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Topic # 123478 9-Jul-2013 13:19
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Hi all. I run a small IT support business providing support to small and medium businesses. Our technicians currently fill in an Excel spreadsheet that we use for timesheet purposes and these are then all sent to our accounts person who collates the data and takes care of the accounting/invoicing.

We invoice on a monthly basis and these invoices consist of ad-hoc support charges, fixed support charges and other on-charges such as hardware/software etc.

We're finally migrating away from our hideously old accounting package that has been run in-house and are moving to Xero.

My question is around the timesheet/time recording side of things. Do any of you run a similar business or business that invoices/charges in a similar way that uses Xero and any of the partner add on services for time recording? I'd ideally like a solution that integrates nicely with Xero and is cloud based and accessible via a variety of means if at all possible.

There are a number of solutions out there so was hoping for feedback from you about your own experience with any solutions and whether or not you'd recommend them!

Many thanks in advance :)

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  Reply # 851537 9-Jul-2013 13:30
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CYaBro: Have a look at Harvest:
http://www.getharvest.com/xero


This is one of the options we're looking at. Do you use it? Any feedback?

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  Reply # 851564 9-Jul-2013 13:53
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bcourtney:
CYaBro: Have a look at Harvest:
http://www.getharvest.com/xero


This is one of the options we're looking at. Do you use it? Any feedback?


Not yet but we are also looking at changing to Xero and Harvest seems to be the best I've managed to find so far.





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  Reply # 851770 9-Jul-2013 17:44
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CYaBro:
bcourtney:
CYaBro: Have a look at Harvest:
http://www.getharvest.com/xero


This is one of the options we're looking at. Do you use it? Any feedback?


Not yet but we are also looking at changing to Xero and Harvest seems to be the best I've managed to find so far.



We looked at Harvest but it didn't work for us. We found it cumbersome creating projects and tasks for each support call we had. It definitely seems more suited to businesses that have a small number of projects each month, as opposed to an IT support business where you're dealing with multiple new jobs each day.

The best solution we found was MinuteDock and it has great Xero integration too. Instead of creating "projects" and "tasks", you just start logging time straight away. To associate time tracked against a particular call, you can just use a hashtag in your time entry, so if you've got a ticket system you can use ticket numbers as the reference. For example, this is exactly how you'd enter time in MinuteDock: "@clientname Worked on support job for 30 minutes #234567" - that's it.

You can also create time tracking types like "admin" "billable" "non-billable" etc. Then, when it's time to create an invoice, you can select all time entries for "clientname" in the month, or you can just select all time entries logged against "#234567". There's also great reporting and you can set targets for your team so that each of them can aim to get a certain number of billable or reported hours.

It's also developed and supported by a good bunch of guys in Wellington too. 



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  Reply # 853445 10-Jul-2013 17:02
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amanzi: 
The best solution we found was MinuteDock and it has great Xero integration too. Instead of creating "projects" and "tasks", you just start logging time straight away. To associate time tracked against a particular call, you can just use a hashtag in your time entry, so if you've got a ticket system you can use ticket numbers as the reference. For example, this is exactly how you'd enter time in MinuteDock: "@clientname Worked on support job for 30 minutes #234567" - that's it.

You can also create time tracking types like "admin" "billable" "non-billable" etc. Then, when it's time to create an invoice, you can select all time entries for "clientname" in the month, or you can just select all time entries logged against "#234567". There's also great reporting and you can set targets for your team so that each of them can aim to get a certain number of billable or reported hours.

It's also developed and supported by a good bunch of guys in Wellington too. 


MinuteDock is the other one we're looking at. I quite like the simplicity of it too. Funnily enough I was going to email you to see if you were using anything similar to the setup we are looking at moving to!

Thanks for the feedback

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  Reply # 853458 10-Jul-2013 17:40
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Interesting discussion.  We are currently using Commit CRM and manually entering 'stub' invoices into Xero.  It works ok but we recently shifted from per-job billing to monthly.  

How do you vary your use of it for time&materials vs managed clients?  Do you enter parts into it or only Xero?




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  Reply # 853473 10-Jul-2013 17:52
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MinuteDock.

We all made the swap over a few months back, and it's brilliant.

(obviously need Xero as well)

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  Reply # 853475 10-Jul-2013 17:54
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One other thing, what are you using for ticketing/management of issues?

Aussie client we are working with uses Packet Trap, or for the heavy-weights, Autotask.

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  Reply # 853512 10-Jul-2013 18:40
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We use Zendesk, but I don't love it. Switching to a new platform is just too hard though,so we're sticking with it for now.

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  Reply # 853533 10-Jul-2013 19:29
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Hadn't heard of MinuteDock before thanks we'll check it out!




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  Reply # 853658 11-Jul-2013 01:29
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I use kayako - looked at zendesk, fat man didnt appeal to me.

Anyhow for billing i use freshbooks. I have a labour item in there for me and my contractor.
We just charge out in 15 minute blocks. It has timekeeping support etc but i dont bother using it. You may want to look into it though.

The reason why i went with freshbooks instead of xero- customers can login and see their account.
Eg.
With xero when you send an invoice, it arrives as a pdf attachment.

With freshbooks, it sends them a link to the live invoice in their customer portal of your freshbooks system.
If the customer pays (using paypal credit card or you mark off the invoice as paid by bank deposit or cheque) it will send them another email saying its paid.
No matter which email (the original invoice or the paid alert) it will take them to the same invoice which they can now print showing its been paid.

ALSO
They can click a link in any email sent to them from your freshbooks and it automatically logs them into their customer portal where they can view their statement, find all previous invoices and make payments using paypal or credit card via paypal.
If they pay by credit card, it automatically markes the invoice as paid so they can print it if they want.

Late fees
Freshbooks will automatically send out three warnings and add recurring late fees to invoices.
I have a 20 days to pay policy. On day 15 i have it automatically email a friendly reminder saying its due in 5 days. On day 21 it sends another notice saying its over due and if not paid by the 25th day, a late fee will be added.
On day 25 it emails them again and says a late fee has been added, and updates the invoice with a late-fee item.
You can set the late fee and days that the emails are sent out.





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  Reply # 853663 11-Jul-2013 01:49
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You got me thinking about where my data is being hosted.
I know xero hosts stuff in the USA, so i just sent this to freshbooks which are a canadian company


-----------------
Hi
I would like to know where my freshbooks data is hosted. We have a goal of switching away from cloud software hosted in the USA at the moment so i was wondering if you are hosting it in Canada or elsewhere?

Thanks
-----------------




Ray Taylor
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www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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  Reply # 853664 11-Jul-2013 03:23
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raytaylor: Late fees
Freshbooks will automatically send out three warnings and add recurring late fees to invoices.


A little OT, but: What are typical late fees in NZ?




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  Reply # 853665 11-Jul-2013 03:39
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raytaylor: The reason why i went with freshbooks instead of xero- customers can login and see their account.
Eg.
With xero when you send an invoice, it arrives as a pdf attachment.


Xero added similar functionality a few months ago - a live link to the invoice can be emailed out and customers can log in to view their account and pay outstanding invoices online through various providers.

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  Reply # 853752 11-Jul-2013 11:01
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jarledb:
raytaylor: Late fees
Freshbooks will automatically send out three warnings and add recurring late fees to invoices.


A little OT, but: What are typical late fees in NZ?


I add 60% per annum so 5% per month. On a $50 invoice, its a late fee of $2.50 rising every 30 days its late. To me its a token amount really just to encourage payment because most of my customers are really good at paying on time.
However I have seen $12 on a $100 invoice.





Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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