Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Project Service Invoicing

In our previous posts about Microsoft Dynamics CRM Project Service we covered processes for building project quotes, managing project teams and tracking billable time.

Now it's time to close the loop by issuing a project invoice...

The Project Tracking graphic below reports that work is well underway for this design project:

Members of the project team have logged time for work they've carried out and this is reflected by the Gantt chart:

As detailed in our earlier post, the Time Entries screen in the Project Service module is used to log the time spent on individual project tasks and then submit these entries.

Before this time is applied to the related project(s) a Resource Manager must first authorise each Time Entry.

In the example below, a series of Time Entries posted by Josh (Designer role) and Chris (Developer role) have been approved:

Once these items are authorised the entries are added to the Actuals view shown on each Project record. This details the project costs incurred to date, and the price to be billed to the client. This also lists any approved expenses for the project:

Before diving into the invoice screens it's worth summarising some of the important components in the Project Actuals listing.

The Quantity of units represents the time logged by each Resource and subsequently authorised.

The Contracting Unit reflects the organisation unit that will bill this project. In some organisations this might be a single generic unit while in other companies this can reflect different groups or divisional cost centres.

The Resourcing Unit represents the business division associated with these Resources who deliver the project work.

In many instance, such as the one shown above, the same Organisational Unit will be both the Contracting and Resourcing Unit. In other cases, one Unit may take the order and bill for the project but the resources who carry out the work belong to another division or group in the business which is defined as a separated Organisation Unit.

These are crucial settings because each Organisational Unit has its own currency and Cost Price List which is used to calculate project costs.

In this example, we are using a single Organisational Unit, PretX Web Designs UK which has one GBP Sterling Cost Price List:

This Price List controls the base costs for each Project Role. In this scenario it includes hourly costs for Developer, Designer and other roles relevant to this web agency:

For each Account record and associated Opportunity record, a Product Price List record is defined.

Similar to the above screenshot, this details the selling prices for each project role.

Businesses might require several sales price lists if they quote different prices to new / existing customers, different customer types and other criteria. As part of the initial project quoting process a Product Price List would be defined.

As a result, the price lists that are applied to a new Project record are determined by the Resourcing Unit which defines the cost and the associated Product Price List.

Within each Project Quote, Account Managers and other sales users can check the applicable pricing through the Chargeability View for each project quote which references the active Price List and Resourcing Unit from which these prices are determined. If required, CRM users can make revisions to sales prices for individual project quotes.

From this Chargeability View shown below an Account Managers can apply discounts by reducing one or more standard sales prices, or even waive the cost of certain roles.

The figures shown in the Chargeability View are the basis for profit margin calculations and the cost and sale prices which are shown on Contract Line Records which are created from converted Project Quotes as shown below:

The general section of the Contract Line record details the Billing Method (Time and Material or Fixed Price) and confirm if time, expenses and fees will be included in billable costs.

This also defines the Invoice Frequency for project contracts.

Invoice frequencies are defined in CRM to reflect weekly, bi-weekly or monthly billing periods.

Invoices can be scheduled by days of the week, or the timing can be set by specific dates in the month e.g. 1st, 21st, 30th etc.

The number of invoice runs per month can also be defined.

In example below we've set an invoice frequency for the last Thursday of the month:

By clicking 'Create Invoice Schedule' from the Sales Contract Line record, CRM will list an invoice schedule.

This confirms an invoice should now be and will include all transactions up to 29 June.

Depending on the timeline and structure of each project the invoice schedule in CRM Project Service can reflect a series of milestones for billing over several months.

CRM workflows can be configured to automate the process to create invoices in line with the dates shown in the Invoice Schedule, or this can be done manually by selecting the Create Invoice button from the main Sales Contract Record:

The first invoice on this Project Contract totalling £4240 has now been created reflecting the project time logged and authorised to date:

In this example, we only have one project line item but depending on the complexity of each project this might include additional product items, or even multiple project invoice lines and these might be used to bill expenses separately.

Each transaction from the Project Actuals has now been applied to the invoice.

The majority of these items are chargeable but a series of expenses have been processed as non chargeable because in this instance the Account Manager has agreed to waive expenses on this project:

This invoice can now be output as a CRM template or a report and emailed to the client.

Once the first invoice has been billed the Project Contract record is updated to report the current progress in terms of effort spent and billing:

These performance metrics confirm that 120 out of the 156 scheduled hours on this project have now been delivered while over 56% of the total order value has been invoiced.

Finally, more detail is shown in the Gross Profit Analysis: