Suggestion for Improvement - Billable Expenses

I would like to suggest that on the “Sales Invoice” tab, after clicking on “New Sales Invoice” button, and after a customer is selected, the interface will display billable expenses relating to that customer that haven’t been billed yet. That way, the user will be reminded at the time of invoice creation, that there are unbilled expenses that must be billed. Currently, billable expenses tab has to be checked to see if there are any unbilled expenses, and if billable expenses are relatively rare, it becomes impractical to check the tab before creating invoices to customers.

Actually, you are meant to create sales invoices for billable time and/or expenses from the Customers tab.

I understand that, but please consider the following scenario. You have 1000 customers, you bill them once per year on average for your work. Very occasionally you incur a billable expense, but don’t bill it until the work is complete, which may be in a year from now. It is very easy to forget to check the Customers tab to see if there are any billable expenses for them, especially if it happens rarely and for small amount. I think it would be useful to have some sort of a mechanism that would remind you to bill billable expenses to a customer. I think the Customers tab should show the number of unbilled expenses (next the transaction count box, right on the tab), in red, and it would be useful to be reminded of that when you create an invoice for that customer. What do you think?

A post was split to a new topic: New Report button for Billable Time Summary does not work

The Customers tab has a column, Uninvoiced, with the uninvoiced balance for each customer. That is where you initiate sales invoices for billable time and expenses. It is designed for exactly the situation and purpose you describe. It is easy to tell which customers have uninvoiced items and simple to run down the list creating new sales invoices. The intended workflow is to create invoices for the billable time and expenses first, then edit them to add other things you want to invoice. If you follow that practice, it is virtually impossible to forget to invoice something. Having a counter for the tab would tell you nothing about which customers need to be invoiced. The existing feature tells you not only who, but also how much.

@slavaf2000, I am going to add your suggestion to Ideas.

When Billable Expenses are a inconsequential part of the business, as @slavaf2000 has detailed, then a reminder / warning message seems appropriate. It seems incongruous to have a workflow which requires that every Customer (of the 1000) be pre Sales Invoiced checked via the Customer tab for an event which may have only occurred for 5 customers.

It is to be noted that the suggestion only involves having “some sort of a mechanism that would remind you to bill billable expenses to a customer”. It does not suggest that the Billable Expenses be invoiceable from the Sales Invoice tab so the current intended workflow remains unaltered.

By coincidence I actually had to do this very workflow this morning and I agree with @slavaf2000 that the existing flow isn’t that intuitive - I actually had to return to the guide to look up how to do it!

Things I tried before doing that:

  • Going to the Billable Expenses tab and clicking on the “amount” value and “uninvoiced” status tag hoping they’d do something
  • Creating a Sales Invoice as per slavaf2000’s suggestion and hoping it would pick up the billable expenses.

So I think this is a good suggestion. It could even put additional UI over the current implementation by just adding a hotlink to the Billable Expenses value that leads exactly to the same existing invoice creation page in the Customers tab.