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New Features posts:

New Feature: Budget by Task Fees

Not all budgets are created equal. Here at Harvest, we know how important it is to keep track of those budgets, no matter how big or small. Budget tracking ensures your projects run smoothly, efficiently, and profitably. In the past few months, we’ve made big strides toward bettering your budget experience—we released Forecast, project graphs, and a recent integration between Forecast and Harvest Projects.

In the next few days, we’ll be rolling out another new feature that’ll help with all your budgeting needs: the ability to budget by fees per task.

Let’s take a typical fixed-fee project that’s composed of phases:

  • Phase 1: Research  | Budget: $5,000
  • Phase 2: Design  | Budget: $8,000
  • Phase 3: Implementation  | Budget: $5,000
  • Phase 4: Launch  | Budget: $3,000

How would you set up that project in Harvest? Some of you might budget by total project fees. That works fine, but you won’t be able to track the project’s progress at a more granular level.

The other option is to budget by hours per task. The trouble is, you can’t translate your fees into hours—different people might work on the same phase at different billable rates.

Let’s fix that problem! Our new feature makes it possible for you to break down project fees by tasks. Simply edit a project, and choose the “Fees per task” option:

budget-method

Then scroll down to the Tasks section and type in your fees:

budget-form

Make sure you set an Invoice Method and specify your billable rates and Harvest will do the rest!  If you head to your Project Analysis page, you’ll find this useful report—a breakdown of your project progress by task fees:

budget-table

We hope you find this new feature useful! And as usual, we’d love to hear what you think.

Export your Forecast Schedule (Beta)

Today we’re introducing a new feature to Forecast: you can now export your schedule to a CSV file! This is super useful if you want to work with your Forecast data in other applications, such as Google Sheets or Excel. We’re still fine tuning things, but we wanted to get this out to you today in its Beta form so you can give it a try.

To try this out, just head over to the new Export section from the navigation menu. Once there, it’s as simple as choosing the weeks you’d like to export, and choosing the format of your export:

  • Projects Schedule View will list your projects, with a separate line for each person’s assigned hours for each week.
  • Team Schedule View will list each person on your team and a rollup of their assigned hours for each week.

forecast-exports

As you can see, exports are a fast way to get weekly summaries of your Forecast schedule. We hope these exports allow you the freedom to do more with your data!

If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Polishing Projects

Since we released Projects a few months ago, we’ve made several small but important improvements. You may have noticed the start and end dates we added in April. But we didn’t stop there. Our team’s been hard at work polishing Projects to get it working its best.

The most significant update is to the Tasks and Team tables on the Project Analysis page. If you budget your project by task or team hours, that table used to look like this:

tasks-before

Some items might have a budget and some might not, which made the table hard to read. We updated the design to separate items with a budget from those without, making the information much easier to scan and understand:

tasks-after

While we were at it, we also made two other useful improvements to the tables:

  1. If you specify billable rates, Harvest can show you the budget’s progress in both time and money.
  2. We brought in some pretty bar charts to make it easier to visualize each budget’s progress.

Clearer Graph Tooltips

Some of you found the Project Progress graph’s tooltips confusing. That’s because the tooltip header displayed only the week you were looking at, as if the data you saw were for that one week only. However, each data point on the graph is a cumulative of all the hours up to that week. Still with me? These screenshots should clear things up:

budget-tooltip

Much better!

Improved Interaction for Editing Tasks or Team

In the past, if you removed a person or task from your project, Harvest would simply hide that item on the screen. We made that decision with good intentions, thinking that it would simplify the design. But there are two problems with hiding info that we didn’t consider.
First, if you removed a person or task from your project, the related budget would be hidden. That made the budget total at the bottom of the Edit Project table wrong. Second, the information on the Edit Project form wouldn’t match the Project Analysis page:

polish-4

That’s not good! We fixed this problem by updating the Project Edit form—it now shows the tasks or people that have been removed from your project:

polish-5

We hope these small polishes make your job easier when reviewing projects in Harvest!

Harvest for Android 2.0: Invoice Management & Push Notifications

Today we’re delighted to announce Harvest for Android 2.0, the most exciting version of Harvest for Android to date!

If you’re a long-time Harvest for Android user, you may have noticed some nice improvements over the past nine months. Time and expenses sync more quickly, navigation is snappier, a persistent notification lets you view and stop timers from outside the app, and stability is greatly improved.

We decided to call this version 2.0 because we feel Harvest for Android has turned a corner. Slowly but surely, the app has transformed into a better, faster (stronger!) tool, and it’s on a path to keep improving.

 

android_side_by_side_small

Invoice Management Away from Your Desk

Let’s talk about the new features first. The Android app always supported Timesheets and Expenses, but Invoices were another story. They just weren’t available on the Android app.

With Android 2.0, those days are past! After you upgrade, you’ll notice a new Invoices section in your navigation drawer. Simply tap into it, and behold your full list of open and closed invoices!

We call this feature Invoice Management, and we think it’ll be an especially useful upgrade for our on-the-go users.

Ever left the office and wondered if you forgot to send your draft invoice? Harvest for Android 2.0 has you covered. Just tap and send!

And what about payments? Now you can get a push notification whenever a client makes an online payment. Tap that notification, view the invoice, and send a thank-you all from your phone!

Notifications for Payment and Submitting Your Time

In addition to invoice payment notifications, you’ll also receive reminders to submit your time. We’re looking forward to expanding our use of push notifications in ways that make tracking your time easier, simpler, and more accurate.

Of course, as we add more notifications, you are fully in control of which ones you receive. You can select the type of notifications you want to receive at any time in the app’s Settings.

The Road to 2.0: Nine Months of Harvest for Android Updates

Up until now, we’ve been pretty quiet about the many improvements that we’ve rolled out over the past nine months. To help give you a better idea of why we view this as a major milestone for the Android app, I’d like to take a moment to recap all that’s been done:

  • In version 1.6, we brought you better timesheet navigation and awareness of locked time/expenses.
  • In version 1.7, we updated our time and expense entry forms, made project/task lists filterable, added the ability to view attached receipts, and gave you a way to create clients, projects, and tasks from within the app.
  • In version 1.8, we introduced support for timestamp mode for tracking time. We also added the ability to start, stop, and restart timers directly from the timesheet view, billable expenses, and the persistent notification for your currently running timer. 1.8 was also the first release that allowed you to submit your timesheets for approval.
  • In version 1.9, we optimized the app for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) before it was available from most providers. We also improved the signup process.
  • Today, in version 2.0, we’re bringing you invoice management and push notifications.

And we’re nowhere near done. Thanks to the solid foundation that’s been established in these past five releases, we have a lot of great stuff planned for the rest of 2015.

If you’ve been using Harvest for Android recently, we’d like to thank you for your support. If you tried it before and haven’t been back in a while, we encourage you to give this new version ago! And as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Just share your feedback in the comments, or get in touch with us at support@harvestapp.com.

Assign Company-Wide Holidays and Closings in Forecast

Harvest HQ is closed for a holiday nine times in 2015, and we also host two week-long company-wide summits throughout the year. We know that you have your own company-wide holidays, closings, outings, and summits, and we want to make those easier to manage when scheduling your projects.

Now in Harvest Forecast, instead of tediously assigning Time Off for each person individually, we’re introducing a much simpler way to mark these days off for your entire company.

Previously, assigning time off for everyone would mean a separate row for every person, which could fill your entire screen with noise for just one holiday. Now, that time off will be rolled up into just one row.

cwto

Simply select “Everyone” from the “Assign Person to Project…” option on the Time Off project and assign the days as you normally would. As always, you can use the Notes field to explain what the Time Off is for. And this company-wide assignment behaves like any other Time Off assignment, showing up in all project rows to help you avoid scheduling projects on these days off.

We hope you enjoy this new feature. If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Harvest for QuickBooks Online: Updates!

Sometimes an integration between two apps makes people nervous. Did my invoice copy over? Is all of the data correct? I want to be able to customize how the data copies! That’s normal! Who trusts technology anyway? That’s why we’ve released a few tweaks in our Harvest for QuickBooks Online (QBO) integration that’ll ease any anxiety when you copy an invoice to QBO.

Recurring invoices now copy from Harvest to QBO. As long as you have recurring invoices set to automatically send to your clients (rather than saving as drafts), we’ll copy them over to QuickBooks Online when they’re sent.

Harvest projects no longer have to attach as sub-customers to invoices in QBO. When your Harvest invoice includes time or expenses from just one project, we map that project to a QBO sub-customer. In the past, you couldn’t change this. (We know, how rude!) Now, you can! In Harvest, head to Account Settings > Integrations to edit this setting.

QBO Sub-customer setting

QBO events will show up in the Invoice History section. When was this invoice copied to QBO? Who copied it? You’ll never ask those questions again.

 QBO Invoice History events

Go ahead, throw out that handkerchief on your desk. You won’t be sweating anymore when your Harvest invoices copy to QBO.

Questions or suggestions? Get in touch with us!

Smarter Project Scheduling with Harvest and Forecast

Today, we’re proud to unveil the first step of the highly anticipated integration between our two products, Harvest and Forecast. The project budgets in Harvest will now be reference-able from Forecast in real time. You can now compare the hours you have left in a project budget with the hours you have scheduled from today through the end of a project. With this first point of integration, using Harvest with Forecast lets you make smarter scheduling decisions. Here’s how it looks in Forecast:

Remaining Budgeted Hours Demo

Scheduling With Insight

As a project manager, you are constantly striking the balance between deadlines, your team’s availability, and the project budgets. Forecast provides a realistic view of your team’s schedule, availability, and commitments. By referencing future scheduled hours, you can quickly see how many hours are committed across your projects and team members. For projects linked to Harvest, you can easily compare these hours against the actual budget left. This handy feature informs your scheduling and ultimately keep your projects running smoothly.

For example, if your project is scheduled to take another 300 hours (in Forecast), but you only have 280 hours left in the budget (according to Harvest), you can take action before it’s a bigger problem. Maybe you need to talk to your client to revisit the scope, or talk to the finance team to see if there’s room to increase the budget. By having quick access to these key numbers, you will be better equipped to keep projects predictable and clients happy.

More To Come

This is just the first step of the Harvest and Forecast integration. We’re excited to bring together the information from these products in a way that will not only save you time, but provide a new level of insight to help you manage projects.

In the near future, we’ll bring Forecast data into our new Projects section. Our goal is to help customers not only see where they are in their project budgets, but to also see it alongside the expected efforts needed to complete the projects. We’ll share more details about this in a future post.

We hope you enjoy this new feature and if you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Harvest for Xero: Invoice Line Items Now Map to Revenue Accounts

We’ve made another update that will make your Harvest Xero experience even more flexible! Up until today, all of your invoice line items from Harvest got copied to a single Revenue Account in Xero. Now, your Harvest invoice line items will get copied to Xero Revenue Accounts based on the mappings you have configured in Xero.

In Xero, you can assign your Item Codes and/or Contacts default Revenue Accounts. With this update, Harvest invoice line items will get saved to these defaults. For instance, if the default Revenue Account for your “Services” Item Code in Xero is “400 – Sales”, then any invoice line items in Harvest with a Category of “Services” will copy over to the “400 – Sales” account. Magic!

If you don’t have default Revenue Accounts set up for Item Codes and/or Contacts in Xero, no worries! All your invoices will still get copied to the Xero Revenue Account you indicated in your Harvest Account Settings.

Xero Revenue Account Blog Post

Any questions or issues, get in touch with us at support@harvestapp.com. If you want to share your thoughts on this feature or anything else related to the Harvest Xero integration, please fill out this quick form.

Need more information on how to update your Revenue Account settings? Just check out Xero’s help docs about Item Codes or Contacts.

Harvest Projects

new-projects

It’s here!

In the next few days, we’re rolling out our new Projects section to all accounts. This release should be seamless, and you won’t have to do a thing. Projects will simply show up on your top navigation, next to Timesheets.

The new Projects section is a significant leap forward for Harvest, and from all the early feedback we’ve received so far, we believe you’re going to love it.

A Better Way to Manage Projects

For the next few weeks, the new Projects section will live in your account like a little something extra. This gives you a long leeway to explore the new section and fit it into your workflow.

You’ll notice some brand-new features in Projects: a better and faster search, the ability to track project costs, and two project lifespan graphs. You can check out this new section of our Help Center for a few tips about getting started.

By the end of the year, Projects will replace two sections in your Harvest account:

  1. Manage > Projects
  2. Project Budget Report

But don’t worry! You’ll still have all the same features, and we’ve taken great care to ensure that the user experience is similar to what you’ve grown used to in Harvest.

Here’s to the Future

The new Projects section is the foundation for many useful features to come, such as our integration with Forecast and better support for fixed-fee projects. These are features that many of you have been asking for, and we’re excited to finally make those ideas come true.

We’ll be on hand to help you transition to Projects, and there’ll be ample time to upgrade from your old sections to the new. If you have any questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at support@harvestapp.com.

We hope you enjoy the new Projects section, and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Harvest for Xero: Copying Payments

When we launched the Harvest for Xero integration in 2013, we said no more copy and paste. But this time, we really mean no more dual entry, whatsoever. For those that have been using the integration, you’ve been happy since it works pretty smoothly. However, there has been one key part missing that has caused you some pain — copying of payments received on invoices from Harvest to Xero.

Harvest Copy Payments to Xero Blog Image

With our latest release of the integration, your payments recorded on Harvest invoices will get copied over to Xero. We’re not going to pull a fast one on you here though, so you’ll have to opt-in to this feature in your Harvest Account Settings > Integrations. Simply indicate that you’re interested in copying payments to Xero, and then let us know which Xero Payment Account you want them copied to and you’ll be in business. We realize everyone’s workflow is different, so that’s why we’re giving you the option to turn this on or off!

If you’re having any trouble, feel free to get in touch with us at support@harvestapp.com. If you want to share feedback with our product team, please fill out this quick survey. Next up, more flexibility with which Xero Revenue Accounts your Harvest invoices copy to!