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Time & Budgets
Use Time & Budgets to complete billing
Use Time & Budgets to complete billing

Your options and steps to leverage Time & Budgets to interface with your firm's billing solution.

Ian Vacin avatar
Written by Ian Vacin
Updated over a week ago

The Time & Budgets feature is not Time & Billing. It is designed to provide visibility into what it requires to complete a piece of work (Budgets) and track the activity that was done in relation to that work (Time). However, it does provide the information needed to facilitate the completion of the billing process.

So what is recommended to setup the system to support billing and what are the options to enable billing for your firm? Read on and find out!


Update your Work Statuses to track the states of billing

In most cases, work templates do not include the proposal stage at the beginning of the work nor the billing stage at the end. For billing, many firms have a singular person handling the billing and the addition of tasks at the end of each and every work item quickly overwhelms the individual having to track and manage the process of invoicing, payment collection and job completion.

To solve for this, use the Work Kanban board and Work Statuses to quickly identify the Completed work at its various stages of billing after the work item has been completed by the team. Consider adding to your workflow (Settings > Workflow) additional Completed work statuses for "Billed" (or even "To be billed" and "Awaiting payment"). Then, add the Completed - Billed work status to each Work Type that might have a Budget set to Time & Materials.

With this setup, you can enable your Billing person or Admin to create a Saved View in Work that filters for all work that is in the "Completed" work statuses for "Completed", "Completed - Billed", and maybe even "Completed - Paid", and filters for all work that has a Fee Type of "Time & Materials". As work is completed, invoices are sent out and payments are collected, the Billing person or Admin can easily drag the card (or change the Work Status) to the next Completed work status to track the progress of the completed job. In addition, they can also export this Saved View to assist in identifying Fixed Fee vs. Time & Materials & Non-billable work items in bulk to take the appropriate action in their pricing & proposal software, general ledger, or utilization reporting.

Enabling Time & Materials billing via Time

With Time & Budgets, team members can quickly and easily track their actual time using the manual time entry, timer, and suggested time entries to maintain an accurate picture of their activity across the work. The summary of those time entries can be found from the main menu under Time.

Throughout the Time area of the application, Admin users have access to export the data collected from Timesheets and from the Colleague Utilization report. This is to help facilitate the work required to complete a billing run in the solution of your choice.

When using the export from a given Timesheet, you will get a summary of all activity for the Timesheet time period (e.g. a given week) for All Colleagues and for each and every single colleague on the team. The export provides the time punch data (date, team member, role, task type, notes, and time tracked) plus the context of the time punch (work item, client, fee type, and clientID). Note, in the All Colleagues worksheet, every team member is given at least one row so if a team member has tracked no time activities, you will see a row that shows only their name with no associated data next to it. Since this spreadsheet is the exact same for every export you might make, you can easily build your own custom billing analysis or prep worksheet that you can leverage for not only the billing period in question, but for future billing periods.

In addition to the Timesheet export, the Colleague Utilization export can also be useful in enabling your billing. It provides a worksheet of the Colleague Time Totals (which is Colleague Utilization table within the app) plus another worksheet for Colleague Time Breakdown (which provides the underlying actual time activity details that impact the colleague utilization calculations). This detailed breakdown can be useful in your analysis of your staff activity as well as to assist in understanding how your team is performing job to job or client to client since it includes the Budget with the Actuals for each given work you have tracked time activity against.

Integrating to your billing system of choice

If pursuing a more integrated approach to your billing solution of choice, there are two options available: 1) the open API, and 2) integrating with QuickBooks Time. With the open API, you are able to access the time activities from Karbon from the billing application directly. If using the pre-built integration with QuickBooks Time, you are able to have all your tracked time for Contacts and/or Work in QuickBooks Time and then move that data to your general ledger like QuickBooks Online.

Request a Time & Billing workbook & analysis

If the options above don't provide what you need, you can (if on an Annual Service Plan or an Enterprise subscription) be provided periodically (typically monthly) a time & billing workbook (via Excel). This comprehensive workbook includes a multi-month look back of your Time & Budget raw data (all budget line items and actual time entry line items), time punch detail, completed work history, billing worksheet (with the ability to write-up / down & identify work to bill), pre-prepped GL invoice import files (for QuickBooks and Xero), and analysis to enable pricing, profitability, and colleague performance evaluation. The worksheets in the workbook include:

  • Raw time & budget data

  • History of your tracked time & time punches

  • Audit history of budgets and tracked time for all completed work

  • Consolidation of all completed fixed fee work

  • Interactive worksheet to determine write-up/down and flag what to bill

  • Analysis to assist in profitability determination and pricing decisions

  • Import file for selected billed work for QuickBooks (save as CSV)

  • Import file for selected billed work for Xero (save as CSV)

If interested in receiving this workbook or have additional questions on Time, Budgets, and Billing, please email the support team and request a Time and Billing analysis.

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