Your browser is no longer supported! Please upgrade your web browser now.

We’ve Improved Invoice IDs

There’s long been a pet peeve at Harvest: invoice IDs. They seem so simple! But in fact, there’s a lot of complexity to the way we increment these numbers.

For most of our customers, invoice IDs are pretty easy. When you make a new invoice, we auto-assign a new ID by adding in increments of one to your last ID.

But things can get complex: not everyone wants a simple numeral-only invoice number. What if your ID includes decimals, version numbers, or client codes? The good news is, Harvest will let you do that. The bad news? We didn’t do that as well as we could have.

But wait, more good news! We’ve made some recent improvements to our IDs that should make them work much more smoothly. Here’s a quick run-down:

  • We now recognize decimals and will increment them properly. Got invoice ID 10.3? For your next invoice we’ll suggest 10.4.                decimal_ID_outline.png
  • We no longer backfill invoice IDs. We’ll just increment going forward. For example, let’s say your last ID was 400, but you manually entered ID 267 (it was from a long time ago, you just wanted it recorded). On your next invoice, we’ll now suggest ID 401 (we used to suggest 268).
  • We’re now smarter about incrementing IDs across clients who share the same ID format. For example, let’s say Acme Corp’s last invoice was 2014-INV-003, but Beta Corp’s last invoice was 2014-INV-100. We’ll now suggest invoice 2014-INV-101 for both of them. This ensures we use the proper format, but don’t backtrack.
  • We’ll now display your last ID used no matter what language or format it’s in! Got an invoice ID in Macedonian? No problem. macedonian_ID_outline.png

Other than these changes, your invoice IDs will work like they always have. When you create a new invoice for a new client, we’ll suggest an ID by adding in increments of one to your last ID used. After that, we’ll use the same format as your client’s last ID. You can also override a suggested invoice ID whenever you like.

We think these improvements will make things run much smoother for many of you. Around the office, we know they’ve made our Harvest Experts happy.

Thoughts or questions about this post? Need some help?
Get in touch →

This was posted in How To, Online Invoicing, Product News.
  • The backfilling of invoice #’s used to drive us bonkers with our Xero sync. This is a glorious day! Thank you

  • This is indead a more than welcome updating of the ID formatting.

    Please, when can you sort invoices by ID instead of (as today) sorting by date.


  • Yep, I second Tom’s comment – please make invoice sortable by ID instead/as well as date.

  • THANK YOU so much. All of these things (except perhaps the language thing) were driving us absolutely insane. Super excited.

  • Please add the possibility to add individual invoice recipients for each project. Many of our customers have a specific person responsible for the reports and invoices for a specific project.

  • Great update.

    +1 to Tor’s suggestion too.

    The ability to search for invoices/estimates is another major issue, or at least sort order. I will seriously celebrate when that happens, drinks all round!

  • The issue I came up with is this:

    I created my first estimate, entered a number manually, then invoiced it from the estimate, then created several more invoices (for different clients) using consecutive numbering. When it came time to create another estimate for a different client it automatically gave me the next estimate number (to the previous estimate) which was now the same number as a previously used invoice number… it just wasn’t cool I had to change it manually based on my invoices.

  • Some of those seem weird and unneeded for me. But YAY! for not backfilling IDs. That was really annoying.

    …And I suppose other people will be just as excited as those other weird updates.

    Nice job H.

  • Calina Madden on October 8, 2014

    Troy, Crystal: Woot! Glad we could help make it a good day.

    Tom, Paul: Glad this new formatting will be helpful! We don’t have specific plans to sort by date, but we’ll keep this in mind for future improvements.

    Tor: Duly noted! In the meantime, you can add many different contacts for one client. Each of these contacts will appear as a possible invoice recipient when you go to email your invoice from Harvest. You can see more about adding client contacts here:

    Rhiannon: Thanks! You can see my response to Tor above. And also thanks for the additional suggestion. We’ll keep it in mind!

    Herman: Sorry about that, Herman! Invoices and estimates have separate ID sequences in Harvest, and they’re not currently related. Thanks for the feedback, though!

  • Great!

    Now if we can just define a PO in the project setup screen and have that automatically flow through to creation of invoices for that project we’ll be set…..

  • What we’d like to do in Harvest is this: be able to create a detailed line item invoice with a summary by person hours cover sheet. To do so right now, I have to create the cover sheet, delete the invoice, and create the line items bill. This function would save me so much time!

    Furthermore, I’d like to be able to sort the person sheet by bill rate. This would make it easier for my clients to see director’s hours and differentiate them from associate/analyst hours.

  • Not sure it will be enough to fix my little issue, will try and see. What I would have loved to see is some way to define your own custom invoice number by using token replacements for common things. Due to legal issues I’m required to submit invoices using the following format:


    where the “FVS” is a standard prefix, the 002 is the number sequence for that given month, and the 10 is month 10, i.e. october, and 2014 is of course the year.

    to be able to define a template like FVS/{number}/{month}/{year} would be a dream :)

    it makes me want to cry everytime I do this, but I recognize that the issue is primairly on my side of course. I’m probably going to just build a small command line utility/shell script that uses your api to create the invoice then opens the page in the browser automatically..

  • Shere Chamness on October 13, 2014

    I agree with everyone who suggested that you give us the option to list invoices by ID number, not just by date. It’s very time-consuming to have to pore through the list searching for a particular invoice. It would be extremely useful to be able to sort by client name as well!

    I love your service and have used it for years. It helps me keep track of things, and I think it encourages clients to pay more promptly, (although I’m not sure why). It’s something I noticed after you introduced invoicing.

  • This is some good news! Additionally, are there any plans to add an option for assigning ID’s only when sending invoices? We would sometimes make multiple invoice drafts to send at a later date, and now they get numbered on creation. It would be awesome if they get numbered only when the invoice is actually sent, so invoice date and ID keep running in parallel.

  • Please Please Please…… add the option to search for invoices by ID # and to sort them onscreen by invoice ID #. I waste so much time looking through the whole list of invoices for a particular one.

  • Maybe I’m being thick, but the numbers have reset themselves to a format I don’t like. How do I reset the invoice numbers to start at a specific number?

  • Calina Madden on October 17, 2014

    Phillip: Glad the updates work for you! We don’t have plans to support POs, but thanks for the feedback!

    Marla: Thanks for letting us know what you need! We’ll keep these suggestion in mind.

    Eriksen: That’s an interesting format. At the moment, we don’t have specific plans to support it, but I’ll let our team know you’re looking to do this.

    Shere, Laura: A better search for invoices is something we hope to add in the future.

    Joram: We don’t have plans for that feature at the moment. But thank you for the ideas!

    Alex: Shoot us an email we’ll help you sort it out:

  • Hi

    This is good progress giving more options…..however, I am a little disappointed, I have been requesting for a while now for sorting invoices by ID and judging by some comments above I’m not alone!
    What I notice is that when a client makes a bank transfer for payment it is not obvious who made the payment and for the most part, most of those clients reference the invoice ID. I’m no IT expert but is this really hard to put in an ID search function or even an ascending/descending option for ID’s
    I would really be interested to hear if there is any other Getharvest clients out there that share this opinion

    Otherwise still love this program!


  • +1 for Barry etc.

    Yes, Barry, you’re not alone, I suggested this functionality since quite some time now, and next to us a lot of others too…

    Also still love the program, but I don’t know why they don’t put this “feature” high on the priority list.

    In my opinion it can’t be such a tremendous job to get the possibility to sort by ID (and that the software is smart enough to remember what you sorted on last time).

    It’s about using a component that has to trigger a search query. Maybe the people of harvest fear of too much load on the servers if everyone now and then “clicks” to change the sort order (which leads to a new search query). But in modern days, if you just use a sort of “settings” where you choose to show the invoice list sorted by the field you like to be sorted on, then you have the ability to narrow down the needed queries.

    It’s just about putting the need for it high enough on the priority list…
    but nevertheless still love harvest

  • Calina Madden on October 22, 2014

    Barry and Tom: Yes, sorting or searching by ID is something we’re thinking on! We’re sorry, we don’t mean to disappoint you. There are a lot of moving parts with those invoices, and when we make updates, we want to be sure we do it right. We’ve got your suggestions down!

  • What is really important in our business is to be able to add an attachment to our invoices and then email from within Harvest ie detailed timekeeping reports.

  • Calina Madden on October 23, 2014

    Bron: That’s something we hope to add to our invoices—stay tuned!

  • ?
    Esto es en serio?, me amenizaste la vida.

Comments have been closed for this post.
Still have questions? Contact our support team →