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Lets go one step further ... time and expense!

Time tracking is so key to grabbing more of the Quickbooks market. Keep in mind how large a percentage of businesses are not manufacturing nowadays. There is a huge market for service businesses needing something better than Quickbooks. Entering time by employee/service provider and being able to assign projects/customers to each line item is very important. This definitely needs to happen like a timesheet (I believe i saw a screen shot of a potential layout in this website) to capture the consulting type businesses where employees work on more than one client in a day (or even in an hour). Each entry would need to be identified by a “service item” (list that the Company would determine such as Consulting, Tax, Help Desk, Network Troubleshooting, Security, Supervisor, etc ). Service Item should have the ability to have different billing rates that can be based on the employee.

But the next step to broaden the useability of this feature is to be able to put in purchase order items/expense items and be able to assign individual line items to a project/customer.

You go in to create a bill to the customer and you can pull up a multi-tabbed window to select your billable items for that invoice. One tab would show time assigned to the customer and you check what gets put on the current bill, leave unchecked pending items, and be able to “write off” items you choose not to bill. This “write off” code would be good for reviewing the profitability of a client. There would be another tab that would show billable expenses that you can check to add to the bill. 10 years ago when I implemented Navision at a previous employer, it had this ability. Microsoft bought out Navision … it is considered a bigger fish than Dynamics SL (which my current employer uses and I hate).

In a time and expense business, usually the contract would usually dictate the percentage markup from the cost that would show on the invoice as the customers price. If I remember correctly in Navision you could also assign the costs to a category (list that the Company would determine, such as Travel, Supplies, Per Diem etc) so when they showed up to be selected for invoicing you could sort them. In the project setup you could also select either detailed billing where the invoice would show every item or summary billing where only the totals per category would show up.

Sorry for rambling … I think xTuple is great but since most of my 25 years in the accounting industry has been primarily in the service and project sector, I just see huge potential in a much larger audience with a little expansion in this area.

Agreed. Have you seen our preliminary specification on this topic?

It is also on the roadmap:

It is tagged as “contributed” because one of our partners has begun doing work on a project billing extension.

Feel free to add comments to the specification.



While searching for a solution to only sell a service on an order I stumbled upon this thread. I checked the roadmap and saw that ProjectTimeExpense is not on the roadmap anymore.
2nd on the project description itself (which looks awfully good) it is stated in the bottom to be likely included in version 3.3.
I’ve installed 3.4. Do I need to prepared something (an add-on/plug-in…) to make it work?

Thanks for the heads-up, Duketown. It’s still on the roadmap, it was just hiding under the name “Project Accounting.” We’ve updated the description and the link.

The 3.3 / 3.4 confusion is rooted in the fact that what started out as version 3.3.1 ended up become 3.4.0 (see my blog), and the next planned release (formerly 3.4) is now 3.5.

We are testing an early internal version of the Time and Expense extension package now, and will certainly announce when it’s publicly available (before 3.5 is final).

Ned: This is VERY good and exciting news! This feature (T&E) will allow me migrate my business operations completely to PostBooks. Hurrah! This will, to my knowledge, place xTuple as the only company providing a truly fully functional cross-platform solution for service oriented businesses. This is huge for me personally, and I can think of half a dozen other businesses who I can contact when this is available. I agree with the other comments in this thread: a T&E component will be a potent catalyst for PostBooks! As contributed earlier: Can’t Wait!

I can’t find where I can add comments to the spec. I was just wondering about adding time to incidents. It seems to me it would be nice to be able to record how much time it took to resolve an incident, and be able to bill it. I only saw stuff about tracking time related to projects.

Hi Fred,

That’s an interesting idea, and one that will be infinitely more do-able once we do our next pass on tidying up CRM. As you can see from this spec, we have the concept of normalizing a bunch of different things in CRM that are really pretty darn similar - Incidents, Opportunities, Projects, Tasks, and ToDos - all in one table as CRM “activities.” An Incident, then, will be an Activity that has certain Incident-ish properties.

It’ll help with maintenance and uniformity of user experience significantly. And it just feels right. But once that’s done (no mean feat), what you’re describing should be pretty easy.