Setting per customer Hourly Rate for Billable time

I did a quick scan to see if there was something like this in the “Manager Shadows”. It did not jump out at me so I thought it could be mentioned.
We have picked up more work where the customers are demanding One consolidated Invoice and so we have started using “Billable Time” more intensely. This case is kind of an extension of a previous thought we had with regard to updating Invoices from “Billable Time”. This turns out to be a no-no. Nevertheless this idea / process is presented by the crew at the coal face who are inputting their time for various customers. They reckon it would be a great thing to have the Hourly Rate automatically populate when the Customer is selected in Billable Time. I can see value in this and now yes the Hourly Rate will need to be predefined somewhere and linked to the customer. Maybe under the customer tab?

The Use Case:

  • In the situation where large jobs require multiple people to enter “Billable Time” for a particular customer the predefined Hourly Rate can potentially ensure the correct hourly rate is inputted for that customer by default.
  • Now by placing the Hourly Rate in “Billable Time” in default forms “Billable Time” populates nicely each time the contractor / staff member inputs their time but “Billable Time” does the same hourly rate for all customers.

Is there a way or consideration that the hourly rate can be populated on a per customer basis in “Billable Time”?

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I agree with this. This is pretty much the same like Autofill - Due date for sales invoices.

Having used Billable Time extensively for years, I believe this would have extremely narrow application.

  • First, a simple autofill for billable time entries would not be sufficient. The rate would have to be a function of customer, set on the customer screen.
  • Second, the rate would depend on the employee charging the time. I have never experienced a situation where a customer was willing the pay the same rate for a senior partner and a junior associate, or a principal design engineer and a test technician.
  • Third, customer agreements/contracts often specify different rates for different tasks, rather than for different people.
  • Fourth, rates can vary by branch/division/location.

These factors imply a multi-dimensional matrix of hourly rates for each customer involving all task and personnel categories for all cost centers where those rates might differ. In @compuit’s example, this means the rate would have to be populated only after all the custom fields were filled in, with the rate lookup being dependent on custom field content.

I am glad you have used billable time extensively because you would then be able to address the following concerns easily with your process.

I will say this first as to why we have used “running” Invoices, an invoice generated early in the month and incrementally added to until month end.

It is because there are additional things that need to be inputted to the invoice such as travel and materials.
How do you record these when using billable time, billable time does not seem to accommodate this?

  1. The rate a function of customer set on customer screen, this makes sense.
  2. On the question of rate in our project case a flat rate has been negotiated and if there is a variation there is the ability to alter the rate at the time the staff member adds their time. I do think having a customer base rate is valuable so that it can take the guess work away from the Staff member or Contractor.
  3. Regarding different rates for same customer there will be such cases, however in our project type application where many billable time entries are needed in one invoice extremely rare. This maybe considered at Customer Tab.
  4. The thought on Branches Division Location – Do not see the argument here the customer is not cared about internal branches and division they just want an accurate bill at the correct rate.

You last paragraph … I think you are over thinking and making it more complex than what is actually is.

Once again Manager Accounting is much more than just an accounting tool.

Your travel and materials can be handled as billable expenses and invoiced simultaneously with billable time. Read the relevant Guides on invoicing billable time and expenses. Contrary to your statement, the program will very definitely accommodate this, and quite elegantly.

You may think your customers don’t care about different rates at different locations, but they will if you charge them a rate you negotiated for a different country. And you will certainly care if you are stuck with a rate that doesn’t cover your costs because it was entered before the customer expanded into a more expensive territory.

@Tut sure, you can always argue that defaults won’t work for everyone because their requirements are complex. But if this would be the reason for feature request to be invalid, then no defaults could ever be implemented. But we have default tax codes, default billing address, default prices on inventory items. Yes, it doesn’t work for everyone but it’s a good start that works for some.

This is the same. You can already set up global hourly rate for billable time in Form Defaults even though it would not be useful for most. Now, if we add ability to set default rate on customer level, then it’s becoming useful for more people. Eventually this will be extended further. One step at a time.

Anyway, the latest version (22.8.15) adds this.