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Time Billing

Time Billing allows you to:

  • Create a Time Product in CRM and set different billing rates for your customers; you can also set a standard rate across the board.
  • Record your time spent in CRM via Activities (Tasks that have Time, Calls, Meetings, SMS and Emails) and segment the time into billable or not billable.
  • Generate a Sales Order for a customer that will pull in billable data from their Activities. You can generate a bill from a customer record (Contact or Company), a Project or a Ticket.
Create a Time Product for billing

Go to Inventory > Products and click on New Product.

In this example I’m going to create a Time Product called Support Services so that I can bill customers for the time spent providing support, which will be billed in 1 hour blocks.

When entering in Product details you need to pay attention to the following fields:

  • Ensure the Type field is set to Time.
  • Enter in a Time Period – here you need to select from the dropdown list whether you will bill per hour, day, week, month, quarter or year and then enter in a corresponding number. In this example I’ve chosen to bill in a 1 hour block.
  • Provide a Part Number.
  • Make sure the boxes for Active and Sellable are both ticked.
  • Enter in a Unit Price – this is the amount you will charge for the Time Period you selected. If you want to bill different rates for your customers, we’ll look at how to do that in a future step.

When you are finished, click on Save & Close.

Enable Time Billing

Go to Admin > General and scroll down to Time Billing at the bottom of the page.

  • Tick the Time Billing Management Enabled box.
  • You can select a Default Time Billing Type or leave this blank so that you select a type each time you record time in an Activity.
  • The Default SMS/Email Billing Duration will be the default time value applied to Emails and SMS.

Click on Update to apply the changes.

Set up customer billing rates

If you want to charge all your customers the same rate, you can skip this step and customers will all be billed the amount you set up as the Unit Sell Price.

To set up different billing rates for your customers, click on the Special Prices tab and click on Add Special Price.

A window will open allowing you to select the customers you want to set up different billing charges for – click on OK when you have selected the applicable customers.

On the Special Prices tab you can now click on a customer to open a new window and configure their billing rates.

Here I can specify different price breaks so that the amount that customer is billed will reduce as the number of hours of support they use increases – I just click the Add Break button and it adds an extra row so that I can change the Quantity and Price figures.

You could also just have one rate for the customer and there is no obligation to add additional breaks.

You can also set a From Date and To Date for prices e.g. you may have a promotion running where customers get a discounted rate for a period of time and after the period ends, rates will return to normal.

Click on Save when you are done.

You can then continue the process by clicking on each customer you added to the Special Prices tab to set their billing rates.

Note that you can also add billing rates from a customer record, instead of doing it from the Time Productclick here to view the instructions.

Mark Activities as billable

When you create Activities for a customer (Tasks that have Time, Time, Calls, Meetings, Emails, SMS) you need to select a Time Product from the Billing Type field and then enter in the amount of time you have spent so that CRM can calculate how much to bill.

The process is slightly different for different types of Activities, as explained in the following sections.

Billing Activities - Email & SMS

Emails and SMS work a little bit differently – in the earlier step when you configured the Time Billing settings in Admin > General, the Default SMS/Email Billing Duration figure you entered will be automatically applied to both these types of Activities.

You just need to select a Billing Type from the dropdown list and CRM will then use the default time to calculate the cost of time spent on these types of Activities.

Entering billing details in an SMS

Entering billing details in an Email

Billing Activities - Calls & Meetings

On both Calls and Meetings there is a field called Billing Type where you need to select a Time Product from the dropdown list.

On Meetings you need also enter in Start and End times to record the time spent.

Entering billing details in a Meeting

For a Call you need to enter in a Duration to capture the time spent.

Entering billing details in a Call

Billing Activities - Tasks with Time

Tasks work in conjunction with Time – you can have multiple Time entries that are added up to determine the total time spent on a Task. Click here to learn more about how to work with Tasks.

When you select a Billing Type for a Task, all Time entries that you create will default to the same Billing Type that you’ve chosen for the Task.

When you enter in a Time activity, you select the Task that it relates to and enter in the Start and End times and dates. If you want to change the Billing Type at this point, you can select a different option than the one that will pull through from the Task.

Billing Type field on a Task

You can add Time from Calendar & Activity > Time or from a Task in Advanced View.

Adding new Time from Calendar & Activity > Time

Entering in Time from Calendar & Activity > Time

Adding Time on a Task in Advanced View

You can also view all the Time spent on a Task from the Time tab in Advanced View.

Time entries on a Task in Advanced View

On Tasks there is a field called Billing Type where you can select a Time Product.

Note that the amount of billable time spent will be calculated based on the sum of the related Time entries and not the Start and End times entered on the Task.

For example, when I bill the customer for this Task, it will group all the Time entries and place it in a bundle with the headline Task.

Customer bill showing Time spent on a Task

Generate a customer bill

You can generate a time bill from a customer record (Company or Contact) or from a Project or Ticket – on the blue activity bar in each there is a Generate Time Bill button.

In this example we’ll look at how to generate a time bill from a customer record – on the activity toolbar, select Generate Time Bill.

You will be prompted to confirm that you want to proceed – click OK.

A Sales Order will then be generated and you will be taken straight to the record which will display all Activities that have not been previously billed i.e. if the Activities have previously been billed, they cannot be billed a second time unless they are removed from the original bill.

I can then expand the items on the order to see more detail about what is being billed – just click on the green arrows to expand or contract the list.

If you want to edit the items (to say override a charge), click Edit at the top of the record and make your adjustments then click Save & Close.

You can then convert the Sales Order to an Invoice by clicking on Invoice > Convert To Invoice.

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