The HARVEST Blog

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

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!

Better Expense Exports

We have some news today about our old friend, the PDF expense export. And when I say old, I mean those report exports were due for a little freshening up.

A lot of our customers export PDF files of their expense reports. Those PDF exports include, in addition to tracked data, receipt images, which are handy to send to curious clients, or are just nice to keep around for your own records.

We did some research, and realized our PDF exports might have been too bare bones—just receipts with expense info listed beside them.

So, we made some small but nice changes. PDF exports of expense reports now include a useful summary page. That page displays the details of your report filters, the report’s total amount, and a list of the expenses included in it.

A beautiful expense report

We also made some changes to the layout of your receipts and expense data, so they should look more handsome on the page.

We think these changes will be pretty useful for a lot of folks. And a big thanks to all of you who participated in our survey to help make these reports better!

Adding Time Tracking to Your Apps

From time to time, we come across a customer who’s decided to tightly embed Harvest into their daily workflow all on their own. Some customers prefer to have Harvest right inside the apps they use everyday, which may not be ones we already integrate with. The folks at We Are Mammoth did exactly this. When they first started to use Harvest, it was an adjustment for them. It was hard to remember to start and stop a timer, so they decided to use the Harvest Platform to add the Harvest timer directly into their issue management platform, DoneDone.

As Ka Wai from We Are Mammoth said, “The integration is magnificently easy and slick (Well done, Harvest team!). In about an hour, we had time tracking plugged into every issue in DoneDone.”

Not only was the implementation smooth, but they got the result they were looking for—more employees tracking time to Harvest. They even got some added benefits they didn’t expect:

“Clients and our co-workers can quickly access the original DoneDone issue on Harvest timesheets, which naturally will expand on the detail of work being done by the developer. This makes a world of difference for our billing department, who vets our timesheets before invoicing the client.”

If we don’t integrate with your own app, you can use our Harvest Platform to build it. We’d love to hear about it or help with any questions you may have!

To read more about We Are Mammoth’s experience with Harvest and building the integration, check out their blog post here. And check out DoneDone—over 28,000 time entries have come from there to Harvest to date!

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.

Harvest for Android 1.7: A Reliable Business Tool

Harvest for Android continues to get better this year with the release of 1.7. Following the modern design introduced last month, the latest update is much more reliable, with a slew of bug-fixes aimed to increase stability and improve syncing data to Harvest.

Harvest for Android 1.7

Quickly Search for Projects and Tasks

Reliability is matched with performance. Time and expense entry has been completely redesigned, with a focus on making input and selection painless. Customers with many projects and tasks can now quickly search and select without having to scroll through long lists.

Create Clients, Projects, and Tasks on the Fly

Not only can you search through projects and tasks, you can also create them.  Clients, projects, and tasks can be created on the fly, even while offline. You won’t have to wait until you have access to a computer to start on something new.

Secure Data Remotely

In the event your Android device is lost or stolen, you can revoke access to Harvest for Android by visiting your Account Profile via a web browser. You’ll also notice the app requesting new permissions to access account services. We’ll be better equipped to securely manage and sync your Harvest account with this enabled.

We invite you try 1.7 with your Android device today, and stay tuned for features like invoice management in the near future. Please write feedback to support@harvestapp.com, and leave a review in the Google Play store if you like what you see!

Customize Max Hours Per Day in Forecast

In July, we introduced Harvest Forecast, a whole new way to schedule your team’s time. Since then, hundreds of companies have adopted Forecast as their tool of choice for team planning. While this has been an exceptional beginning, we’ve been hard at work to make Forecast even better.

Starting today, you can customize the max hours per day for each person. Until now, every person in Forecast is scheduled against a default of eight hours per day. Many customers have asked for this to be flexible to match their needs and we listened. If your entire team schedule around something other than eight hours per day, or if certain individuals on the team have unique availability, you can now accurately reflect that in Forecast. Learn more about how to customize hours per day in our Help Center.

customize max hours per day

This is the first of more updates to come. If you find yourself struggling with unwieldy resource planning spreadsheets or programs, we welcome you to give Forecast a try.

New! Mark Expenses as Billable or Nonbillable

Here at Harvest, we know projects are more than the sum of their hours. Lunch with a client, supplies for a project, tickets to Comic Con? All of this can be tracked in Harvest with our expenses feature.

The trouble is, there’s no way to flag which expenses you’ll pass on to your clients, and which are just internal.

But that’s changing! Today you’ll be able to mark your expenses as billable (invoiceable to your client) or nonbillable.

billable expenses

That billable box will be checked by default, since our Spider-Sense tells us you’ll want to cash in on those expenses. There are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • We’ll pull only billable expenses into invoices.
  • Your projects’ uninvoiced amounts exclude nonbillable expenses.
  • Your expense report exports have changed. When you export expenses to CSV or Excel, you’ll see a new column titled “Billable?”; it’ll indicate your expense’s billable status. We’ve also made a few other edits to the expense report’s export format to make it consistent with time exports. Here’s a sample expense export so you can know what to expect.

Now if we could only figure out how Spidey’s web-shooters work, we could cut out those travel expenses…

Feature Update, October 31, 2014

We heard your feedback, and recently updated this feature to allow for more flexibility with default settings and billable status.

If a project is set up as non-billable, its expenses will default to non-billable. If a project is set up as billable, its expenses default to billable. We hope this makes this feature even more easy to use!

Harvest Projects and Browser Compatibility

When we began working on our new Harvest Projects section, we had one vision: a unified place in Harvest where you could edit, manage, and report on your projects. We’re putting the final touches on Projects now, and can’t wait to share the results with you. But there’s an important thing to keep in mind.

Harvest Projects comes with many new, useful features. In order for them to work properly, we’re using new technology that’s available only on modern web browsers. That means the new Harvest Projects section will not support Internet Explorer 8 or 9.

This change won’t affect the majority of our Harvest accounts. However, 2% of our customers use these older versions of IE. If that’s one of you, we strongly recommend that you switch to Google Chrome or Firefox, or upgrade to a newer version of IE.

Curious what an upgrade will get you? Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for our new Harvest Projects:

projects-sneak

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

Introducing Harvest Forecast

For the past year, a small team within Harvest has been working behind-the-scenes on a brand new project.

Today, after 5,443 hours of research, design, prototypes, more research, rewrites, polishes and betas, we’re excited to unveil our newest product: Harvest Forecast.

Forecast-Team-View-800

Thinking About the Future

For the past eight years, Harvest has refined how businesses track, analyze, and get paid for their time.

As our customers have grown their businesses, we recognized that Harvest was only part of the solution. Tracking time in the present and past was easy, but there was no answer for the future. Coordinating team assignments and schedules proved to be challenging. You might ask questions like:

  • Do we have enough capacity to take on a new client in two weeks?
  • What are the important milestones and deadlines on our projects this week?
  • Should we hire another person to meet the upcoming project demands?
  • How can we share this plan with the team?

Traditionally, businesses call this kind of scheduling “resource planning.” We like to think of it simply as team time planning.

Many businesses build spreadsheets to try to manage this planning. What we’ve heard from our customers, however, is that spreadsheets just don’t cut it. They’re unwieldy, difficult to maintain, and hard to share.

A New Way to Plan Your Team’s Time

Here at Harvest, we started to imagine what a truly modern solution to the problem could look like. Time was already our primary focus, and we knew that there could be a simpler answer.

We put together a small team of developers and designers with three key concepts in mind:

  • Be Visual – Scheduling projects and people is easier when done as a simple, visual experience.
  • Be Fluid – Accept the reality that schedules and priorities frequently change. Make the information easy to update and maintain so that it can accurately reflect reality.
  • Be Transparent – Plans work best when everyone knows where their time should go. The easier they are to share, the more informed and productive everyone becomes.

Around these simple concepts, Forecast was born. It’s a simple, visual way for you and your team to collaborate on who is working on what and when. It’s a solution designed precisely for the challenge.

Just the Beginning

While Forecast is beautifully simple to use on its own, we’re most excited about the possibilities for people who use Forecast in tandem with Harvest. Harvest tells you how your team spent time; Forecast anticipates where your team will spend time.

At launch, we’re starting simple. Harvest customers can easily bring all of their clients, projects, and people right into Forecast and start scheduling.

In the coming months, we have big plans to bridge the future and the past. One of our primary goals is to surface estimates vs actuals so that business owners and project managers can have previously unavailable insight into how they run their projects.

We’re excited to announce Forecast’s launch today not only because it’s the culmination of a tremendous amount of hard work and thought, but because we believe it can make managing your business easier. Check out what a few of our beta customers had to say here.

If you or someone you know finds scheduling people on projects challenging, we invite you to give Harvest Forecast a try today!

Pricing Update (8/15)

After listening to input from many of you, and after deep consideration on our part, we’ve decided it’s best to price by person rather than by projects. You can learn about our new pricing here.

This past month has been an amazing ride, and we’ve heard a lot of great feedback and feature requests, many of which were already on our roadmap. We’re looking forward to sharing these updates with you in the coming months.