Accounting work is invoiced hourly. Sure there is the occasional fixed fee project but more often than not I’ll invoice clients hourly. This means I need to track my time. Every minute of every day is accounted for in some way, shape, or form. It’s not all chargeable but it’s all in my timesheet. Previously I had used QuickBooks timesheets to track my time and then move it into an invoice to send to a client. As I had mentioned in a past post I ditched the QuickBooks for LessAccounting and was thus presented with a problem: how do I track my time and subsequently send invoices and track my receivables?
I tried a few different web applications for time tracking but each had a quirk that lead me to hate the program. I finally stumbled upon Harvest (www.harvestapp.com). I was vaguely familiar with the software as a client of mine used it to track time for their employees. Using their 30 day trial I gave it a shot and immediately loved what it offered.
Previously, I knew only the billable time that I spent on a client. I didn’t have the ability to easily breakdown the non-billable time nor could I easily run reports to show realization (how many billable hours vs. total hours) or how my day broke down. In Harvest it’s all right in front of you and easily accessible. Over the last two months I’ve been able to see the clients that are profitable and those that have low realization rates.
Also, I was able to bring freshnesses to my invoicing. In the past it was a pdf from QuickBooks attached to an email that I prepared. It took some time, I’d have to review the time, ensure I used the proper rate for the project, determine the appropriate template, print to pdf, prepare an email then send. If it sounds like a hassle, it was. With Harvest I can review my ‘uninvoiced report’ select the client to bill, click 2 buttons and the invoice is sent. It’s convenient and easy. Recording payments is a 2 step process: 1) select receive payment; 2) enter amount received and check number then you’re done.
Last, Harvest has little features that are pretty convenient like one click reminder emails to late payers and thank you emails when payment is received. The reports allow you to see how much uninvoiced time you have, realization, receivables outstanding, and money collected for any selected time period. It’s an accountant’s dream!