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A Comprehensive Guide to Using Billing in Karbon
A Comprehensive Guide to Using Billing in Karbon

Master efficient billing with Karbon's comprehensive guide. Explore step-by-step instructions for seamless client invoicing and tracking

Justin Rolli avatar
Written by Justin Rolli
Updated this week

Index

The Billing Dashboard

Once you've enabled and completed the necessary steps to activate the Billing & Payments feature, you're poised to start utilizing its capabilities. To ensure everything is properly set up, access your Billing Dashboard via the Main Menu by clicking on Billing. Here, you'll find a comprehensive Billing Setup checklist that guides you through all the essential tasks to get started. Additionally, the dashboard offers an overview of various billing sections, empowering you to prioritize and make informed decisions to enhance your billing processes effectively.

Optimize Your Karbon Billing with These Initial Steps

  1. Ensure Your Billing Contact Details Are Set Up: Verify that your billing contact information is correctly entered to facilitate smooth invoicing and payment processes.

    • Update a Person

      • Go to the Details tab.

      • Select edit under the Billing section.

      • Ensure billing details are entered. If not, update the contact card by adding an email and address. Verify the information appears correctly in the billing details section.

    • Update an Organization

      • Go to the Details tab.

      • Select edit under the Billing section

      • Remove the current Bill To details, and select a new Bill To.

      • Click Save to confirm the changes.

    • Update a Client Group

      • Go to the Details tab.

      • Select edit under the Billing section.

      • Choose a person or organization contact to associate with billing details.

  2. Set Up Your Work Item Fees: To ensure accurate fee settings for work items and templates in Karbon, follow these steps:

    • Accessing Fee Settings

      • Navigate to the Main Menu.

      • Select Work or Templates depending on which fees you need to set up or update.

    • Configuring Work Item Fees

      • For individual work items, locate the specific item within the work items settings.

      • Click on the Time & Budget, where you can set the applicable fees based on your organization's pricing structure.

      • Ensure that hourly rates, fixed fees, or any other cost parameters are accurately entered.

    • Setting Fees for Work Templates

      • If you prefer to set fees at a template level:

        • Navigate to the Work Templates section under Settings.

        • Choose the template you wish to configure and adjust the fees accordingly.

        • Confirm that all work items within the template inherit the correct fee settings.

Step 1 - Choosing the Billing Entity Contact

By default, each contact will be the 'Billing Entity' when you are viewing your unbilled items. This can be changed within the contact's details under the billing details section.

Key considerations:

  • The Billing Address and Billing Email are pre-set for each contact. To update these details, choose a different email or address from the dropdown menu.

  • The Billing Entity is initially set to the contact.

  • Private and hidden contacts can only bill to themselves to maintain confidentiality.

  • Client Groups are collections of legal entities and cannot invoice individually. You can designate any public contact as the Billing Entity, and all work and time assigned to the client group will be invoiced under this entity.

  • On work items, you can specify a different Billing Entity. Note that changing the Billing Entity for a work item does not affect the Billing Entity assigned to the contact.

If you need to bill a specific work item under a different contact, such as an organization, you can adjust the 'Billing Entity' within the work item's details. Open the work item, navigate to the Billing section, and update the Billing Entity.

Additionally, you can individually change the 'Billing Entity' for a work item within the Unbilled section of Billing. Click on the desired work item, use the options menu (...) on the right, and select 'Change Billing Entity'.

You can also individually change the 'Billing Entity' contact within the Unbilled section of Billing. Click on the work item that you'd like to change the Billing Entity > use the options menu (...) on the right and choose 'Change Billing Entity'.

Step 2 - Finding billable work

Under the Billing menu will be the Unbilled section which contains all your unbilled items. This section allows firms to track various billable items that have not yet been invoiced.

Filtering and Viewing unbilled items

Unbilled work will be grouped by who the invoice will be issued to in alphabetical order. When you click on the Billing Entity contact, you will see the following information:

  • The work items

  • The client

  • The related client group

  • The work status

  • The billable amount

  • The amount billed

You will see work items with the fee type of Fixed Fee and Time and Materials.

Fixed Fee Work (In Progress)

  • Definition: Fixed Fee work refers to tasks that have a predetermined payment amount.

  • All Fixed Fee work items that are currently in progress will appear here.

  • Once a Fixed Fee work item is marked as 'Final' on the last approved invoice, it will no longer show up in Unbilled.

  • Exception: If any expenses are added after the Final bill is approved, these expenses will still appear in Unbilled.

Time & Materials Work

  • Definition: Time & Materials work is billed based on the actual time spent and materials used.

  • Any Time & Materials work that has unbilled time entries will be displayed in this section.

  • Time & Materials work items without any time entries will not be shown.

  • Even after a Final bill has been issued, Time & Materials work will remain in Unbilled as long as there are new expenses or time entries added.

Please keep in mind non-billable work will not appear in the Unbilled section.

To narrow down your view, you can filter your unbilled view to get to the specific invoices that you need to approve or view by:

  • Assignee: only show work that they are assigned to

  • Bill To: only show billable items for the selected contacts

  • Client: only show billable items for the selected clients (contacts)

  • Client Group: only show work for the selected client groups

  • Due Date: only show work due in the selected time period

  • Fee Type: only show billable items for the selected fee type(s)

  • Status: only show work for the selected statuses

  • Work Type: only show work for the selected work types

  • Client Manager: only show items, where the colleague selected, is the client manager for the contact of those items.

  • Client Owner: only show items where the colleague selected is the client owner for the contact of those items.

Remove work from unbilled items

If there are work items in the unbilled section that aren't needed in an invoice, you can remove individual or bulk items from the unbilled section.

To do this, navigate to the 'Unbilled' section under 'Billing' off of the main menu and select the work items you'd like removed.

If you're individually removing them, you can remove them by clicking on the options menu (...) to the right of the work item and clicking 'Remove from Billing'

If you're removing multiple, you can do this in bulk by clicking the empty boxes of the preferred work items and clicking 'Remove from Billing'

Restore work removed from unbilled

To restore work removed from unbilled:

  1. Click on the sorting slider in the upper right portion of your screen

  2. Turn on the view for removed items.

  3. Select the items you'd like restored

  4. Click 'Add to Billing'

Step 3 - Creating a draft invoice

To create a draft invoice, you can select the work items that you'd like to include and select 'Create Draft Invoice'. You can individually choose which work items to add to an invoice.

If you need to invoice all of the items in the unbilled section, you can use the multi-selection tool at the top of the page next to 'No Items Selected' to grab all the invoices shown.

Or you can select all the invoices for one client using the multi-selection tool next to your 'Billing Entity' contact.

If you made a mistake, you can discard a draft invoice under 'Invoices' and the work items will appear in Unbilled.

Once you've selected the items you'd like in your invoice, you can select 'Create Draft Invoice', this will automatically take you to your newly created draft invoice.

Or you can also access them from your Main menu under Billing > Invoices, by default it will show you the draft invoices first.

Step 4 - Adjusting a draft invoice

When creating invoices from the Unbilled section, you'll need to add them to a draft billing run (only draft invoices will be visible in the options). Here's how the process works:

  • Single Invoice Creation: If you are creating one invoice, you will be taken directly to that invoice.

  • Multiple Invoices Creation: If you are creating multiple invoices, you will be directed to the chosen billing run. From there, you can drill down into the specific invoice you want to start with.

Please keep in mind: If you have a draft invoice for a work item or contact and add additional time entries, these entries will automatically be included in the draft.

When you view a draft invoice, you'll see three tabs:

  1. Data

  2. Presentation

  3. Activity & Comments

Each invoice lists the billable items, such as Billable Time, Expenses, or Fixed Fee work. The adjustments you can make and the information provided will vary depending on the billable item type.

From the Data tab, you will be able to adjust the amounts if necessary and set whether the items are to be the Final Bill for the work via the Final Bill toggle. You will have a full audit of the actions performed within the invoice activity section of the drafted invoice.

You can additionally mention your colleagues in the Invoice Activity of the drafted invoice which will allow them to see what updates were made.

Keep in mind if they don't have access to the Billing feature, you will not be able to add them in the comment.

Viewing and Adjusting Billable Invoices

When viewing billable time items on an invoice, you'll encounter a table organized by time entries. These entries are sorted based on the colleague who recorded the time and the role/task type combination.

Unused Time Entries

Unused time entries (including unassigned ones) on the work item are aggregated into a single row.

Write-On and Write-Off

Billable time adjustments can be made at the total amount level or for each row. If adjusted at the total amount level, the system calculates the write-on/off for each row based on the hours and billable value. If adjusted at the row level, it calculates the write-on/off for that specific entry.

Carrying Time

You can choose to defer billing certain time entries to a later date by carrying the time entries. This can be done individually or in bulk by selecting the checkboxes and clicking the 'Carry' button.

Once the invoice is approved, these time entries will reappear in the Unbilled section. You can re-include time entries before approving the invoice by selecting the checkbox again and clicking 'Include'.

Viewing and Adjusting Fixed Fee Invoices

When viewing Fixed Fee billable types on an invoice, fewer data points are displayed due to simpler decision-making requirements. You will see the work item name, and the carry and write-on/off columns. The method for carrying or writing on/off time differs from that for billable time.

Carrying Time

For Fixed Fee items, individual time entries cannot be carried. Instead, the invoice amount can be adjusted if the item is marked as a progress bill.

Write-On/Off

Unlike billable time, Fixed Fee write-on/off cannot be done manually. The system calculates write-on/off based on the difference between recorded time entries and the Fixed Fee amount set on the work item, and only if the item is marked as a Final Bill.

Adjusting the Amount

For Fixed Fee items, you can adjust the amount value. If marked as a Final Bill, changing the amount increases the total invoice amount without altering the write-on/off value. If marked as a Progress Bill, it triggers the carry action described above.

Final Bill Toggle

Next to each work item on the invoice is a toggle, when toggled on, it indicates that will be the final invoice for that work item. For Fixed Fee items, this means the Fixed Fee work will no longer appear back in unbilled after the invoice is approved. For Time and Materials work, any time entries added after an invoice is approved will appear back in the Unbilled section

The Final Bill Toggle is toggled off by default for Time and Materials work items and on by default for Fixed Fee items.

If there are billable items for the same work (e.g expenses and time) and you toggle it on for one of the items, it will turn the toggle on for all billable items attached to that work item that is on the invoice.

Customization of an Invoice

If there's information that you'd like to change for the invoice, you can manually override the following items from the Presentation tab to affect changes in the invoice:

  • Title of the Billable Item

  • Description

  • Tax

  • Payment Instructions

  • Invoice Date

  • Payment Date

  • Email

  • Billable Time

Furthermore, you can customize the invoice based on whether it is a Tax Invoice or an Invoice, whether to display Individual or Summarised Time entries, as well as how to display quantities, unit prices and amounts.

Discarding a draft invoice

  1. Navigate to Draft Invoices:

    • Go to your Main menu.

    • Select Billing > Invoices. By default, this will display your draft invoices first.

  2. Discard the Draft Invoice:

    • Locate the draft invoice you want to discard.

    • Follow the on-screen prompts or options to delete or discard the selected draft invoice.

This will remove the draft invoice and revert it back to the unbilled items.

Step 5 - Approving and Sending an invoice

When you have completed reviewing your drafted invoice, you can then approve the invoice. Once you click approve, you will see the Status change from Draft to Approved.

Keep in mind anyone with access to Billing, will have the ability to approve an invoice.

Filtering and Viewing approved invoices

Approve invoices will also be grouped by who the invoice will be issued to in alphabetical order.


You can filter your view to see the items you need to approve, the following filters will be available:

  • Client

  • Created Date

  • Payment Due Date

  • Approved By

  • Approved Date

  • Last Downloaded Date

Approve and Send

The "Approve and Send" feature allows you to approve and send the invoice simultaneously. The invoice will be sent from the user who clicks "Send." Before sending, both the sender and recipient of the invoice email will be confirmed. If you decide to cancel the sending process, the invoice will remain in an approved state.

Certain issuest may prevent the invoice from being sent. For more information on these common issues and their solutions, please refer to this article.


Once the invoice is successfully sent, you will find the email and a PDF version of the invoice in the "Sent" folder in Triage. To maintain privacy and ensure all dollar values remain confidential, invoices are not automatically added to timelines. You can manually add it to a timeline or @mention colleagues through comments in the email.

After sending, the invoice moves from the "Draft" list (or approved state) to the "Awaiting Payment" section.

Approve

If you prefer, you can choose to only approve the invoice without sending it immediately. Once approved, you can perform the following actions:

Send

When sending, the same rules apply as above and the same checks will be made to ensure the invoice is legal. If you need to change the invoice date or add missing details, you are able to edit the invoice by putting it into a draft state.

Exporting approved invoices to QuickBooks Online or Xero

If you use Quickbooks Online or Xero for your invoicing, you can export your invoices to QuickBooks Online or Xero formatting to import them into the system.

To do this, navigate to the approved tab within the invoices section off of the Main Menu, select the desired invoices to export and click 'Export for QuickBooks Online (QBO)' or 'Export for Xero'.

Resend or download an invoice

For those invoices that have a status of Awaiting Payment or Paid, you can either resend the invoice via a Client Request to the Billing Entity, or download the invoice as a .pdf file to forward or print out. You can find this option on the 3 dot options menu of these Invoices, as well as in the receivables area for each client.

For resending invoices, you can also multi-select invoices and re-send these in bulk to your clients.

Step 6 - Collect Payments with Karbon Payments

Using Karbon Payments, your clients can seamlessly pay their invoices by credit/debit card or ACH direct debit (US only), from the invoices they receive.

Karbon Payments is powered by Stripe Connect to ensure compliance and security in collecting your client's payments. To guide you in setting this up, please proceed to our Karbon Payments help article.

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