expenses to current invoice?

I’ve found where I can create a NEW invoice for billable expenses (as listed here:

But is there a way to add billable expenses to an EXISTING invoice?

For example, I have a current invoice for Company A, and find out I have to buy 4 gallons of paint to finish the job. I don’t want to send them multiple invoices for one project. I’d like to simply send them one comprehensive invoice.

I know that I can simply type in “billable expenses” into the original invoice, but that doesn’t tie-in with the actual expense (in the example, the 4 gallons of paint), so I then have an unresolved expense issue there.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!! :smiley:

It appears that Billable Expenses can only have a NEW invoice and can’t amend an existing invoice.

It you only want to do one invoice you need to allocate the expense to either a Current Asset - Transaction Clearing account or any (paint) related P&L expense account. Then instead of putting the purchase to Billable Expenses, use the Transaction Clearing or the P&L account. Then edit the existing invoice, add line, and use the same account as the purchase. This will contra out any purchase, just as Billable Expenses does.

@Brucanna, Thanks for the fast reply!!! :smiley:

I think I understand… so basically I could create a separate P&L account called “billable-expenses-2” and put the expenses and customer payments into that account.

While I was clicking around in the program, I found that the system gets half-way there:

  1. Go to Billable Expenses. Find the expense you want to attach and click “Edit.”
  2. On the Status drop-down menu, click “Invoiced.” Another pull-down menu will appear, and you can select the invoice number you want to attach it to. (The list doesn’t have additional information, so you’ll have to know the invoice by number.) Click “Update.”

But from there, it looks like the system just drops the numbers. They don’t link back to the invoice or the customer. So hopefully this will expand on a future update. :smile:

@Brucanna is correct. Both billable time and billable expenses can only be added to an invoice created from within the Customers tab. Several users have requested the ability to modify an existing invoice, but @lubos has not addressed that feature yet.

However, rather than modifying your chart of accounts as @Brucanna suggests, I think it might be easier to simply delete the invoice and recreate one that includes the new expenses.

Yes, but if you going to title it like that, technically it should be a BS account, that is why Billable Expenses is located there, otherwise use an existing P&L account. I have a standing Current Asset - Transaction Clearing account, which is used anytime contra of amounts is required, ie Bank Transfer & Bank Rules

Why delete an invoice that only needs an amendment - extra line added. Your replacement invoice is only going to be a duplication of the first invoice with an extra line for the expenses - What’s the difference? Also, where are you going to be allocating the expenses to on this “new” invoice?

Good questions. The expenses on the new sales invoice will originally have been allocated to Billable expenses, rather than the customary income statement accounts (such as travel, motor vehicle expenses, supplies, or whatever else is being invoiced to the customer). While in that account, they represent assets, because they will, in future, be billed to the customer. The act of generating a sales invoice for billable time and expense entries from the Customers tab automatically clears those items, without their ever having passed through your normal expense accounts. This is the chief beauty of the Billable Expenses module: it records transactions you make on behalf of your customer and keeps your normal expense accounts free of such clutter. This may seem like a small thing for the occasional business travel expense, but imagine the handyman who purchases hundreds of repair parts over the course of a year, all of which go immediately into a customer’s home rather than a supply closet. When using Billable Expenses, his/her expense accounts will contain only those expenditures related to operating the business, not endless purchases and reimbursements for things destined for the customer.

So yes, the replacement invoice will look essentially like the original one, plus the added line. But you avoid the need to create a clearing account and a separate transaction to clear it. And you keep your regular expense accounts in simpler condition. Plus, as a bonus, if you decide to mark up the expenses for the trouble of purchasing and accounting for them, an income account for that profit is hard-wired into the Billable Expenses module. And in the unfortunate situation where a customer refuses to pay, there is a pre-configured expense account for uncollectible expenses.

The bottom line is that everything gets simpler when you use Billable Expenses (and Billable Time) as they are intended instead of working around them. There was a lot of thought and effort that went into creating those modules, with a lot of feedback from users in different industries. Since they settled into their present configuration, I haven’t read a single complaint.

I have absolutely no qualms with your explanation detailing the operation of Billable Expenses however the point I was raising was, that it appeared that your responses in this thread were contradictory.

In @cherylweb27 initial post, the question being posed - was it possible to add billable expenses to an existing invoice as they didn’t “want to send them multiple invoices for one project”, i.e. they wanted the entire project on one invoice.

Your first response clearly states “billable expenses can only be added to an invoice created from within the Customers tab”, which there is no dispute. But then you go on to say (in that same response) " I think it might be easier to simply delete the invoice and recreate one that includes the new expenses", but how can one do this if billable expenses can only be created within the Customers Tab.

You reiterate this further when in your next post “the replacement invoice will look essentially like the original one, plus the added line”, but how, billable expenses can only be created within the Customers Tab.

I put it to you that you made an assumption, that the existing invoice was also for billable expenses, whereas it was clearly stated that they wanted one invoice for one project. Hence your contradictory response. If @cherylweb27 was merely trying to amalgamate two billable expenses on to the one invoice, they wouldn’t have generated the thread based on their understanding of the issue and Manager.

So to achieve their single invoice result, they do need to you to use the chart of account workaround.

In closing you wrote “There was a lot of thought and effort that went into creating those modules” No disagreement here, but I find it a little odd that you can’t invoice both Billable Time and Billable Expenses on to the one invoice.

Billable expenses are created under the Billable Expenses tab. Likewise, billable time is entered under the Billable Time tab. These entries then show up as uninvoiced items in the Customers tab. (If there are no such items, that column does not appear.) After clicking on the number of uninvoiced items, a list appears, from which you can select which billable time and expense entries to enter on a new sales invoice.

After a sales invoice is raised this way, other line items can be added to it, regardless of what they might be. So no need to use the chart of accounts workaround.

You can. All uninvoiced items appear in a single list for selection. They can be mingled on a sales invoice. The only shortcoming is that after a sales invoice has been raised, regardless of whether from the Customers or Sales Invoices tabs, you cannot add billable time or billable expenses to it. The desire for such a capability has been raised several times by many users. So far, though, it has not made it onto the development roadmap.

It’s unfortunate that you didn’t state clearly the following in your first response:

If you create your Sales Invoice for Billable Time/Expenses items FIRST via Customers then other line items can be added to that invoice regardless of what they might be. However, 1) if a Sales Invoice has other line items added first, or 2) once a sales invoice has been created - you can’t add Billable Time/Expenses to that invoice even though that capability has been requested by many users.

Instead of stating “simply delete the invoice and recreate one that includes the new expenses”.

I was only trying to help @cherylweb27 solve a problem. I had no desire to reopen a discussion on feasible workflows that has already been covered several times in this forum. And, if you reread my first response, I believe you will see that I adequately covered the essence of what you’ve said in your last one. Enough said.

Another way is to simply add line item manually. Then go to Billable Expenses tab, edit billable expense which should be attached to the invoice and change the status to Invoiced then select the invoice it was attached to.

This is basically what the system does anyway when it generats invoice from billable time or billable expenses.

I’m sorry… this thread got a little confusing for me…

@lubos, for this:

Isn’t this what I was talking about here? -->

Because if so, it appears to me that, even though that’s an effective way of marking the item as “invoiced,” it doesn’t actually connect the expense to the invoice. I’ve tried this, and when a customer pays on the invoice (using the method suggested above) the billable expense is not credited. Even if I take it one step further and break down their payment with two line-items as I’m entering it (for example, credit “sales” and “billable expenses” for their payment), the original billable expense is not created. The system simply creates a duplicate credit for whatever amount the customer paid.

If I’m following you correctly, it seems that the system is simply not connecting the numbers after the billable expense is connected to the invoice.

Or… if I’m mistaken, please feel free to correct me. :smile:

Billable expenses account is only to be used when you pay something on behalf of the client (e.g. when creating new billable expense). When client is reimbursing you, you never use Billable expenses account.

The workflow is that billable expenses must be invoiced. And then client is paying for the invoice, not for billable expense. That’s why you never credit billable expense when receiving payment from customer. You credit Customer credits account or Accounts receivable account.

I cannot find an update to this problem. I fell behind with my capturing and my assistant is now starting to capture. I then use the above method to link these “uninvoiced” Billable Expenses to the relevant existing invoice. However the program then moves it to Billiable Expenses - Unrecoverable??? What are we doing wrong?

Billable time and expenses must be invoiced from the Customers tab. See this Guide:

Worth noting is that you cannot add billable items to a previously created invoice very easily. There is a way around that problem, which has been described in the forum. But it is easier, if you accidentally leave something out, to delete the invoice and start over.