Whilst the rest of the world has been on holiday we’ve taken the time to tick off a couple of the most commonly requested features for our Time and Fees add on, being advance billing and two way invoice sync for Xero. Further details below.
Advance billing allows for invoices to be raised that either partially or fully relate to work that has yet to occur and at some point in the future to recognise the value of this work via a bill without needing to actually bill the client. In my experience firms would typically ‘advance bill’ where they are keen to bill a job but haven’t had a chance to actually finalise the file, the ability to allocate part of the fee to advance time avoided excessive profits in month 1 followed by a write off in month 2. Initially we had not planned to allow this on the basis that it seemed to be unnecessary as firms could surely just finish jobs when they should do!
Feedback from Glide Time user Kevin Bannister of Wells Associates revealed that modern billing practices gave rise to a very different reason to require such functionality. With firms increasingly agreeing a fixed monthly fee with clients, this creates another scenario where the charging for work is not likely to coincide with the work actually being completed. For example in months one and two of an annual fixed fee agreement it is quite possible that no work may have taken place. If you have billed say £1,000 in this time period it would be highly inaccurate to report this as being pure profit.
With advance billing you can record the monthly fees as advance time and then match this balance to time entries at a later date once the work has been completed.
Two way Xero invoice sync
Thus far Glide Time users that take advantage of our Xero integration have been raising bills in Glide which then sync to Xero. This works well where they have a need to raise a bill for example when assessing WIP and deciding how much to bill; however, it fell apart somewhat where the user decided to set up a recurring bill on Xero. When you agree to bill a client a set amount per month then setting up a recurring bill on Xero is very much a time saving and obvious step to take.
Previously on Glide you would have to switch off invoice sync for that client and manually create the bill in Glide (thus losing the original time saving) in order to maintain WIP and to be able to monitor the profitability of the fixed fee.
Clearly this was not satisfactory and we are pleased to confirm that Glide will now review Xero overnight to look for any invoices that were not created in Glide (for example the monthly recurring invoices), where they are detected they will sync to Glide as an advance time bill. This will allow you to then match the bill to WIP whenever the work is done in order to maintain a fully accurate record of WIP and job profitability.
We are sure this will further improve the Glide Time and Fees add on, both for those that use Xero and others. If you have any queries on the new update please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team on firstname.lastname@example.org