How are your firm's billing and invoicing practices? Do you bill your clients efficiently on a timely basis to help you get paid quickly and on time?
In this webinar presented by BQE University, Mark Khurshid, Vice President, Training and Consulting at BQE Software, shows you how you can leverage CORE’s powerful features so you can stop wasting time fixing billing errors, waiting on late payments, and doing repetitive invoicing tasks.
Watch the webinar recording or simply read this webinar-log summary to learn how to send your invoices out in an efficient, timely manner to your clients and get paid on time (or sooner), improve your cash flow, and maximize your firm’s billing potential—all while keeping your clients happy!
Video Transcription (summary)
- Global Settings and Project Rules
- Project Billing Settings
3-Step Billing Workflow
- Billing process overview
- How to create invoices
- How to send invoices
FOUNDATION: GLOBAL SETTINGS
- Mark projects completed when billed: Check this checkbox to ensure that your projects will be automatically marked as completed, and your employees will have an easy time when it comes to recording time and expenses. Their drop-downs will be much cleaner, and they won't see these projects coming in their way that are already been completed.
- Automatically apply retainers to invoices: Check this checkbox when you have a retainer to automatically apply it against the invoices that you're sending out to reduce the back-and-forth between you and the client.
- Automatically attach receipts to invoices for clients: Check this checkbox to automatically attach receipts (the receipts should be submitted by your staff in advance via mobile or scanned in) to client invoices to save time
- Set up your default terms: Globally set up your net and interest rate terms here which then will automatically apply to all your clients in the system.
- Display account summary on invoice: If you want to display the account summary, simply check this checkbox and Core will do the rest for you. Same applies to retainer invoices. And by the way, you have the same setting for the retainer invoices as well.
- Send receipt of client payment: Check "email payment receipts to client" and the email system within Core will notify your clients when you receive any sort of payments within the system.
- Add standard message on invoice: Standard message that you want to show on your invoice i.e. "Thank you for your business" or "We appreciate your business" can be added in the Global Settings for all invoices, and you can override it on the project level
- Add invoice numbers: To do invoice numbering by year, type the year that you want to start in the Prefix, and that will be the static number; the last invoice number is the counter. The Suffix can be the initials of your company.
- Hit the Save button to save your Global Settings
- Appearance: Controls the overall look and feel of the invoice (font, font-size, etc.)
- Layout: Controls the body of the invoice (grouping by Employee or Activity, do I show first and last name of the vendor, do I want to show details or summary of the hours, etc.)
- Customization options: custom options for you to control what you want to appear on your client invoice
- Hit the Save button to save your Global Settings
Assign Invoice Templates to Projects
- Assign invoice templates to your joint invoices, fixed fee jobs, or hourly jobs
- Choose the type of job. Click on choose template to see a preview of the invoice. Click "Done". Core will start using this custom template for this job type.
- Send 2 ways: print and send by mail, or email
- Send by email to receive payment faster: Go to Email Settings. By default the receipts (discussed earlier) are saved as separate files. If you have a lot of receipts, you can automatically zip your attachments to make the file size smaller.
- Send email to multiple contacts (copy other contacts): Check this checkbox and send an email to multiple contacts, i.e. the division manager, account receivable manager and your main contact at the client level.
FOUNDATION: PROJECT BILLING
- To override the Project Billing rules that were set up in Global Settings, navigate to the Project screen by going to the Project section. Click on a Project to see Billing Options. You can override invoice messaging, invoice numbering, etc. that you set up in Global Settings here.
- Automatic Billing: Enable Automatic Billing from this screen.
- Billing Reminder: Set billing to autopilot or set a reminder to send manual invoice.
- Send as Joint Invoice: Check this checkbox to combine all the invoices for multiple projects for one client.
- Include Billable Expenses in the Contract Amount: Check this checkbox when you want to make sure to include your billable expenses as part of the total contract amount (instead of being added on top of the total)
- For milestone billing: Core allows you to set up when you want to bill and how much for automatic billing at each milestone
- To apply rules to a batch of jobs, select all the jobs that you want certain rules to apply to, then click "Batch Update."
3-STEP BILLING WORKFLOW
1. Pre-Billing Reporting
- Check for missing or unapproved time and expenses. This process must be done at least 2 weeks in advance of starting your billing process.
- Run reports on missing time and expenses in the Reports section.
- Get a pre-billing worksheet to your project billing for approval by project managers
- Schedule this report to be delivered to your project managers at a set frequency (automation in Core works well for this).
2. Invoice Creation and Approval
- Go to Billing and Invoicing to create an actual invoice.
- See the listing of all the invoices that you've done for a certain date range, what has been billed, what is the balance. Filter out a certain date range to see what you have invoiced for this month, for example.
- Enable some KPIs by clicking on a small graph icon up on the top, and it will show you what has been billed, what has been paid, and what is still the balance remaining.
- Click on Create New and Core gives you 2 options: You can do a manual invoice or a batch invoice. Choose batch invoice for faster billing.
- Select if you are billing all your jobs, a certain client, a project manager, etc. Hit the Continue button.
- Core will figures out what billings you can do today and prompt you if you missed approving some time entries, there is some time that is missing, if you missed approving time, etc.
- See all the hours, the bill rate, and exclude certain time entries. That means you can hold these time entries for the next billing cycle, or you can change client hours
- Select if you want to process them as a final invoice or as a draft invoice. Change the invoice template here.
- Email for final review. They will be notified and can pick and choose the invoice templates that they want to approve, which will then go into a workflow. They can either approve it, reject it, or forward it to someone else. Once approved, process this as the final invoice.
3. Sending the Invoice
- The invoice will now have a proper invoice number, and it won't have that draft watermark at this point. Select the invoice(s).
- Print or email the invoices. Core will ask if you want to preview before sending or send them in a batch. The invoice will be a PDF attachment.
- Click on Send Message to send the email with the invoice attachment.
That's a wrap!
Video transcription by Rev.com
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