Can custom fields flow from billable time flow to invoice lines?

I have custom fields set up in Billable Time where I record the Start time and End time of my hourly engagements. I still have to calculate Time spent manually. (I wish the time spent could be calculated from my custom fields, but that’s a different request.)

When I create a sales invoice, is there a way for the Start time and End time custom fields (or any other Billable Time custom fields, for that matter) to flow directly into corresponding custom fields for the Sales Invoice line item, and then be printed on the invoice?

I can get times (or other custom fields) to print on the invoice by also creating Start time and End time custom fields under Sales Invoice - Line and re-entering the times for each line item when I create the invoice, but is there a way to link the fields so I don’t have to re-enter the times (or other custom fields)?

There is currently no method to accomplish what you ask, for two reasons:

  • Line-item custom field content does not carry over from one form to another, even when field labels match.
  • Time is not a valid type of custom field.

The Billable Time tab was designed to account for and invoice billable time, but not for timekeeping.

My work is billed on an hourly basis. I am having some difficulty billing a client who requires that I invoice by time-of-day the work begins and ends, in addition to the number of hours that I worked.

As described above, I’ve created custom fields in the Billable Time module, where I keep track of the start and stop times for each entry. I also enter the number of hours and minutes, based on a mental calculation since Manager cannot do that math for me, as @Tut mentioned elsewhere.

Since the resulting invoice cannot show the custom fields from the Billable Time module, as @Tut said above, I’ve been providing a screenshot of the Billable Time screen to my client so he can see all of this information in tabular form. The Billable Time screen, like the entry form, shows the time in hours and minutes but not in decimal hours. The problem is that my client’s AP department seems to have occasional trouble converting 1 hour 20 minutes to 1.33 hours. Instead, they turn it into 1.20 hours (because 20 minutes is .20 hours, right, obviously?) and I get underpaid and have to request a correction.

Is there a better way to use Manager to present my client with an accounting that includes start time, stop time, and time elapsed in decimal-hours format, without having to manually edit the invoices and double-enter all the start and stop times into new custom invoice line-item fields?

I don’t think there is a better way. We all need to give customers what they demand. But remember, Manager is your accounting system, not theirs. What you describe goes beyond reasonable accounting requirements in a professional environment to ridiculous micromanagement. You are being asked to prepare customized reports, for which the customer should pay, especially when they are so mathematically challenged. You ought to look for opportunities to educate the decision makers about what the AP department is costing.

That said, you have to jump through the necessary hoops to get paid. Enter the data you need in Manager. Submit what they want however they want it. The two don’t have to come from the same source. Your situation is really not different from a customer requiring you to file invoices through their online supply chain portal.

The customer is always right!

I’d like to make a pitch, then, using this case example, for improved time-management functionality in Manager. While it seems that most of Manager’s user base is inventory-based companies, I imagine a significant minority of users are service-based, and, of those, many are probably time-based like me. Being able to track time is important to any consultant. The Billable Time module in Manager is great, but it could be even better if it included additional consultant-friendly features without having to resort to custom fields, screenshots, mental math, and faith in the arithmetical abilities of clients’ data-entry clerks.

Thanks, as always.

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