BlogEverhour v1 · former versionFuture of Everhour Invoicing

Future of Everhour Invoicing

September 4, 2014 · 5 min read

This post is of huge importance for us since we need to decide where to move on in terms of invoicing in Everhour. And how else can we make the best decision if not based on your very much welcomed feedback? 🙂 So give the article some thought and share your ideas in the comments

Invoicing basics

If you are using Everhour, you must have noticed that the app has an option to make a project billable. It all works ridiculously simply: by choosing Yes, you’ll have all the project time considered billable, while with No selected, the hours will be recognized as non-payable.

Related time analytics are displayed only on the Overall Dashboard, namely in the donut chart showing distribution of billable vs. non-billable hours. You also get to see allocation between reported and billable hours as well as overtime marked red for each team member, whether they are involved in commercial client projects or back-office activities.

Everhour-future-of-invoicing

The functionality is certainly handy but by no means can be relied on as an invoice management tool in large companies.

We have been asking ourselves what is actually missing here and what features people will find necessary. A few of our ideas have already been implemented, we got user feedback and saw that most of the things we’ve tried so far seemed too complicated or tricky or ineffective. So our team keeps on searching for a best-fitting invoicing solution not wanting to reinvent the wheel and, clearly, making sure it will be 100% useful for you.

First attempt

Our old-time users should probably remember that in the very beginning, Everhour contained a Manage Billable Hours page allowing an admin to flag specific or all entries as billable/non-billable and change time to be included on an invoice.

After experimenting with this method, we actually realised that editing items one by one was too far from being quick or efficient. Besides, if you really need to fix some numbers, why not do that on the invoice right away? With all this in mind, we quickly discarded the whole concept.

Everhour-old-invoicing

Integrations

Talking about invoicing and accounting, we can’t but mention such awesome specialized apps as Ballpark, FreshBooks, QuickBooks, Wave, Xero, etc. You don’t have to be a fortune teller to know we’ll hardly beat them at the moment or come to the same functional level. 🙂 So it looks like the safest and wisest way to handle Everhour invoicing for now is to integrate with these guys and let users immediately export time to their favorite tool.

Xero have lately become our first partner who’ve impressed us with the quality of their business development processes and surprised with how readily this giant company connects with a startup like us. Not only their team has reviewed the integration and considered it super user-friendly and convenient, but also shared their experience to help us improve the functionality even more.

How it works

Go to Reports > Invoicing with Xero for authorization and … this is actually it for the setup 🙂 You only need to authorize once and then you simply create an invoice whenever necessary in a few easy steps:

  • Select a client (the list is taken from Xero);
  • Choose an account type (in Xero, a revenue account determines many things, e.g. tax);
  • Define an hourly rate (you won’t have to do it manually later but you’ll always be able to fix an item or two if needed);
  • Finally, pick an aggregation type: an item on the invoice to bill for.

As simple as that.

Everhour-Xero-export-invoice

We are going to follow the same pattern with coming integrations so if you know ways to improve it, we’re excited to hear from you.

Attention! We need a minute of your time badly 🙂 Please help us prioritize and decide what integrations should come next. Just leave a vote for one of the mentioned tools or add your favorite. Thanks!

Invoice tracking problem

After exporting Everhour hours, you’ll have a draft invoice created in Xero which can be further edited and sent to the client. And this is where it might get tricky. Everhour lets you create invoices but does not keep any kind of activity log with such info as:

  • whether you’ve sent an invoice for a certain period of time or not;
  • a date of sending an invoice;
  • an invoice status, etc.

Basically, Everhour lacks an invoicing history similar to this (rough mockup):

Everhour-future-invoice-idea-1BUT the question is: is it critical for you to have such info stored in Everhour? Because in fact, all the above mentioned accounting apps already do that and even more so we wonder if duplicating data is worth the trouble, in your opinion. Let us know.

And a few more questions

  • Are you happy with the opportunity to mark a whole project as billable/non-billable, or would you prefer to apply it to time entries individually?

  • Do you need more billing information in reports, e.g. a separate billable/non-billable column or an aggregation option or even a separate report type?

  • Is it essential (for companies especially) to have an invoice generated within Everhour (as a .pdf file)?

Hope we haven’t overloaded you with our feedback requests and are looking forward to find out your opinion 🙂 And again, feel free to contribute your own ideas!

Everhour Product Owner & a tireless driving force of the company. Constantly in search of new opportunities, responsible for the growth strategy as well as the team’s motivation and integrity.

Have questions or want to learn more? Contact Us or Leave a comment

  • Johannes DeMattia

    Here’s my feedback:

    – I don’t see a need for Everhour to keep track of invoice status. It’s better to use the invoicing service of choice for this.
    – It should be enough with marking a whole project as billable or not. I currently use a custom tag (#notbillable) to mark things in projects that are non-billable. That way I can easily filter those out.
    – I think it would be great if the reports dashboard somehow indicated non-billable projects. If you’re looking at the reports dashboard to get an overview of things, that would be something that I’d consider essential to include.
    – Personally, I don’t see the need for an invoice generator in Everhour.

  • Yuji Tomita

    It’s critically important to simply track whether an hour has been invoiced or not. For example in harvest, hours are either invoiced or not invoiced. An hour can have exactly 1 invoice associated to it. Whether that invoice is unpaid, unsent, etc., doesn’t matter.. at least we know what has been handled and what hasn’t.

    • Yuji, here is the process as i can see (plz let me know your thoughts):

      – Every 2 weeks (or month) I do invoicing
      – I go to reports
      – Apply certain filters (period of time, members, projects)
      – Make sure everyone filled timesheets
      – Export hours for customer #1, customer #2 etc.
      – Export to Xero
      – I may need to update an invoice at this point (add discount, include extra expenses etc.)
      – Send invoices

      Everything else is handled by Xero (or other system).

      • Yuji Tomita

        I’m doing that currently, but I still have no way to be certain that one set of hours was accounted for. It’s too easy to forget that 1/20 clients was not exported last month.. or that I had a filter on that didn’t capture all hours.. and so on!

  • Nathaniel Cooper

    I like on paper the idea of pushing hours worked from everhour to the accounting system of choice . However, I probably would not use everhour for invoicing purposes. In practice, its not that big of a deal to more to simply do data entry by project/billable status in everhour and weekly doing data entry on the timesheet system of choice. Another drawback is that every client seems to have a different time keeping/invoicing system.

    Its not essential for me to either integrate with the time keeping or invoicing system. Invoicing for me is something that I fill out and generate, send out, and update when the payment comes in. Its not something that I look at everyday or care about seeing in everhour. What is essential is the quick data entry, extraction of time related elements and tagging.

    Being able to mark a time entry (as opposed to a project) billable or nor billable is something you can already do by tagging. Focusing on tagging (and reports) are something that is more important to me since it represents a core feature of the tool that makes it different than everyone else.

    Also once you get into the ‘accounting’ and money aspects you wind up dealing with all sorts of legal,security, and financial regulations from governments and corporate policy. I think moving in that direction for everhour will make a whole bunch of headaches for you, with very little upside and lots of competition. Just look at a system like Deltek. Do you really want that headache?

    • Nathaniel, Thanks for your feedback.

      As said, we don’t want to rush into quick solutions. We cannot add or change something ’cause it was requested by a single person or company. Every change, even small one affects all existing customers.

      Integrations are quick and quite straightforward. So it is not a big deal for us to add one or two more.

      But ‘accounting’ and other money aspects as you’ve fairly mentioned, are quite complex things.

  • brock brown

    We use Quickbooks online which is why, even though we really liked Everhour and its integration with BaseCamp (which we use for project tracking) we had to go with another solution. My company’s current love affair with web apps stems from the fact that most do only a few things but do this extremely well. Any additional functionality comes from wiring the app to another either via straight integration or use of a provider like Zapier. As long as Everhour has the ability to map clients and time entry types to a customers and billing codes in QBO, then we are happy. THE ONLY exception to this is retainer functionality and maybe contract management. QBO does not do either of those so either our time tracking solution has to OR we run the time through ANOTHER service before ultimately ending up as an invoice. Hope this is helpful!

    • Very helpful. Thx.

      Completely agree with you. We are also going to add Zapier integration soon.
      As for QB integration – first version is going to be very simple. But we will keep your notes for further enhancements.

  • MarkC

    Please DO NOT put any energy into invoicing on your product. I came across your product because it executes a fundamental task exceptionally well! Focus on what you do best and focus on perfecting the art of time tracking – my 2 cents. We use Podio for Contract Admin and Project Management. Xero for accounting and a few others for admin/IT tasks. We’re actually considering signing up, but only if you promise to stay focused 😉

    • Hey Mark,

      I can promise that our major focus always will be time tracking and analysis. We never do something requested by a single person, ’cause it affects everyone.

  • I am just jumping in with Everhours today as we are desperately needing this missing piece between our Trello tasking and our Xero invoicing. I love the simplicity of the invoice process to integration with Xero. But I see one major red flag and one other irritating item.

    First) How do I know when I generate the next round of invoices which hours have already been sent to Xero and which ones have not been billed? I”m assuming I’m expected to do this by date only, but I often have some tasks that are not yet ready to bill that may need to be remembered at a later date and to go back and bill. This could become a nightmare. Is there a flag or tag that could be set on the entry to indicate it has been billed?

    Secondly) Xero uses Items and Descriptions in their invoices line items. Items are a list of Inventory Items that I can set/use for my own reporting. Why can I not pull those Items into Xero from Everhour (again tags?) Instead all the Items are blank and the Descriptions are the entries coming from Everhour. When I try to edit the invoice and set the item, Xero overwrites the description which ruins the point of the integration in the first place. What am I missing here? How should this be working?

    Thank you again for a great product!