An introduction to projects
Welcome to projects! This article is an introduction to projects and how to create them in FreeAgent.
Projects are pieces of work that you undertake for one particular customer. For example, if you're a publisher, a project could be the process of publishing of a new book with one of your author customers.
Projects allow you to keep track of the time you spend on a particular contract for a particular customer, on a daily or weekly basis.
Time is tracked against different tasks within the project. For example, if you’re a publisher you might have tasks like designing the layout of a book or proofreading a manuscript.
Tasks can be set as billable or unbillable. Unbillable tasks would be those that you won't charge your customer for.
You can also enter a set billing rate to use when you track the time you have spent on the project, which is then used to create invoices within the project. If you don’t enter a set billing rate, any unbillable hours will show with a cost of zero.
You might also want to set a budget of hours that you're going to spend on the project. Don't worry if you go over your budget, FreeAgent won't stop you recording more time to the project. Leave this box as zero if there's no set budgeted time.
Once you've tracked time against a project, you can then add that time to an invoice so that you never forget to charge your customers for your time.
Track costs and profitability
When you're working on a project, you'll incur costs. This might be mileage travelled to visit the customer, or in-house tasks such as paper and binding for books and then transporting the finished books to bookshops.
You can track these costs against projects in FreeAgent by creating bills or out-of-pocket expenses, or explaining bank transactions, and linking them to the project. You can then charge some of these costs to your customer, either at cost, with a mark-up or at a specified price.
As you issue invoices to your customer, you can see how much profit you've made on the project, allowing for rebilled costs and those that can't be rebilled.
You can choose whether or not to include unbillable time on the project profitability breakdown.
Track payments from customers
As your customers pay you for invoices you've issued for a project, a green bar appears in the background to the 'Income’ figure on the ‘Project Profitability’ panel.
This bar extends as your customers pay you for more invoices. So the more green you see, the less your customer still has to pay you for this project.
How to create a project
Navigate to the 'Work' tab at the top of the screen and select 'Projects' from the drop-down menu.
Select ‘Add New Project’ and follow the steps for creating a project.
Alternatively, you can import a project from Basecamp.