Ways to bill your project
Choosing the right project type
Harvest has two types of billable projects: Time & Materials and Fixed Fee.
Fixed Fee projects bill a fixed amount, no matter how much time is tracked. Enter the fee for your project and you can invoice part or all of your fee whenever you're ready.
The amount billed for Time & Materials projects depends on the time you track and the rates you set—the more hours tracked, the more you bill.
We have another article describing the differences between project types in more detail.
Setting billable rates for Time & Materials projects
When you create or edit a Time & Materials project, you'll choose a Billable rates option and then enter the rates you want to charge your clients. This tells Harvest what rates to apply to your tracked time.
There are three types of Billable rates you can choose from:
Task billable rate allows you to enter a different rate for each task. For example, you can have a project that charges $100/hour for writing and $150/hour for development. Scroll down to the Tasks section of the project form to edit your task rates.
Person billable rate allows you to enter a different rate for each person. For example, Jane may charge $125/hour, and Joe may charge $100/hour. Scroll down to the Team section of the project form to choose between using a person’s default rate or a project-specific custom rate.
Project billable rate tracks one rate for the entire project. For example, no matter who works on what, you’ll charge $100/hour.
Once your project is set up for billing and you're ready to invoice, head over to our article on Should I set up a standard, recurring, or retainer invoice?
Editing project rates
Editing project billable rates
It isn't currently possible to edit a project's Project billable rate setting and maintain the historical rate data. If you need to update the Project billable rate for a project we recommend duplicating the project and using the new billable rate in the new, duplicate project. You’ll have as many projects as you do rates per person, but this will ensure the accuracy of your reports and invoices.
Editing person billable rates
Updating a person’s default billable rate
If you update a person’s default billable rate, the new rate will apply to all projects set to bill by Person billable rate using the person’s default rates, starting on the date specified. It won’t apply to projects set to bill using a project-specific custom rate for the person or using other billing methods. To update a person's default billable rate:
- Go to Team.
- Only Administrators and Managers with assigned people have access to the Team section.
- If you're the only person in your account, you can access your own default billable rate by clicking your name in the top right and choosing My profile.
- Click the Actions dropdown to the right of the teammate you’d like to update, and then select Edit.
- Go to their Basic info (left menu).
- For Billable rate, click the Edit billable rate link.
- Managers will only be able to view and edit billable rates if they have special permission.
- Enter the new billable rate and select whether you’d like it to apply from a certain date onwards or to all time tracked by the person (for projects using their default rates).
- Note: The effective date must be the current date or a past date. It can’t be a future date.
- Click Save billable rate.
Changing a person’s billable rate within a current project
If you change a person’s project-specific billable rate from their default rate to a custom one, the new custom rate will apply to all of the hours that they track to that project. This includes hours tracked before the rate change.
If you change their project-specific rate from a custom one back to their default rates, any default billable rate changes tied to dates will once again apply to time tracked to the project.
For projects billing by Person billable rate, you can switch between a person’s default rates and a custom rate at any time. To do this:
- Head to Projects.
- Click the Actions dropdown to the right of the project you’d like to update.
- Select Edit. The Edit Project screen will appear.
- Scroll down to Team and click the Edit rate button for the person.
- Note: You can only apply billable rates to people if your project bills by Person billable rate.
- Select the option you want, enter a custom rate if applicable, and click Save billable rate.
There’s currently no way to change a person’s project-specific custom billable rate as of a certain date and maintain the previous rate for time tracked before that date. If you need to do this, we recommend duplicating the project and using the new billable rate in the new, duplicate project. You’ll have as many projects as you do rates per person, but this will ensure the accuracy of your reports and invoices.
Editing task billable rates
Task default rates can be set from Manage > Tasks and you can also set custom task rates per project.
Updating the default billable rate for a task
Updates to a task's default billable rate from Manage > Tasks will apply only to newly created future projects billing by Task billable rate.
Updating a custom task rate on a project
Updates to the task billable rate for a project that bills by Task billable rate will apply to all entries for that task on the project. This includes hours tracked before the rate change.
There’s currently no way to change a task's billable rate on a project as of a certain date and maintain the previous rate for time tracked before that date. If you need to do this, we recommend duplicating the project and using the new billable rate in the new, duplicate project. You’ll have as many projects as you do rates per task, but this will ensure the accuracy of your reports and invoices.