How are invoice IDs generated?

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How Harvest creates invoice IDs

When you create a new invoice in Harvest, Harvest will suggest a new invoice ID based on the other IDs that have come before it. The suggested invoice ID can be edited during invoice creation or left as suggested. Once an invoice has been saved, the invoice ID cannot be used by any other invoice.

By default, Harvest invoice IDs start at 1 and then auto-increment upward on each subsequent invoice. For example, if you’ve created ten invoices in Harvest, the default invoice IDs will be 1 through 10.

We don’t backfill for missing IDs, unless the invoice with the largest ID (usually the most recent invoice) is deleted. For example, if you have ten invoices and delete invoice #6, the next invoice created will not have an ID of 6 to backfill for the missing number—instead, it’ll have an ID of 11. On the other hand, if you delete invoice #10, the next invoice created will have an ID of 10.

Including the current year

If you’d like to have the current year included in your invoice IDs, all you need to do is prepend 2020- to your invoice ID. On January 1, 2021, Harvest knows to change that to 2021- and start over from 1.

For example, if your final invoices of the year are 2020-105, 2020-106, and 2020-107, then the first invoice of 2021 will have a suggested invoice ID of 2021-001.

Including the client code

It’s possible to include a client code in the invoice ID in order to make the series of IDs unique to a client. You can do that by prepending the client code and a hyphen to the invoice ID.

For example, for two clients (ABC Company and DEF Design), you can create two invoice ID series that start with ABC-1001 and DEF-1001 respectively. Harvest will recognize that those are client-specific ID patterns and increment them separately when a new invoice is created for either company.

Including both the current year and the client code

This can also be done, but in order for Harvest to correctly increment the invoices, you’ll need to format them as YEAR-CLIENT-INVOICE.

For example, 2020-ABC-1001 and 2020-DEF-1001 will create two distinct series of invoice IDs that increment separately by both calendar year and client ID. On January 1, 2021, the next available invoice IDs would be 2021-ABC-1001 and 2021-DEF-1001 respectively.

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