Q. What's the absolutely fastest, easiest way to create
invoices for everything that's unbilled?
Use the Auto-bill function. It adds client invoices for any job with unbilled amounts automatically and without any data entry. All you do is select a range of jobs by production or billing status, which lets you limit which jobs are considered for billing; an optional client number (or leave it as "ALL" to bill everyone); the invoice date, the first invoice number; and an accounting period. You can also choose the option to show hours billed. Once the invoices are saved, they can be fully edited and proofed before being posted and printed. For more details see the Online User Guide.
Q. Is the Billing Hot Sheet a good report to print to see what needs to be billed?
The Billing Hot Sheet is a good report for seeing
what's unbilled. The report lists unbilled jobs by client,
showing each job's estimate (including change orders), billings
to date, and unbilled totals. It makes a great billing checklist too, since it displays the steps in your "billing workflow" (i.e.,
your billing process), which is delineated in the Preferences > Jobs window. Because a separate page is printed for each
client, it's an ideal worksheet for managing the billing
process for different account teams. While the Billing Hot
Sheet gives you a great Big Picture, the job summaries and job billing worksheet show each job task's unbilled amountl.
These reports, show
just what account service needs to decide to bill now per task. For more information on how to manage unbilled amounts, please reference the WIP best practice guide on this topic. This guide includes how to use individual unbilled cost amounts to determine what to bill, which is more complex than using unbilled amounts per task.
Q. What about using the Job Billing Worksheet report to prepare billing amounts?
A Job Billing Worksheet is also a great report for seeing what's unbilled. The report is similar to the Billing Hot Sheet in that it prints unbilled jobs by client, showing each job's estimate (including change orders), billings to date, and unbilled totals. Though it lacks the workflow element of the Billing Hot Sheet, , it has additional columns that includes the Open PO amounts, which some like to know when preparing their billing amounts to include vendor invoices that will soon arrive, and the job's status. As well, it can be printed with "one job per page", listing the task detail for each job, including a box next to each task to manually fill in the billing amount.
Also, there are two types of job summary reports that can be used as a pre-billing review: one that lists tasks (Job Ticket Summary) and another that summarizes job amounts without tasks (Client Job Ticket Summary). Choose Production > Job Tickets, then choose File > Print Reports and select Summaries on the left.
Q. We just started using C&P X so the reports mentioned above don’t have much information yet. Is there somewhere I can see what these reports would look like with actual data?
Check out the C&P X Report-o-matic. Click the “Used by” pop-up menu. Select Bookkeepers. Add the keyword, Billing. You’ll get reports that are helpful in both the prebilling and post-billing stages.
Q. Is there an easy way to bill a client based on their purchase orders?
Yes. Purchase orders can be pre-billed in the Purchase Orders window by highlighting the tasks to Pre-Bill then choosing Edit > Pre-bill Order or click the Pre-Bill toolbar button. In addition, other PO's can be added to a pre-bill invoice by adding the invoice number (for another Pre-Bill invoice) in the Pre-bill PO window. A pre-bill invoice can contain orders from any job and task for a client.
Q. Is there any other way to bill POs?
Yes. A Progress/Final billing which is used to bill a job's unbilled task totals can also bill unbilled orders. Select that option at the bottom of the add Progress/Final Billing window before saving the invoice.
Q. Is there any easy way to bill a client for their media?
Yes. You have the ability to add a pre-bill invoice like with purchase orders. But since media is typically billed in volume, the best choice is to create a Media Billing in Accounts Receivable. It’s quick and easy to bill as many media orders as needed for a client on one media billing. For more details see the Media Billing Online User Guide.
Q. Can I bill a client for more than one job on one invoice?
Yes. The "multi-job billing" invoice type lets you add any number of different jobs and tasks on the same invoice for a particular client. Because you control which jobs and tasks get billed, the tasks aren't entered automatically as in other billing types, so the invoice takes longer to enter. But like other invoices, the task's unbilled amount is copied from the job ticket to the invoice automatically, saving time. For more details see the Online User Guide.
Q. Can I automate the multi-job billing process?
Yes. Follow the instructions for Auto-billing. Choose the “make one invoice option.” The Auto-bill function will combine all of a client’s unbilled jobs together on a single invoice. This process is done for one client at a time.
Q. How can I edit the bill-to address when an invoice needs to be sent to someone else?
Each invoice has its own billing address. The billing address is copied from the client account, but can be changed in the Invoice Options window after the invoice is saved, or while adding the invoice by clicking the Edit Billing Address link. If you change an invoice's billing address, the client's address on their account won't be changed (i.e., you'll only see it on this printed invoice).
Q. Can I bill for miscellaneous fees, such as consulting, that have no job ticket?
Yes. The "miscellaneous" billing type lets you bill for non-job charges. You can add as many line items as you want and there's lots of space for a description of each item. When the invoice is posted, its billing amounts update the General Ledger and the client account, but won't affect job tickets.
However, if you want the fee to be included on reports that determine a client’s profitability, then the billing must be associated with a job ticket for that client.
Q. I have clients that don't need to see individual task details on an invoice. Can I hide some things?
Yes. There are many customizable settings in the Invoice Options window that let you choose the level of detail on an invoice. For example, tasks can be grouped together to only show the group name and total (the client won't see individual tasks themselves). Or, show the tasks but hide task amounts to show just the group totals. As an alternative, tasks in the same group can be rolled up into each other by selecting the "roll up billing amounts by task" option. This option lets you combine similar tasks on the printed invoice, so the client sees less detail.
Q. I have clients that like more task details and a description of the work being done. Can I print an A/R invoice with more information?
Yes. A good way to see the work being done is to check the option to "show job description" in the Invoice Options window. This will print the job specification from the job ticket at the bottom of the invoice. As well, by double clicking on an invoice task you can add a task description and check the option below the task's description to print it on the invoice (this is a good way to break out the work being done instead of printing a long job specification). Also, if your client likes to see how many hours are being billed on each task, you can check the option to "show hours billed" in the Invoice Options window and modify the number of hours by double clicking on a task before posting the invoice. Last, there is the general invoice description in the Edit window that prints at the top of the invoice if all you need is a brief statement about the work. You can experiment with different options to choose the ones you like best.
Q. How about a client who wants to see prior billing history? What options should I use?
The "show items, amounts, and previous billings" option gives the client the most detail on their printed invoices. Together with the "show job description", your clients should see everything they need to approve the invoice for payment.
NOTE: This printing option requires that every task on the job that has been estimated and/or has previous billing be included on the current invoice, even though it may not have an amount to be currently billed. Otherwise, the task totals may be incorrect on the invoice.
Q. Is the INVOICE heading and disclaimer customizable?
Yes. The invoice header (which is usually "INVOICE") is set in Preferences > Invoice Options. The invoice disclaimer can also be added here and is printed in italics at the bottom of every invoice.
Q. What is the difference between an advance and a retainer?
Advances are billings made to a specific job ticket before any costs have been added. The client is essentially making a deposit on the job. Later, the advance billing is applied as a payment to a job's billings.
Unlike advances, retainers aren't job-specific. Once a retainer is billed to a client, it can be applied to any of a client's billings on any of their jobs, so it's more flexible.
Advances and retainers are treated as a liability, not income; this means they appear on your Balance Sheet as unearned income (because you'll potentially have to give the money back if the job is canceled). As the advance or retainer are applied against job billings, when these billigs are posted, C&P X automatically moves the amount from the liability account to income.
Q. Is there a difference between a retainer and a fee?
Yes. In C&P X, the money collected from a retainer billing is later applied to subsequent A/R invoices for that client. If you need to bill a monthly fee (sometimes referred to as a 'retainer' in the industry), e.g., for public relations, you should open a job ticket and add a job billing. The money collected is recognized as revenue and is not applied to subsequent client billings, since a fee is collected and earned regardless of how much work is done each month for the client. Consider using the recurring billings feature which is helpful in generating an invoice for a set amount each month.
Q. We bill our clients based on a job’s estimate, half at the start and half at the end of a job . How would they be billed?
You'd add an "estimate billing" invoice and choose to bill 50% of the estimate. The invoice will calculate half of each task's estimate amount. At the end of the job, you can bill the other half of the estimate and choose to include change orders if needed. (If you don't want the estimate billing to appear as income on your financials, add an advance or retainer billing instead).
Q. We bill our clients 25% up front, then for the balance of the costs at a job’s end. How would they be billed?
You'd add an "estimate billing" invoice and choose to bill 25% of the estimate. The invoice will calculate a quarter of each of each task's estimate amount. At the end of the job, you add a Progress/Final billing and choose to include change orders if needed. The original 25% estimate billing’s amounts are subtracted from a job’s total gross costs. The difference is the amount billed on the Progress/Final billing. If change orders are also billed, they’d be added to the task amounts after the difference is determined.
Q. Can I manually enter invoice numbers?
Yes. But it might cause problems later. Invoices are typically numbered automatically based on an invoice counter in Preferences > Accounting. When an invoice is added, you'll see the next invoice number instantly. You can manually number an invoice by typing a new number over the next automatic number. As you tab past the invoice number, Clients & Profits X checks to see if it's been used before. (Note: The next invoice number in Preferences will be reset to one number after your manually entered invoice number.)
Q. Can an A/R invoice number be the same as a job number?
Yes, but it's discouraged, because the same number can't be used twice in Accounts Receivable. If this job needs to be billed again, the job number as the invoice number can't be used again. As well, the job number already prints on the invoice, so it's best to just stay with incremented numeric numbering of your A/R invoices.
Q. Does C&P support co-op billing?
There isn't a specific co-op billing function. But several clients can be billed for the same job by adding separate invoices, one for each client. To bill a different client, simply replace a job's client number with a different one when adding a billing.
Q. How do I calculate an amount to bill each client for the co-op billing?
Estimate and progress/final billings both have the ability to calculate a billing amount for each task being billed based on the percentage you enter. Determine a percentage for each client and enter this accordingly when adding the estimate or progress/final billing for each client.
Q. How are costs and billings tracked for each client involved in a co-op billing situation?
The job being billed has all the costs. The various clients that are billed for those costs each have their own billings. On an A/R invoice aging, each co-op billing prints for each individual client.
Q. Can media be billed the co-op billing manner?
No. Each media order line can be billed to one A/R invoice, and each A/R invoice can have only one client. This is because each buy on an order is marked as billed, and thus can't be billed again, regardless of the amount you bill on the invoice.
Q. We have a vendor that is also a client. How do we account for a bartering arrangement where they partially pay off some of their job billings via the services they provided?
Goods and services, not money, are changing hands, but they should still be accounted for in C&P X. This vendor wants to pay off a portion of their outstanding billings with services they provided to the agency. Make sure the vendor sends you an A/P invoice at their normal billing rate which represents the value of the services to the agency. Enter their A/P invoice as normal, and bill this client (vendor) as normal.
Now, it's just a matter of clearing the A/P invoice and applying this amount to the A/R invoice without running amounts through the cash account. Enter a vendor credit to clear the A/P invoice but credit the suspense account (not cash) with a standard debit to the A/P account. Then enter a write-off client payment (check this option in the add client payment window) for the amount of the A/P invoice but debit the suspense account (not cash) with a standard credit to the A/R account. The debit and credit to the suspense account will offset and the A/P invoice will come off the aging and this amount will be reduced from the balance of the A/R invoice(s).
Q. How are finance charges calculated?
Finance charges are calculated based on the finance charge amount per day for every day an invoice has gone past its due date. The actual formula is the amount of the invoice multiplied by the finance charge rate per month multiplied by twelve months to arrive at an annual amount. Then the amount is divided by 365 days to come up with the finance charge per day. The finance charge amount per day is then multiplied by the number of days past the due date.
For example, today is 10/24/07 and you have a $1000 invoice with a due date of 8/31/07. How much is the finance charge for the invoice which is now 54 days late? Here's how the $35.51finance charge was calculated:
$1000 (invoice balance)x .02 (monthly finance charge rate of 2%) = $20
$20 (finance charge per month) x 12 (months in a year) = $240
$240 (annual finance charge amount) / 365 (number of days in a year) = .6575
.6575 (per day finance charge) x 54 (number of days late) = $35.51
Q. How can we pass a credit from a vendor on to one of our clients as a reduction in their future billings or current balance due?
The easiest way is to reflect the credit as a reduction in their future billings. To do this, simply add a credit job cost A/P invoice with a negative net and gross amount reflecting the amount of the credit (mark up the gross if necessary) for this vendor against the client's job. This will reduce the Unbilled amount on this job ticket accordingly, which will in turn be reflected on future job progress/final billings. This credit will also reduce the balance due to the vendor which will be reflected in the next payment to this vendor.
However, if the vendor's credit needs to be applied immediately to an open client billing to reduce their balance due, this is a little more complex. As a general rule of thumb, if you want to reflect the vendor credit on the job ticket totals, you should also reflect a reduction in billings on the job as well with a credit A/R invoice. If you don't add the credit A/R invoice, your profit on the job will be artifically too high (since the original billing reflected the original A/P amount). But if you want to just reduce the balance on an open A/R invoice for this client via a write-off client payment for the amount of the vendor credit, then add the credit A/P invoice as an overhead invoice to maintain the original margins on the job. Then watch which accounts are used so the general ledger properly reflects the credit with appropriate reductions in job costs and billings. You may need additional help with this scenario, so call the C&P helpdesk if necessary, they can guide you through the exact steps and which accounts to use.