The HARVEST Blog

News & small business tips from your beloved time tracking & invoicing app.

Connect Harvest with QuickBooks Online

Our newest integration with QuickBooks Online (QBO) makes invoicing a lot easier on your accountant or bookkeeper. With Harvest for QBO, invoices and recorded payments in Harvest are copied right to QBO. No longer does the person handling your books have to manually re-enter each line item or payment into QBO.

Harvest for QuickBooks Online

That means less time spent manually re-entering data into your QBO account, and fewer interruptions for your team. Simply create an invoice as you normally would in Harvest — detailed invoice information like billable hours and amounts are included as usual. Invoices will be copied from Harvest to QBO when you send them to your client, so you don’t have to remember to sync.

Here are step-by-step instructions to get started:

  1. Go to Accounts Settings > Integrations > Connect to QuickBooks.
  2. Select a Deposit Account, then Save.
  3. Create an invoice in Harvest as you normally would.
  4. Send the invoice to your client, and it will automatically copy to QBO.
  5. You may also copy the invoice to QBO from the More Actions menu of the invoice.

After the invoice copies to QBO, you can find it under Customers in your QBO account. When it’s time to get paid, payments recorded in Harvest are synced automatically to QBO.

For more information visit our Help Center article. We hope this integration puts a smile on the faces of bookkeepers and accountants everywhere!

Heartbleed and Harvest

On Monday, April 7th, there was a update released for the OpenSSL library to address security vulnerability CVE-2014-0160, more commonly known as the Heartbleed bug.

OpenSSL is widely used by many websites, including Harvest, to securely and privately transmit data on the Internet. The information exposed by the Heartbleed bug could allow an attacker to eavesdrop on these communications and steal data that could be tampered with or used to impersonate users.

Since the announcement, we have upgraded all of our infrastructure and Harvest is no longer vulnerable to Heartbleed.

We have no evidence that this exploit was used against Harvest. However, the nature of this attack makes detection very difficult, so we are being very cautious and aggressively updating anything that may have been compromised.

What you should do

In order to protect your account, you should do the following as soon as possible:

  1. Change your Harvest password. Go to your Profile Menu (upper right corner) and click My Profile. Click the Security tab, enter a new password, and click Reset Password.
  2. Revoke your access tokens for authorized applications. On the same Security page as step 1, you may see an “Authorized Applications” section. You should revoke any tokens listed there, as they have the same access to your account as your password. Revoking these tokens will log you out of any applications listed (such as Harvest for iPhone or Harvest for Mac).

What we’ve done

We upgraded OpenSSL for all of our main web application servers within minutes of the official announcement on April 7th.

One server, our internal infrastructure management tool which does not contain customer data, was not upgraded for three days because we had to wait for a new software release from an external vendor. This last server was upgraded on April 10th.

Once all of our systems were upgraded, we were no longer vulnerable to an attacker collecting any new data, but pre-existing things like the private keys for our SSL certificates could have been previously stolen. To mitigate this threat, we regenerated new private keys for all of our servers and had all of our SSL certificates reissued.

Unfortunately, this already-lengthy process took longer than anticipated, because we had to rely on a vendor to reissue our new SSL certificates, and this vendor introduced a bug into the certificate-issuing process that resulted in many instances of faulty certificates being issued. This bug impacted a number of their customers in addition to Harvest. We ultimately had to select a new vendor.

Lastly, we reset all user sessions to expire any sessions that may have been hijacked during the vulnerability window. You may have been logged out of Harvest and forced to log back in — that was a side effect of this reset.

While upgrading our infrastructure due to Heartbleed, we also hit an unrelated operating system bug which caused two brief Harvest outages. This made the introduction of the upgraded software and the new SSL certiticates impactful to customers. We are truly sorry for this interruption.

Introducing Harvest Projects

We used to have an official slogan here at Harvest: “Time is money, track it wisely.”

We no longer use that slogan, but I still love it—because it’s true. We understand that your time is your product, and we built Harvest to help you keep track of that time and get paid for it.

But that’s just the basics. You hire more people, take on more projects, and your business grows and becomes more complex. Revenue is just one part of the puzzle. You need more data and more intelligence to make better decisions. You might ask yourself: What are our most profitable projects? Who are my best clients? How’s the team doing, and should we hire for our upcoming jobs?

Over the coming months, we’re making several significant upgrades to Harvest to help you answer just these kinds of questions.

Early Access: Harvest Projects

We’ve been hard at work on a new section: Projects.

Our goal with this section is to make better sense of all the data you put into Harvest. You’ll have a better grasp of budget, profit, costs, and trend.

We still have a ways to go, at least a few months till completion. But instead of a waiting for a big splashy launch of a fully completed section, we’re trying something unprecedented for us: we’re opening our new Projects section for early access. You can start taking advantage of our new features as soon as they’re ready.

First New Feature: Tracking Project Costs

Harvest is great at figuring out each project’s billable amount—the key piece of data that you need to get paid and that you use to measure against your budget. To get your project’s full picture, however, you need the flip side of that equation: the project’s costs. What does your project cost you as a business?

Our first new early-access feature allows you to keep track of project costs. Here’s how it will work:

  • Under Manage > People, you’ll be able to enter a cost rate for each person.
  • In the new Projects section, each project will display the project’s total cost, as well as costs broken down by team and by task.
  • All exported reports will have two additional columns—cost rate and cost amount—so you can quickly and easily access this data for your records.

A New Beginning

Over the past seven years, Harvest has steadily grown with you, our customers. When I look at the past—and I literally did that by going back forty-something pages on this very blog—I can see a very clear arc of progression based on customer feedback. We’re listening, and because of you, we’re improving. Our new Projects section is a significant leap forward for Harvest, and we believe it will help you to gain new and different insight into your business.

Sign up for early access today, and you can start using our new features next week.

As always, thank you for your support! We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this new chapter for us here at Harvest.

Update (March 24th, 2014): thanks to everyone who expressed interest in the new Projects section! We received over a thousand sign-ups within the first three days, and we are slowly letting customers in for early access. We are currently working on a crucial feature for the new section. Once it’s ready (we hope by next week), we will invite more early access customers in.

Time Exports: Consistent and Clean

Consistency across an application like Harvest is important, but sometimes it can be difficult to maintain. We’ve been in the market for seven years, and many different people at different times have worked on the same code.

Right now if you export Harvest time data, you’ll get files with different fields of information. Different methods of export yield different results. You can:

  • Go to Reports > Detailed Time and export to one of the possible formats.
  • Go to Reports > Time and again export to one of the available formats. This export yields a document with slightly different fields in a different order than the Detailed Time export. However, if you export the data for one single person on your team, the report will have three fewer fields.
  • Go to your Account Settings and click on Download Company Time Data. This kind of export gives you the same format as the Reports > Time export.

This inconsistency can be pretty confusing. To fix that, we plan to unify these time exports so that they provide you with the same information no matter how you choose to export. This simplifies the logic so that we can continue to deliver new features while keeping the code clean and our minds (yours and ours) sane.

We’re basing our updated exports on the Time export, since it’s the most complete and the most widely used (there are almost five times more Time Report exports than Detailed Time Report exports). We’re using this chance to order the columns in these reports to make more sense.

Here is an example export so that you can get an idea of what our changes will look like. We plan to release this change within the next few days. If you have any questions about our update, just drop us a line at support@harvestapp.com.

A New Design for Harvest Expenses

Before starting Harvest, Danny and I ran a small web design studio. As contractors for some of our clients, we had to submit weekly time and expense forms—gotta get reimbursed for gas and all the ham sandwiches we ate! When we launched Harvest in 2006, we didn’t include expense tracking in our initial version, but soon added it a few months later.

Time flies: Harvest Expenses officially turned six years old on January 7th this year.

We’re excited to start 2014 with our shiny new Harvest Expenses (the third incarnation, if you’re keeping track). In this first round of updates, we focused on overhauling the front-end code, with a few selected changes in the back-end that will allow us to bring new features to Harvest Expenses later this year.

New Harvest Expenses

Ledger-Style View

We’re dropping the current weekly expenses view in favor of a ledger-style display. In the soon-to-be-retired version, we show expenses one week at a time, which makes it unnecessarily difficult to review or to enter past expenses (you have to click multiple times to get to the right week).

The new expenses view shows a hundred most recent expenses on the initial load, likely to cover the past few months’ worth of entries for review. To enter a new expense, there’s a handy date selector—so you can say goodbye to that multiple-click navigation. To make that change we had to alter the entire structure of our expenses’ display—which turned out to be a lot harder than it sounds!

Other UI Goodies

Some other smaller improvements we’ve made:

  • The overall look and feel is now consistent with Timesheets.
  • The project and category dropdowns are now searchable, using our beloved Chosen library.
  • If you’re using a modern browser, you can drag and drop receipts into the expense form.

All of us here at Harvest use our expenses feature to track everything that needs to be reimbursed. We’re excited about these latest updates and hope you find them as useful as we do. Thanks for your continued support, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Update (March 4th, 2014): We just added Weekly Totals to the interface. Thank you for all the feedback, and we hope to bring more improvements to Harvest Expenses later this year!

Harvest for Android 1.5.1: Better Performance, Team Status, and More!

Recently we released a long awaited update to Harvest for Android. In previous versions, there were reports by some users experiencing issues with syncing, sluggishness, and even crashing. We did a serious overhaul of the codebase to fix these issues and to make further enhancements much easier to implement. The result is a more reliable app with vastly improved performance and usability.

  • Optimized Timesheet — Now you can jump to today’s date from any day of the week in the timesheet. Behind the scenes, logged time updates to Harvest more efficiently than before.
  • Team Status — Administrators can stay in sync with their team by viewing their team’s timers in real-time from the app.
  • Refer a Friend — The next time you mention Harvest at a cocktail party, you can share a unique link with partygoers and earn credit ($) towards your next month’s bill.

android-time-tracker

This build should feel more solid than ever before, and we invite you to give it a try! And as always, we’re listening — don’t hesitate to leave us feedback in a review on the Google Play store.

JIRA Issues Meet Harvest Timers

JIRA is issue and project tracking software used around the world by development teams large and small. Now you can start a Harvest timer right from issues in JIRA. You’ll know exactly how much time is spent on the issues keeping you from hitting the next project milestone — whether it’s a bug, new feature, or other improvement.

JIRA time tracking

Every feature is designed to keep the focus on your work, not your timesheet. The name of an issue is pulled in automatically into the notes field of a timer. Total time spent and by which team members is included in the timer window, so you’ll know who to follow up with before you get started. And in case you’re starting a timer for a project that doesn’t exist yet, you can create a project on the fly without leaving JIRA.

Grab the integration from the Atlassian Marketplace and start tracking time on the next issue!

Scheduled Maintenance, Monday November 4th 10:00pm – 10:15pm EST

We’re making some database changes to Harvest. To make sure we don’t timeout any critical tasks, we are planning on taking Harvest offline November 4th 10:00pm – 10:15pm EST while we perform these changes. What time is that for you?

Thank you for your support. We will keep our progress up to date on @harvest and HarvestStatus.

UPDATE: Maintenance has now been completed successfully at 10:20 PM EST. Everything is operating normally again. If you experience any problems, try clearing your web browser’s cache and reloading the page you’re on.  If you need assistance with this, or with anything else, please drop us a line at support@harvestapp.com. Thank you!

Harvest for iPhone 2.2: Do More From Mobile

We’re excited to release Harvest for iPhone 2.2 as mobile continues to evolve as a powerful companion to get projects done. Now you can do more from the road without reaching for the old fashioned workstation.

While there are a slew of updates, the highlights are in time tracking:

  • Timesheet Approval — Submit timesheets for approval right from the app. Perfect for the days when you forget to submit a timesheet on your way home from the office.
  • Timestamps — View and edit timestamps. It’s easier to record and understand exactly how long you spent on a task.

mobile-iphone-timestamps-timesheet-approval

Behind the scenes, we’ve re-architected the app to make it possible for even more powerful updates in the future. You’ll be able to do more from mobile as it becomes an important part of your workflow. Grab the app in the App Store and show us some love with a review!

Harvest Chrome Extension Version 2.0

The Harvest Time Tracker extension for Chrome makes it even easier to track time right from your Chrome toolbar. A quick glance will tell you if you have a timer running and starting or stopping is just a click away. We’ve just released a major version change of the extension which includes significant reliability improvements. If you have tried the extension in the past and weren’t a fan, we hope you’ll consider trying it again.

Previous versions of the Harvest Chrome Extension haven’t gotten a ton of love. Here’s a review that really sums up what people have been saying:

Bad review. Let's do better.

It truly bums us out when we aren’t serving our customers to the best of our abilities so we decided to make some big changes. In recent weeks, we’ve rebuilt the Harvest Time Tracker for Chrome from the ground up. The end result is more responsive and reliable in almost every single way.

By far our biggest change was to move the time entry window out of the browser and into a Chrome extension popup. Now, the Harvest Time Tracker is available from any open tab (or the new tab screen) without impacting performance or wait times on the pages you’re loading. Just click the toolbar icon (or hit ALT + Shift + H) and your timer is a few pixels away.

Harvest Time Tracker

We really feel good about this latest version of the extension and we can’t wait to hear from you after you give it a shot. Please drop us a line or – even better – write a review on the Chrome Web Store and let us know how 2.0 is working for you. You better believe we’re listening.

Download Harvest Time Tracker for Chrome