In this article/screencast, we'll look at how Tiro can help you track time, generate invoices, and process payments.
We'll assume that you have created a matter, a brief and a costs agreement. If you don't know how to do that, you might want to look at our article/screencast on Creating a Costs Agreement.
From the matter screen, you can log time by going to the Time Logged pane, and clicking on the three grey dots in the the top right hand corner.
Select "New" from the list, and you'll be transported to the Log Time form. On this form, you'll want to fill in the following fields:
- Activity. Enter a short description of the work you are doing. Keep in mind that this field shows up as a line item on an invoice.
- Amount & Units. Enter the number of hours or days you have spent on the activity you just described.
- Start Date. Enter the date on which you started the activity. You can log your time on a per-day basis, or in global chunks of time for a particular period -- it's up to you.
- Task. If you want to, you can link the time you spent to one of the tasks associated with the brief. This doesn't do much for now, but in the future, we'll let you generate invoices aggregated by task as an option, and compare your estimates for a task with the actual time you spent.
Once you're done, hit Submit to save your data, and you'll be taken back to the Matter view.
In the course of a matter, you may also incur an expense you wish to add to a matter. We won't deal with that here, but it is addressed in a separate article/screencast called Adding Expenses.
Creating an Invoice
Invoices can only be added from the matter view. Every invoice in Tiro must be associated with a matter.
You don't have to log time to create an invoice. So long as you've created a matter, and a brief (which holds your rates), you can add an invoice. Just go to the Invoices pane on the matter page, and click the three grey dots in the top right hand corner of the pane.
From there, you'll be taken to the Create New Draft Invoice page. on this page, you'll need to consider only three fields:
- Template Type. All your invoices are required to have a blurb about clients' rights in respect of costs. The exact content of the blurb depends on whether it's a Legal Profession or Uniform Law matter. The template type field will default to the same value you selected when creating a costs agreement. If you haven't created a costs agreement, you can just select whichever applies.
- Uninvoiced Logged Time. You may not want to include all the time you've logged on every invoice. So in this field, you can deselect any time log entries you don't want to appear on this invoice. Only entries which haven't yet appeared on an invoice will show up in this list.
- Uninvoiced Expenses. Any invoices you've associated with a matter, which haven't been invoiced yet, can be selected for inclusion on an invoice by checking the box next to them.
Once you've selected the items to include on your invoice, hit Submit to generate a draft invoice.
On the draft invoice screen, you can edit line item descriptions, and invoice amounts.
You can also add new line items for things you haven't already logged in Tiro.
Once you're happy with your draft invoice, you can either save it and come back later, or hit Save and Preview to see a Preview.
From the Preview page which appears, you can either click the Edit button to go back to the Edit page, or you can click the Finalise button to save the invoice in its final form, ready for sending.
Once you Finalise an invoice, you'll be taken back to a page which resembles the draft invoice page. If you look at the top left corner though, you'll see it says "Finalised Invoice". You'll also see that you have some new options.
Use the Add a Payment button to record a payment when it is received. Alternatively, you might want to Write Off the outstanding balance on an invoice.
Right now, what we want is to send the finalised invoice. To do that, we click on the Preview button. On the Preview page, you will see buttons to let you Download the invoice, to send it the old fashioned way, or a Send button to automatically generate a PDF, and send it to your client by email.