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Online Invoicing posts:

Topping Off Invoices with a New Graph and Summary Numbers

When we set out improving Invoices Overview, we had a vision of love. Okay, maybe not love. Fall’s just making me reminiscent for 1990s Mariah Carey. But we had a vision, it was pretty lovable, and it was called graphs.

Our vision grew out of a few basic desires.

  • First, we want you to be able to understand the overall story of your invoices at a glance, so you don’t have to run quite as many reports.
  • Second, we know comparing month-to-month activity is useful to understand progress and invoicing trends, and want to offer easy access to this info.
  • And third, we want to offer a visual way to analyze your invoicing data.

Over the next few days, we’ll release the results of that vision: a visual invoice summary at the top of Overview, including a new graph and two summary numbers. Currently, the graph shows the present year, and we’re working on support for other years as well.

overview-graph

The graph itself will show you the invoices you issued in specific months. If you hover over a month’s bar, we’ll show you some details of the invoices issued in that month: you’ll see how much has been paid and how much remains open.

overview-graph-tooltip

 

We also show you two summary numbers:

  • The total open amount. This includes all unpaid invoices for all time, a great way to know what you need to track down.
  • The total paid amount for invoices issued this year. A simple way to see how much money you’ve brought in for invoices issued since the year began.

overview-numbers

Feel free to let us know your thoughts! We hope you find this new graph useful!

Editor’s Note: Changes were made to this post after it was released, to reflect updates made to the invoice summary graph. The graph’s open amounts now exclude written-off invoices, which is reflected in the monthly bars and the graph’s tooltips. 

Behind the New Invoices Overview

Ever wonder about the inner-workings that make Harvest tick? There are a lot of continual updates to our codebase that our users never see. In the lull before our next update to Invoices Overview, we thought it a good chance to give you a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes work our developers do to make Harvest run better and faster. In this post, our developer Pez gives you a first-hand glimpse into his work to improve the code for Invoices Overview.


Here at Harvest, we like to ship new features, but also take great care to continually improve existing functionality.

We launched Harvest back in 2005, before Rails had hit version 1.0 and Ruby was still at version 1.8. That means we have our fair share of legacy code. Recently some of the legacy code had started to become a blocker to our aim of continual improvement.

When we decided to update the Invoices Overview screen, we had a choice: develop new functionality on top of the existing code, potentially making the problem worse, or rewrite our code.

We decided to take a step back and re-architect this section of Harvest. This meant we could bring the area up to modern standards with feature parity, and then start implementing a few new features to make the section even more useful.

What’s the Problem with Old Code?

Why is legacy code such a bad thing? If it isn’t broken don’t fix it, right?

While it’s true that features written in legacy code will work, legacy code can eventually become a barrier for improving existing functionality for a few reasons:

  • It often has less test coverage, meaning it’s easy to break things without realizing.
  • It’s usually harder to understand, having drifted from the originally engineered design.
  • The additional complexity makes it harder to debug and more complex to add functionality to.

But why does “legacy code” exist in the first place?  Continue reading…

We’ve Improved Invoice IDs

There’s long been a pet peeve at Harvest: invoice IDs. They seem so simple! But in fact, there’s a lot of complexity to the way we increment these numbers.

For most of our customers, invoice IDs are pretty easy. When you make a new invoice, we auto-assign a new ID by adding in increments of one to your last ID.

But things can get complex: not everyone wants a simple numeral-only invoice number. What if your ID includes decimals, version numbers, or client codes? The good news is, Harvest will let you do that. The bad news? We didn’t do that as well as we could have.

But wait, more good news! We’ve made some recent improvements to our IDs that should make them work much more smoothly. Here’s a quick run-down:

  • We now recognize decimals and will increment them properly. Got invoice ID 10.3? For your next invoice we’ll suggest 10.4.                decimal_ID_outline.png
  • We no longer backfill invoice IDs. We’ll just increment going forward. For example, let’s say your last ID was 400, but you manually entered ID 267 (it was from a long time ago, you just wanted it recorded). On your next invoice, we’ll now suggest ID 401 (we used to suggest 268).
  • We’re now smarter about incrementing IDs across clients who share the same ID format. For example, let’s say Acme Corp’s last invoice was 2014-INV-003, but Beta Corp’s last invoice was 2014-INV-100. We’ll now suggest invoice 2014-INV-101 for both of them. This ensures we use the proper format, but don’t backtrack.
  • We’ll now display your last ID used no matter what language or format it’s in! Got an invoice ID in Macedonian? No problem. macedonian_ID_outline.png

Other than these changes, your invoice IDs will work like they always have. When you create a new invoice for a new client, we’ll suggest an ID by adding in increments of one to your last ID used. After that, we’ll use the same format as your client’s last ID. You can also override a suggested invoice ID whenever you like.

We think these improvements will make things run much smoother for many of you. Around the office, we know they’ve made our Harvest Experts happy.

Harvest for iPhone 3.1: Manage Invoices from Mobile

You and your clients are doing more business on mobile as smartphones become more sophisticated and bigger. Our iPhone app lets you track time and expenses, but invoicing is not as mobile-friendly. Starting today, you can manage invoices from anywhere with the latest release of Harvest for iPhone.

iPhone Invoice Management

Review and Update the Status of an Invoice

Simply whip out your iPhone—like at a bank, or a client’s office—to review and update the status of an invoice. You can view the status of sent invoices, and see which ones are paid and outstanding. And just as easily re-send invoices to clients who misplaced them.

Paired with our mobile-friendly web invoice, clients can view and pay invoices right from their phone.

Receive Push Notifications for Payments and More

With 3.1, push notifications notify you immediately of payment on sent invoices. As soon as your client pays an invoice via Stripe or PayPal, the invoice is marked as paid in Harvest, and account owners are notified on iPhone. For old-fashioned clients who prefer to pay by check, manually mark their invoices as paid and keep receivables up-to-date.

Businesses with timesheet approval also receive notifications sent as reminders to submit time — you’ll be less likely to forget, and you can submit easily right from the app in case you’ve already clocked out and left the office.

Send Clients a Thank You Note

After receiving payment you can send a thank you note right from the app to show your appreciation (and then splurge on some fancy coffee beans). You won’t miss a beat when surprising your clients with an immediate follow up.

This is the first step in managing invoices with Harvest for iPhone, and we plan to release more updates in the future. If you like what you see, please let us know with a review in the App Store.

Say Hello to Getting Paid on the Fly

Everyone likes getting paid, and Harvest has a few features to help that happen fast—web invoices and online payments, to name a few.

Usually invoice payments through Harvest work great—if your client is on a computer. But what about your on-the-go clients who use their phone for more than Candy Crush? Ten percent of Harvest’s web invoice traffic comes from mobile—that means a lot of clients viewing a lot of invoices on their phones.

Previously that could be troublesome. Invoices didn’t look their best and, more importantly, you couldn’t pay them from your phone.

Today that’s changed. Say hello to Harvest’s mobile-friendly web invoices, featuring a brand-new, clean design.

Mobile web invoice

Even better, your clients can now pay their invoices straight from their phone. Just set up a payment gateway like Stripe or PayPal. Then your client simply taps the payment button to put money in your pocket.

Mobile web invoice payment

You and your clients are on the move—and now, so are your payments!

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!

Accept Online Payments in Canadian Dollars with Stripe!

While we’re a bit late for Canada Day, we’re excited to announce support for accepting online payments in Canadian Dollars with Stripe.

Setting up a Stripe account is remarkably simple, and it’s rapidly becoming one of our most popular gateways. Using Stripe with Harvest makes it that much faster for your clients to send you that hard-earned money. It was time to share some of that love with our friends to the north.

CAD Payment

Getting set up to accept Canadian Dollar payments is as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Sign up for a Stripe account and configure it to use CAD.
  2. In Harvest, go to Invoices > Configure > Online Payment and add Stripe as your payment gateway.
  3. Profit!

Don’t have a Harvest account? Sign up for a free trial and start collecting payments online!

Track Client Invoice Views and Eliminate the Suspense

Clients can have a knack for suspense, especially the times after an invoice is sent. You’re left in the dark with little or no insight into whether they’ve seen an invoice. We’ve made things less theatrical by eliminating the detective work. Now you can tell exactly when clients view the Harvest Web Invoice in their browser.

Every time the client views the invoice via his/her unique Web Invoice link, the corresponding date and time appear under Invoice History for your eyes only.

Invoice Views

Of course, you can still view the Web Invoice and not be mistaken for your client– just make sure you’re signed in to your Harvest account before doing so. We hope this feature helps you communicate with your clients better and ultimately gets you paid. Let us know if you have any feedback!

Xero and Harvest: No More Copy & Paste

Update: We’ve been awarded Xero’s Add-on Partner of the Year for 2013. Thank you for your support!

Great news! We are excited to announce a new integration with Xero, a popular online accounting platform. You can now have invoices automatically copied from Harvest into Xero for your accounting records. You can also manually copy any unsent or updated invoices by using a simple drop down menu right from an invoice.

With both Harvest and Xero at your disposal, it’s now possible to streamline your business processes from start to finish. Track project time and budgets as usual in Harvest. Then invoice off the tracked time with one-click in Harvest. The invoice is copied over to Xero via the integration.

In Xero, financial transactions are pulled from your bank accounts so you can run reconciliation, payroll, and keep an accurate picture of cashflow.

To set up the integration, just go to Account Settings in Harvest and select Connect to Xero. You’ll then be sent to Xero to confirm the integration. That’s all there is to it. From Xero, you can easily jump back to Harvest to see your original invoices.

For more information, watch the video below or check out our Help Center.

Special thanks to all of our beta testers and the team at Xero for making this integration go so smoothly.

QuoteRoller wins the work & Harvest lets you bill it

QuoteRoller is web-based software that lets you create winning proposals, collaborate with clients, and receive sign-off all in an integrated online workflow.  If you’re looking at a way of automating your RFP response process, check out QuoteRoller.

The fine folks at QuoteRoller have put together an integration with Harvest that lets you quickly convert your accepted proposals into an invoice in Harvest, and share contact information between the two systems.  Check it out: