Each project’s PM is responsible for ensuring that invoices go to the client as indicated by the SOW. Typically there are two patterns:
- For one-off projects, there will be invoices triggered by project milestones/deliverables
- For ongoing projects, there is usually a monthly invoice, though some clients are quarterly.
- Most of our ongoing projects include some kind of fixed monthly component and some kind of hourly component. When in doubt, reference the SOW for the timing of each component’s invoice.
All PMs should have the ability to make and send invoices for their projects in Harvest. If you do not, please ask the Operations team to adjust your permissions.
Invoices should be created by the Project Manager but always approved by the Strategist before going to the client.
Invoicing Ongoing Projects
Ongoing projects are tricky because under our
- When we start a project, the client gets the upfront invoice for Core Retainer for Month 1.
- After Month 1, the client gets their second invoice, which includes all hourly work from Month 1, plus the Core Retainer for Month 2.
- This pattern continues each month
- When the agreement ends, the client’s final invoice does not include another Core Retainer charge, because they don’t have another month of service.
Be on time
Invoices should go out no later than five business days from when they are triggered. This is important for our cash flow but also as a customer experience thing – if a bunch of invoices get late, then they can stack up in a short period of time, and clients may end up feeling overcharged even if they are being billed correctly.
Within any hourly section of each invoice, please add short notes about the nature of the work completed within those hours. This should be a loose summary, not a comprehensive breakdown, but it should help alleviate the question “What are we paying for, again?”
We have a convention for invoice naming and numbering. Please pay attention to how existing invoices are formatted before creating invoices. Harvest will fill this in automatically whenever possible, but sometimes it messes up.
The PM is also responsible to continually monitor past invoice status. Our invoices have due dates. If clients are not meeting those due dates we may need to stop work in some cases. It is unwise for us to invest hundreds of hours into a project prior to getting paid (we pay our people right away). So the PM should continually review the invoice status of projects and make sure that they are being paid in prompt fashion. The PM is accountable to ensure that we don’t do work unless we receive any upfront payments required. If an invoice is not marked as paid but a client says it’s paid, ask Operations to check the bank account.