Beta Permissions: How can Managers create an invoice?

This article is for Harvest beta permissions. The beta program is available to team accounts who opted in. If you're looking for information on invoices for a non-beta account, you can find that in the Invoices and Estimates section of our regular Help Center.

Managers with the optional permission to Create and edit draft invoices for projects they manage can create invoices for the projects they're set to manage. They can create invoices for tracked time, expenses, or fixed fees. They can also create free-form and recurring invoices

If you need to view, edit, or delete an existing invoice, you can find the steps for those options in our article on Beta Permissions: How can Managers view, edit, and delete invoices?

How to create an invoice

This video goes over the basics of creating an invoice for tracked time, expenses, or fixed fees.

Creating invoices

Create an invoice based on tracked time, expenses, or fixed fees

  1. Go to Invoices > Overview.
  2. Click New invoice and pick your client.
  3. Select the option to Create an invoice for tracked time, expenses, or fixed fees, then click Choose projects. Remember:
    • Tasks must be checked as billable on your project in order to be pulled into an invoice.
    • Rates must be entered on your project in order to calculate your billable totals.
    • Only billable expenses can be included on invoices.
  4. Fill out the new invoice page.
    • Select which project(s) you want to invoice.
    • If you’re invoicing for a Time & Materials project, select which hours you want to include and how you’d like them displayed.
    • If you’re including expenses, select the expenses to include and how you want those displayed.
    • Harvest will remember the preferences you chose the last time you created an invoice for that client. 
    • If you choose to include expenses, you’ll have the option to attach an expense report, which will include any uploaded images of receipts. You can also attach this report once the invoice is saved if you don’t do it during this step.
    • If your team has a retainer for the client or project, indicate if you want to draw the invoice’s balance from the retainer.
  5. Click Review invoice.
  6. On the draft invoice, you can specify details like due date and taxes. If you’re invoicing for a Fixed Fee project, you can also view some project details to help you invoice by clicking the link to Show project context.
  7. Click Save invoice to save the draft invoice.

In rare cases, an invoice for tracked time and expenses using the Detailed display can be too big to load and save. If that happens, you'll see an error. The recommended option is to split the invoice up into multiple invoices for shorter time periods.

Create an invoice from a blank template

Managers can create free-form invoices for the clients whose projects they manage. 

To create a free-form invoice:

  1. Go to Invoices > Overview.
  2. Click New invoice and pick your client.
  3. Select Create a blank invoice, then click Next step.
  4. You’ll see a blank invoice. Add the line items you need, and link your line items to projects, if necessary. There’s no need to delete unused rows; they won’t show on the final invoice.
  5. You can add a subject line, specify a due date, add taxes, re-order your invoice’s line items, and more.
  6. Click Save invoice to save the draft invoice.

Create a recurring invoice

A recurring invoice allows you to send a free-form invoice to your client at specified intervals. To find out more on creating this type of invoice refer to Beta permissions: How can Managers create a recurring invoice?

Formatting invoice text

You can apply formatting to the Notes and Description fields of invoices:

  • To make a word or phrase bold, add an * (asterisk) to the start and end of the word or phrase. For example, this word should be *bold*.
  • To put a word or phrase in italics, add an _ (underscore) to the start and end of the word or phrase. For example, this word should be in _italics_.
  • To add bullet points to the Notes and Description fields, use Option+8 (on a Mac) or Alt+7 (on Windows).

Note: You can find a handy reminder of these formatting tips underneath the Notes field on your invoice’s edit screen.

Attaching files or an expense report to an invoice

You can attach files—such as a detailed time report, design drafts, or additional project information—to an invoice before sending it to your client. You can also attach an Expense Report, which will contain receipt images entered with your expenses.

Attaching files

Once you’ve initially saved your invoice, the draft version will have a button to Attach File at the bottom, below the line items and (if applicable) invoice notes. Click the button to Attach file:

Attach file to this invoice

When you send an invoice with a file attached, your client will see a link to download the attachment in the invoice email message. If you send your client a link to view the Web Invoice in Harvest, they’ll see the link there, too. Here’s what it looks like in an invoice email:

Attachment link in invoice email

Attaching an expense report

You can attach an expense report at two different stages of invoicing:

  • When first creating your invoice after selecting which expenses to include.
  • After saving a draft invoice.

Keep in mind, you’ll only have the option to attach an expense report if you’ve included expenses on your invoice.

Your expense report isn’t added to your invoice until the invoice is saved—that means if you attach the report during creation and then delete a line item before saving, the report will correctly have that expense entry removed, as well.

If you prefer, you can attach your expense report after saving your draft. You’ll find a button to Attach expense report at the bottom of the draft invoice, below the line items and (if applicable) invoice notes. Click the button to generate and attach the expense report:

Attach expense report to this invoice

If you edit a draft invoice with an attached expense report, a new version that matches the current state of your invoice will be add automatically when you save.

Subtracting an amount from your invoice (negative line items)

If you prepend your Unit price amount with a minus sign, Harvest will automatically subtract that amount from your invoice total. To apply this negative line item to your invoice:

  1. Head to Invoices > Overview and click the invoice you need to edit.
  2. Click the Edit invoice button in the top left of the invoice.
  3. Click the Add row button that appears at the bottom of your line item list.
  4. Enter your description.
  5. In the Unit price column, enter a minus sign (-) and the dollar amount you’d like to subtract from your total.
  6. Save.

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