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New! Mark Expenses as Billable or Nonbillable

Here at Harvest, we know projects are more than the sum of their hours. Lunch with a client, supplies for a project, tickets to Comic Con? All of this can be tracked in Harvest with our expenses feature.

The trouble is, there’s no way to flag which expenses you’ll pass on to your clients, and which are just internal.

But that’s changing! Today you’ll be able to mark your expenses as billable (invoiceable to your client) or nonbillable.

billable expenses

That billable box will be checked by default, since our Spider-Sense tells us you’ll want to cash in on those expenses. There are a few other things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • We’ll pull only billable expenses into invoices.
  • Your projects’ uninvoiced amounts exclude nonbillable expenses.
  • Your expense report exports have changed. When you export expenses to CSV or Excel, you’ll see a new column titled “Billable?”; it’ll indicate your expense’s billable status. We’ve also made a few other edits to the expense report’s export format to make it consistent with time exports. Here’s a sample expense export so you can know what to expect.

Now if we could only figure out how Spidey’s web-shooters work, we could cut out those travel expenses…

Feature Update, October 31, 2014

We heard your feedback, and recently updated this feature to allow for more flexibility with default settings and billable status.

If a project is set up as non-billable, its expenses will default to non-billable. If a project is set up as billable, its expenses default to billable. We hope this makes this feature even more easy to use!

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This was posted in Expense Tracking, New Features, Product News, Project Management.
  • Any chance that we could get a similar feature for “This expense is reimbursable?” That would help out a lot!

    Also, are there any plans to make it possible to archive expense categories without having to delete all of the expenses associated with that category?

  • Nice feature!
    I think it would be awesome if fixed price projects are better integrated. With max invoice amounts.

  • I like this and I agree with Ian Yaffe…

    It would be great to have a similar feature for “Reimbursable vs. Non-Reimbursable” expenses. Some expenses are paid with company bank cards and are reported in Harvest, but not necessarily reimbursed to the employee.

    Also noticed that our Harvest account has all expenses now defaulted as “Billable” since this new feature is added. Not always the norm with our expenses. We have overhead expenses included in our Harvest entries, that are not usually billed to our clients. Is there a way to undo this?

  • Would be awesome if you could add integration of billable expenses with Xero.

  • Many billable expenses are marked up before they are billed to the client. Now that would be a nice feature. Track cot of goods sold price along with billed marked up price.

  • Maybe I missed the info somewhere but it would be awesome that billable expenses show in project budget report. As it is an important part of my rentability report.

  • would love to see reoccurring expenses!

  • Calina Madden on September 25, 2014

    @Ian: Thanks for the ideas! Both of those things are on our radar, and we’ll have them in mind during our improvements.

    @Thomas: Support for fixed fee projects is something we’re planning on adding to Harvest! Stay tuned!

    @Morgan: Thanks for the suggestion! Also, you’re right about past expenses being marked as billable. We thought this would be the best choice—previous to our update, Harvest considered all expenses billable (they could all be invoiced, and were included in your uninvoiced amounts). To stay consistent, we defaulted existing expenses as billable.

    @Anton: We do have an integration with Xero, though it’s limited to syncing invoices. You can find out about it here: Thanks for the feedback, though! I’ll pass it on to our team.

    @Ivan: This is a feature that our team’s got on their list to consider. No firm plans to add this soon, but thanks for sharing your ideas on this!

    Marie-Eve If you budget by total project fees, you can choose to include your expenses in that budget. Both billable and nonbillable expenses will count toward your total budgeted amount. If you’re looking for more flexibility, we’d be interested to hear the details! Email us at

    @John: We’ve got this in mind, too. Thanks for the feedback!

  • Reimbursable would be a huge feature for us. Also fixed bid support would make the tool much more general purpose for us. Currently we only use it for T&M projects but about 1/3 of our business is fixed bid.

  • Reiterating what Ivan said, adding expenses with their markup (if applicable) would be a great addition!

  • Definitely a great feature – what i would love to see though is being able to select whether an invoice is included in the project budget or is added on top (rather than either including all expenses in the budget or none).

  • Great addition! I also agree with John that the ability to make expenses reoccurring would fantastic!

  • It would be nice to include billable receipts when sending invoices to clients. Currently we have to send receipts manually.

  • When will we be able to integrate non-billable expenses into Xero? Right now we need to do double entry into both Xero and Harvest for our non-billable expenses, which is the majority of the expenses we do.

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE! I’m so glad to see this feature. +1 for expense markups.

  • Mark price is on the money but it needs to be internal and should be hidden from client on the. invoice

  • Fillipe Neyl on September 27, 2014

    That`s great!!!! When it will be available on the Asana integration andthe Mac OS app?

  • Steve Millert on September 29, 2014

    This is OK, but to be *really* useful you need to be able to set the flag by project, not just globally. i.e.

    Project A, Taxi Fares, Billable
    Project B, Taxi Fares, Non-Billable

    ….because not all expense categories are consistently billable (or not) across different projects, in our world at least.

    Unless I’ve missed something, I can’t do this. Apologies if I just need to RTFM.

  • The most basic thing, TAXES!!!!!

  • Along the lines of Steve’s comment, it would be great to be able to select whether the default is non-billable or billable. 95% of my expenses are not billable – as I track all of my tax deductible business expenses in Harvest.

    In general being able to select defaults would be useful. For example the default in invoices is to sort by project/task and then date, but I would like to sort by date. Also it would be great if expenses on invoices were pulled out and subtotaled separately – so clients can see billable hours and expenses separately, and discounts on the bill could be applied just to the billable hours portion.

  • Can we get administration the rights to ste the default features such as this check box?

  • Otso Väisänen on September 29, 2014

    Like John Surdakowski said, reoccurring expenses would be a VERY helpful feature to our Harvest use, please make it a soon to come feature!

  • What we REALLY need is the ability to have a per-person hourly budget that doesn’t include unbillable tasks in that calculation. Please!

  • Calina Madden on September 29, 2014

    @John: Thanks for the feedback! A bit of good news: We do plan on adding a fixed fee feature to Harvest. :)

    @Kirk, @Kate. @Peter, @AP, @Karishma, @Otso, @Andrew: Thanks for the suggestions! We’ll keep them in mind as we make improvements.

    @Jason: This is a feature that’s we do hope to bring to Harvest later on.

    @Fred: We don’t plan to add this feature to our Xero integration in the very near future. But I’ll pass this idea on to our integrations product manager.

    @Colin: Thanks for the love! And suggestion duly noted. :)

    @Fillipe: We don’t plan on adding expense tracking to the Asana integration or Mac app anytime soon. Sorry about that!

    @Steve: Marking expenses as billable or non billable actually isn’t done globally. Instead, each unique expense can be marked as billable or non billable. So you’ll be able to change this per expense entry. I hope that works for you!

    @Mandy: That’s not something you can set right now, but I’ll let our team know you’re looking to do this.

  • I would like to see Quantity for expenses

  • Nice! Will you guys also be adding a “reimbursed” check-box? Would be really helpful for us to note if we’ve reimbursed employees for a given expense or if that is still pending.

  • Yep ditto on wanting to be able to add markup to expenses – would be good to be able to see the cost vs. charged on amounts in the reports. Currently I’m using manual fixed prices in my invoices but that skews the profit report as there’s no way to account for the money going out.

  • Is there any way to do this on a change-all or at least multi-select? All of the expenses for an entire project (I call it “internal”) would take an hour to select, uncheck, and save in the expenses tab.

  • Did I read correctly that this is on by default now with no way to disable?

  • I am having extreme difficulties because Harvest defaulted existing expenses as billable. Almost all of are expenses are not billable and we have over 3000 different expense entries in our system. It is not feasible for me to go into every past expense transaction and uncheck the box. Please reverse the billable default on all of our existing expenses.

  • I’ve asked for this already – but there is a difference between billable / mark as billed and reimburseable / mark as reimbursed.

    It would be great to have the reimburseable/marked as reimbursed flags in there.

    We have been using the “billed” lock up until now to identify when we have paid expenses to the employee. So we can’t use the tick box for billable until we have a suitable solution to being able to identify an expense as having been reimbursed (whether or not it is billable)/

  • We track Billable Time against the Budgeted hours. In the Project Budget Report, you include all time spent. Would it be possible for you to show on the Project Budget Report the Budget and spent hours to “not” include the “non billable” time? this would give us a “true” reading of how much Budget is actually left against the project. Thank you!

  • Is it possible to have the expenses default to non billable for projects that are non billable?

  • Mark Carleo on October 2, 2014

    A few changes would make this even more useful…
    1. Ability to set default by project for billable / non-billable
    2. Have a reimbursable flag.

  • Per what Ivan said, I also would love to be able to track the expense markups separately as the accountant needs to separate the markup from the reimbursable portion for tax purposes. It makes the reimbursable expenses much less useful.

  • Calina Madden on October 2, 2014

    Dennis, Mark, Steve, and Mark Carleo: Suggestion noted!

    Lauren: Not at the moment, but it’s on our radar.

    Sarah: No, but I can understand how that would be pretty helpful! I’ll let our team know this is something you need.

    Matt P: Your billable checkbox will be checked by default. But you can always uncheck it if you don’t want your expense to be considered billable.

    Amy: I believe you’ve been in touch with Alanna here at Harvest who’s been helping you out. Let us know, though, if you still have any questions or suggestion about this!

    Kim: This is on our feature request list. Unfortunately, we’re not sure if we’ll add it. But our team knows it’s something you’re looking for!

    Diane: This is something we’ve been talking about quite a lot recently. We’re note sure if it’s a feature we’ll add to Harvest soon, but it’s definitely something we’re thinking long and hard on. In the meantime, if you choose to budget by Total Project Fees, we won’t count nonbillable hours toward your budget.

    Becky: Not at the moment, but I’ll let our developers know you’d like that option.

  • I’ve been asking for years for more evolution of the core offering rather than just adding new features which aren’t necessarily time-sheet and billing related tasks.

    This is a step forward but you need to go futher.

    But, I need the ability to invoice my clients for mileage at 45p per mile. Yet, becuase I have a co car I need to be able to claim just 18p per mile on my expenses.

  • Oh this feature definitely needs to be added to the mobile app! Our company uses it extensively to capture receipts and to log expenses while traveling instead of doing it when we get back to the office. But we can’t mark them as billable or not in the mobile app!

  • We tried this feature, and it does not work for us. The problem we have with that option is it is too difficult for our Planners to follow a “Budget Fee” rather than “Budget Time”. We have been users of your system for almost 3 years now, and I have asked this request ever since we became users. As I am the main person, along with the project managers tracking the projects, it has become very difficult to have to 2nd guess every time a project goes over budget because it included “non billable time” Please fix this to where the budget does not include the “non billable time”. We really do love your program, and I think this would be a very good option to add (or remove in our case). Thank you!

  • In my business, it helps to actually have an expense I have forgone billing show up on my invoice – it shows I’ve waived it for the benefit of the client and builds good will. Is there any way to have either an expense or a fee/time entry show as zero/not billed as a courtesy to the client?

  • Good to add this option.
    I agree with others. Making a default billable doesn’t make sense for our company. Also defaults should be editable in general. We do over 7500 expenses per year. Only 200 are billable.

    I also agree with others that other more useful features could be added. For a company our size we need to be able to more with the distinction of departments. For instance on invoice level. Which department has sent which invoice.
    Another great option would be to have another permission level. Or filtering out unsubmitted timesheets on teamlevel or department.

    All in all, keep up the great work.

  • I completely agree with Brian – the ability to mark an expense as ‘billable’ in the mobile app would be wonderful!

    And thank you, thank you for adding ‘Manage Invoices from Mobile’!

  • I agree with Ian, this reimbursable vs. non-reimbursable is crucial, and must be such a simple feature to implement. I requested this feature over a year ago, and cannot believe that it still has not been added. A little disappointed in that.

  • Calina Madden on October 8, 2014

    JK: The ability to mark up expenses is something we’ve got on our feature request list. Thanks for the feedback about it!

    Brian, Kate: We plan on adding it to the mobile app, so stay tuned!

    Diane: I can definitely see where your coming from! We’re currently working on improvements to budgets in Harvest, and we’re considering this problem.

    Julie: You can’t pull non billable expenses into an invoice, but you can always export an expense report to share with your client!

    Krein-Jan: Thanks! And thanks for the ideas!

    Patrick: Understood. We don’t have specific plans to add that feature to Harvest soon, but this feedback is helpful and it’s an idea that we’ll keep in mind as we continue to improve!

  • Speaking generally here:
    Adding a feature with default behavior with no obvious way to change the default behavior is at best ill-conceived and at worst, arrogant.
    Your community expects a lot more form you.

  • Something doesn’t make a lot of sense to me here.

    Marking an expense as non-billable was always as easy as charging it to an internal project.

    Knowing whether or not the company has to reimburse the employee for an expense; on the other hand is not so easy.

    This truly should be such a simple thing to implement. Please mark this as a higher priority…..

  • @Calina “Unfortunately, we’re not sure if we’ll add it.”

    Why not? Reimburseable/Reimbursed makes a lot of sense – as @Patrick Dooley pointed out.

    How hard can it be? Report for Reimburseable expenses not yet reimbursed, with a check box for reimbursed……

  • Very disappointed here. Been a loyal customer for over 3 years…. If we dont get the simple things needed, we will start looking for a new solution.

  • Calina Madden on October 15, 2014

    Kevin: I’m sorry you feel that way! We made some updates to help with that. Your expenses’ billable status will default to your project’s settings. If your project is nonbillable, expenses added to it will default to nonbillable. If your project is billable, expenses added to it default to billable.

    Patrick, Kim: This reimbursable feature is definitely something we’ve been considering—we know how useful it could be! However, there are a lot of moving parts to implement it. We haven’t ruled it out, of course, but I don’t want to make a promise if we’re not yet sure. We appreciate the feedback, though!

  • Is there a way to see whether or not an expense has been flagged as billable or not when approving a timesheet? This is helpful so that the approver can notify the user if they have mis-categorized an expense and have the user correct it prior to approval.

  • Calina Madden on October 22, 2014

    Carlo: When you go to approve time for a person, the approval screen in your Pending Approval tab will not tell you which expenses are billable. However, if you view another user’s timesheet, every billable expense is flagged with a small Billable label. It’s an interesting idea to add a label to the approval screen, though, and I’ll pass this on to our developers!

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