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Easier Invoicing with Clockwork for Jira

Using Jira to manage consulting projects? Discover how you leverage your Jira configuration and a couple of Marketplace apps for effortless invoicing.
min. read
Jul 14, 2022
Easier Invoicing with Clockwork for Jira

You’re in business to make money. If your invoicing process doesn’t capture all of the work your team does, or if it requires a lot of time and effort from you, then you’re leaving money on the table. If you use Jira to manage work you’re doing for multiple clients, you can ensure easy and accurate invoicing by combining:

  • A carefully thought out Jira configuration
  • Complete, accurate, and preferably automatic time tracking
  • An app to produce the invoice

Let’s take a closer look at putting these three elements.

Configuring Jira

Invoicing will be easier if you configure your Jira instance to capture all of the information you need.  You’ll likely need fields to capture:

  • The client
  • The cost center (for large clients that have more than one)
  • The activity (if you charge different rates for different activities)
  • Whether the issue is billable or non-billable

When deciding which field to use, consider the field scope (is it global or project specific?), choice fields vs input fields, and – for choice fields, the number of selections you can make.

In most cases, you’ll want to create a separate project for each client. Alternatively, if you do a lot of small projects, you could create an epic for each client and have multiple clients in the same Jira project.

For the activity and billable/non-billable fields, I recommend creating a single-select dropdown custom field. The fields will be available to all projects, providing a consistently applied catalogue of your services. Make the fields mandatory so you always have the needed information.  If there are cases, where you don’t need to a response, include Not Applicable as a choice option. That way, you’ll know that the user didn’t just forget to fill out the field.

Cost centers are trickier.  Since they are specific to each client, you don’t want the options to be shown across all of your projects. The components field is a good candidate since it’s project specific. However, you run the risk that users will select more than one option. Another option is to create a custom dropdown field with a different field context for each project. That requires investing a little admin work up front, but ensures that you always have the information you need.

Time Tracking

Now that we have Jira fields to collect the needed information, the only thing left to capture is the actual time worked. Jira does have built-in time tracking, but its functionality is limited. Clockwork for Jira expands your time tracking choices, including the option to have time tracked automatically. As with field contexts, automatic time tracking requires a little setup up front (configuring working hours and active statuses), but the payoff is worth it. Time worked is tracked automatically without users having to do anything. That’s a good way to ensure you’re getting the maximum number of billable hours for the work that’s been done.

When the billing period ends, Clockwork lets you create a timesheet/report using the fields created for invoicing. For instance, you can filter the timesheet to only include “billable” issues within the project, and break the timesheet down by cost centers and activities.
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Creating the Invoice

Once you have a timesheet with the correct information, the final step is to produce the invoice. One of the easiest ways to create an invoice is with Excel. Clockwork lets you download a timesheet as an Excel or CSV file.  Then you can easily paste in the required formatting, and presto – you have an invoice.

If your invoicing requirements are more complex- such as the need to integrate invoices with Quickbooks, take a look around the Atlassian Marketplace. Apps like Clerk Invoices allow you to integrate Jira, Quickbooks, Xero, etc.

Combining Clockwork with an appropriately configured Jira instance means invoicing can be fast, accurate and effortless.

Jennifer Choban

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