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Technical Tuesday: Integrating Service Management with Time Keeping Part 3

Doug Johnson | January 17, 2017

This post is the third in a three-part series that explains how to manage time in the Service Management. In the first posts, we learned how to integrate the hours performed in appointments of the Service Management module with the Time & Activities module. In this article, we demonstrate how an office worker can automatically use information from the field to create client invoices.

Acumatica's Technical Tuesday

Acumatica Implementation: Billing Time back to a Client

Suppose you want to bill the time that was recorded back to your client on an hourly basis. We will utilize our previous work to demonstrate:

  1. Billing our client based on the theoretical time spent on an appointment
  2. Billing our client based on the actual recorded time on an appointment

Billing clients based on default service time

In our first example, we performed a data backup service. The backup service had a default service time of 2 hours so we expect to bill the client for two hours at $100/hour.

Setup

All setup is automatically configured if you utilize the SalesDemo data. In this setup section, we review the elements that were setup.

On the non-stock item screen, we defined the default/estimated duration of our service as 2 hours and set the default billing rule for time. Other billing options include flat rate and none.

Non-stock item screen

 Although not shown, we set the default price to $100 in the Price/Cost Information tab on our non-stock item.

On the customer screen, in the Billing Settings tab, the billing cycle and invoice settings were defined as shown below for the customer we utilized for our appointments.

Customer screen and the Billing Settings tab

On the Service Order Type, there are two important settings that impact billing.

  1. Invoicing Requires Appointments to Be Closed setting is checked. This means that we cannot invoice until our appointments are reviewed and closed. This review process is normally done by somebody in headquarters to make sure that time entered in the field is consistent with what were expect to bill the client.
  2. Create Invoices in is set to Sales Order. This means that ‘invoices’ are created as Sales Orders. This adds an extra step to the invoicing process that allows you invoice billable inventory items that are used on an appointment. In this example we did not add any inventory items to our appointment.

Create Invoices in is set to Sales Order

Processing

Step 1: Review Appointments

Assume all billing is done by an accountant. The accountant can immediately see appointments that are ready for review on the Appointment History screen. Completed appointments show up in the Completed Tab the instant that the field worker logs their time.

Step 1: Review Appointments

Step 2: Close Appointments

Review and close both open appointments, by selecting the Action -> Close Appointment option on the Appointment screen. The view below shows the result of closing the first appointment that we completed earlier in this article.

Step 2: Close Appointments

Step 3: Invoice the Appointments

Use the Invoice by Appointments screen to select the appointments that are ready for billing. To find the appointments, make sure you select the appropriate posting type. I selected the billing customer to narrow the list of appointments.

After selecting the two appointments to invoice, click Process.

Step 3: Invoice the Appointments

Next, navigate to Distribution > Sales Orders > Work Area > Sales Orders (SO.30.10.00). Then select Order Type = IN and press the last record button. The last two orders show the results.

Option 1: Bill by Estimate/Default

Option 1: Bill by Estimate/Default

The $200.00 amount was calculated by multiplying the unit price ($100 for data backup) by the estimated/default duration of 2 hours.

Option 2: Bill by Actual Time

Option 2: Bill by Actual Time

The $1.67 amount was calculated by multiplying the unit price by the actual start/stop time recorded in the field. In this case the time was 1 minute or 0.016667 hours.

Other Options

Service contracts can alter the billing arrangements for customers. Using service contracts you can incorporate discounts, recurring billing arrangements, and over-ride default billing options. Description of these advanced billing techniques is beyond the scope of this article.

Conclusion

Acumatica’s Service Management Module is completely integrated with all other Acumatica modules. When technicians enter time from the job site, that time is immediately available to employee timesheets, profitability reports, and billing processes.

By fully integrating field services with accounting, billing, inventory, and project job costs, Acumatica delivers a system that can streamline business processes by doing away with dual data entry. If your organization has issues transcribing messy paper field tickets and time entry into your existing accounting system, then you should request a demonstration of Acumatica. Integrated mobile processes help your organization work more efficiently, eliminate errors, reduce paperwork, and get bills out to clients sooner.

Doug Johnson

Director of Partner Programs and Enablement at Acumatica. Doug is in charge of showing people the specifics about what makes Acumatica’s Cloud ERP software awesome for our customers and partners. For other tips and technical training, stay tuned on Tuesdays.

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