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Link Your Invoices to Projects

Recently, we’ve been working to overhaul a lot of the code that powers Harvest invoices. Today I am excited to tell you about the first visible change as a result of that work: you can now link an invoice to a project in Harvest!

A New Invoices Tab for Each Project

With this feature, the first thing you’ll see is a new Invoices tab on the pages for your projects. From here—yep, you guessed it—you can see all invoices that are linked to the project. If an invoice is linked to multiple projects, it’ll appear on the Invoices tab for all of them!

This improved organization gives you quick insight into how much your projects have earned thus far. And if you budget in money, it’ll be much easier to compare it against your invoiced amount.

Linked Invoice

For each project, you’ll see just the invoiced amount that applies to it. This Invoices tab will be visible only to administrators and project managers with create invoice permissions. As usual, project managers will see only draft invoices they created.

How We Link an Invoice to a Project

Here’s how the linking works:

  • When you create a new invoice, or edit an existing one, you’ll see a new dropdown under the description for each line item.
  • This dropdown lets you pick the project that a line item relates to, and it establishes the link!
  • If you are invoicing based on tracked time, we do this work for you – the project is automatically set on each line item, so you don’t have to do any extra work.

Linked Project

Details to Know

A couple of notes about linking:

  • Invoices you made before this change won’t be linked to projects. The good news is that it’s easy to link existing invoices on your own. Just go to your project’s new Invoices tab. Then click Link Invoice. Or, edit your invoice and pick the appropriate project for each line item.
  • The linked project for each line item will not appear on the invoice that your clients see. The view your clients see will continue to look and function as it always has. We’re just adding this link on your side of things.

We’re excited about this feature, and hope it helps you better organize your billing! This is just the beginning of some invoice improvements that we’re working on, so we’re eager to hear your feedback!

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This was posted in Product News.
  • Awesome!

    Next a connection between estimates and projects would be awesome or a “convert to project” option after an estimate is accepted!

  • Cannot edit the project link for an invoice tied to a retainer for a single project?

    Why is it that retainers cannot be linked to projects?

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Good question, Karri. We think of the new Invoices tab on your project pages as a place to understand how much money your project has earned. The way Harvest is set up, retainers aren’t considered revenue until you draw from them for work completed. Therefore, we left retainers invoices out of the new Invoices tab.

      However, invoices that draw from retainers will show up on that Invoices tab.

      If your retainer is set up for just a single project, any invoice that draws from it will automatically be linked to that project. And if your retainer is set up for all of a clients projects, invoices that draw from it can be connected to any of that client’s projects.

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Hi Karri! I’m sorry, I think I misunderstood your comment earlier, and I believe you may have been running into a bug that prevented you from linking an invoice that drew from a retainer. That should be fixed now! I’ll follow up with a quick email to you as well. Thank you for pointing this out so we could get it fixed!

  • Theresa Neil on October 4, 2016

    Great feature! Please allow multi select in selecting invoices to link or a ‘link all’ option. I can’t imagine having to search and select invoices to link dozens of times for every existing project just to generate the initial view.

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      We don’t have plans right now to add a “select all” option, but I’ll share this feedback with the Team here. When you use the Link Invoice button, though, you should find it’s really speedy, even with a long list of invoices!

  • Great start but need it to adjust budget on payment

  • Shaun Korman on October 4, 2016

    Can I retroactively go back and link sent/paid invoices to projects?

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Yep! Just head to Projects, click on any project, then look for its Invoices tab at the bottom of the page. There, click the Link Invoice button, where you can link any of that client’s old invoices.

      Alternately, you can simply edit any invoice. When you do, you’ll see the project drop-down below every line item, which will link the line item to a project.

  • Not all projects allow me to link invoices with draws. When I try to do this, I get an error “Cannot edit the project link for an invoice tied to a retainer for a single project.”

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Sorry for the confusion about this, Susan! This behavior is intentional. If your retainer was created to apply to 1 project only, then invoices that draw from it must be linked to that project only. This abides by our current retainer behavior, which will not allow you to draw from a retainer with unrelated projects.

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      I’m sorry, Susan! I think I misunderstood what was happening with your account. I just wanted to let you know we’re looking into an issue linking retainer draws to projects. I’ll be back to you when I have more news!

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Hi Susan! Sorry again for the trouble with your retainer invoices! We just fixed this, and you should now be able to link all invoices that draw from retainers to their respective projects. Thank you for alerting us to the problem!

  • Great addition. Almost there.. If you could just link the ‘Uninvoiced Amount’ to this.

    I would like to see that if i have a budget of £10,000 on a fixed fee project, i’ve spent £2,000 (in 20hrs @ £100), but have invoiced £5,000 (because we did it more efficiently than we told the client). I would like the Univoiced to show a negative figure of -£3,000.

    This would allow us to manage WIP and PreBill.

    At the moment it seems the uninvoicing is linked to hours rather than costs, which really doesnt work for fixed fee billing.

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Thanks for the feedback on this, Carl. This invoice-project linking sets the foundation for us to better support fixed fee projects, which I think is what you’re after. I’ll share your thoughts with the team!

  • Nice addition, but hugely back the first comment from Henry about the need to connect Estimates to Projects. It’s vital to so many businesses – The workflow is Estimate > Project > Invoice. It’s double the work having to manually copy and paste details to set up a new project based on an accepted estimate, WorkflowMax allows this and it makes for a much simpler transition through the stages. Like Henry says a “Convert to Project” option after an estimate is accepted with the ability to modify details as required before committing them to a new project would make Harvest just so much more useable otherwise loving the rest of it.

  • Will the API be updated, to allow us to select invoices relating to a specific project?

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      We don’t have near-term plans to update our API for this, but it’s definitely something we’ll consider. I’ll record your thoughts on this for the rest of the team!

  • This is a great addition. However, we are now unable to reorder rows on invoices. Is anyone else having this issue?

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Thanks for the heads up on this, Tiffany! It should be fixed now. Just be sure to refresh your page and reordering should work!

  • “However, invoices that draw from retainers will show up on that Invoices tab.”
    — I don’t believe this is currently happening (based upon our testing).

    I was so excited to see this as it is a feature we’ve been requesting for a while. However (as noted above) any invoice that has any retainer payment tied to it cannot be linked (even if that is the ONLY project the retainer is tied too, we tested several times, several different projects). For example, a 50k project, that has 25k down and you are invoicing monthly chipping away at that retainer balance those will not show up even though they are important to see. Even if you have a 10k invoice, and 5k of that is covered by the retainer (zero’ing out the retainer) and the remaining 5k was paid by the client, it won’t link. Again, love the overall concept, but isn’t helpful if you can’t actually link the invoices for the project… to the project.

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      I’m sorry about this, Marcus! We’re looking into the problem, and I’ll get back to you as soon as we have more news!

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Hi Marcus! The problem you were running into earlier should be fixed! You should now be able to link your invoices that draw from retainers to their related projects. Thanks for letting us know!

  • I am very excited to see this – as it has been something we’ve wanted to see on the Projects page for a long time. Once again – thank you for continuing to improve Harvest and be such a responsive team. You guys rock!

  • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

    Matt, Henry, thanks for your input about creating estimates from projects. Right now, our free-form estimates have many moving pieces that don’t align well with the much more strict project form. However, I’ve recorded that this is something you’re looking for, and we’ll keep it in mind!

  • This is cool

    The next thing needed is a connection between estimates so there’s a “convert to project” option after an estimate is accepted.

  • Diddo on what Henry Fendt said above, currently we have to re-enter all information from the estimate to the project. Would love to see this… would also like to be able to pull tasks directly into the estimate/project/invoice. If we budget x for design as a task it would be great if this fed directly back into the project allowing the designer to see how much time is allowed, and then enter time under that task specifically and then that gets added to the invoice.

    For us we have many different folks doing specific things that have to be itemized. That would close the loop on that. We were almost thinking about building this ourselves…

  • Jean-Yves Popovic on October 4, 2016


    Will it be possible now to export to Excel Invoice Line Items, including Project number?

    Thank you,

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      We don’t have plans to update our invoice exports right now, Jean-Yves. I can see how it could be useful, though, and I’ll make note for our team that you asked for it!

  • This is great stuff (especially for fixed which was available in a beta, but now also for T&M projects); a big pain point remains that ‘project managers only see invoices they created and that are in draft’ in our business model and many professional services PM are asked often to follow-up on their invoices and see if the client has paid or not … removing this visibility is not convenient, they have to go through administrators to know (also assigning PM,s as administrators is not possible since costs are confidential and user creation should not be allowed for PM`s). Thanks for considering this.

    • Calina Madden on October 4, 2016

      Thanks, Moussa. Yes, this is something we’ve been thinking about recently with our invoices changes. This is a tricky change to make, because a lot of people depend on the way Harvest works today. But it’s definitely on our minds, and I’ll make a note that you wrote in about this as well.

  • One of the major thing missing from a great platform. Thank you! This is a great addition

  • None of our projects are linked and this only adds confusion to our process. Is there any way to opt out of this? Also, since this change has occurred I have been unable to save to PDF any new invoice that has the link feature. Is this going to be corrected?

  • Robert Wilkinson on October 4, 2016

    Great. Could I then see the project names next to the client name when I’m looking at all of my invoices. Right now, for clients who have a lot of different projects, I must click on the invoice just to see which project it’s for. That would be amazing!

  • So excited about this feature! Will make it easier for the Project managers to see what is invoiced and outstanding. I tend to agree with Carl up above on the fixed fee situation but baby steps, I am really happy with this feature.

  • I agree with Robert’s comment. It would be hugely beneficial if we could see the project on invoices on the tab.

  • Elaine Chan on October 5, 2016

    We would like that our program managers could see all linked invoices (even in draft). I note that this point was previously made but in our business this would also be very useful. If it was a feature that could be controlled in the user profile that could be added to specified users it would be very useful in ensuring the right people have access to informatio without having to go through the administrator.

  • “convert to project” option after an estimate is created would be an amazing feature- PLEASE do this, it would save so much time duplication.

  • Steve Gosling on October 5, 2016

    Thanks for this update.

    +1 for estimate/quote to project workflow.

  • I want to add my request to the Jean-Yves Popovic previously entered to have the project links exported.

    Thank you.

  • can you link a invoice to a different projcet

    • Vladimir Andrijevikj on October 5, 2016

      Hi Cathy! You can link the items on an invoice to any billable project for that invoice’s client—so yes, you can change the project that an invoice is linked to just by editing it and updating the project dropdown for your line items!

  • Thank for this addition. We’ve been waiting a while for an update like this.
    Also would like to upvote the first comment from Henry and Matt later on.
    Having the possibility of converting as accepted estimate into a project is a must for almost every company.
    Please consider this for development :)!

  • great addition. looking forward to transform estimates into projects with a budget, where the items of the estimate are the task-like items of the budget

  • Great new feature — please add this to estimates as well!

  • This is great! Is there a way to link a single invoice to multiple projects? We perform multiple, unique projects for a single client. Each project has different PMs, process flows, teams, etc. But, they are invoiced together for a single client. I don’t see a way to connect an invoice to multiple projects, only one project per invoice.

    • Vladimir Andrijevikj on October 5, 2016

      Hi Amber! Each line item on the invoice can be linked to a different project exactly for this purpose. When you edit an invoice (or create a new invoice), you’ll see a dropdown under the line item’s description labeled Linked Project, like in the second screenshot above. From that dropdown you can select a project for each line item, so you can link the invoice to all of your projects included on it!

  • Aha. Does linking each line item work for old invoices, or only for invoices going forward?

    • Vladimir Andrijevikj on October 5, 2016

      The automatic linking based on time and expenses will only happen for invoices going forward, but as mentioned above you can edit any of your existing invoices to establish their links to your projects!

  • Wow, Cashboard has been able to do this forever! Nice catch-up.

  • Nice and long awaited addition. THX

    BUT Why should I link a line item to a project and not the whole invoice? AND did you know, that there is a Project field in an invoice – why not link an invoice to a project by using this field?

  • Ann Lewis on October 5, 2016

    This is great but would be really helpful if this is reflected in invoicing reports when I run them. Is that possible? Thank you for this improvement!

    • Calina Madden on October 6, 2016

      No, that’s not possible at the moment! This feature lays the foundation for further improvements, though, and I’ll share your idea with the team here.

  • Annie Humphrey on October 5, 2016

    Is it possible to turn off this function?

    • Calina Madden on October 6, 2016

      Hi Annie. No, this feature isn’t something you can turn off. However, linking a project to an invoice isn’t mandatory, so you could simply leave your invoices unlinked if you prefer!

  • Would be great if can search on the invoice subject as well, not only number when linking

  • Stephanie on October 6, 2016

    Cool feature! We need to know the profit/loss statement of every project.

    But we actually need urgently a connection between estimates and projects (“convert to project” option after an estimate is accepted) and also a feature for managing creditors (3rd party bills)!

  • Great new feature! One wish though – That the invoice status would be available in the Project overview left of the “Actions” dropdown button.
    – Would be enough with the same label used in the Invoice overview: “Draft”, “Sent”, “Late”, Paid”.
    – It would really optimize the invoicing process timewise and eliminate missed invoices.

  • It would be useful to be able to link ANY invoice to a project, non just the ones of the project client (there is a seach box but it only searches for that client invoices). We have some cases where two clients share a project and now we cannot link all the invoices regarding that project.

  • I cannot link my September invoice to my Project – no project comes up in the drop down box after I have clicked edit invoice.

  • Jennifer DeAngelo on October 6, 2016

    We invoice through Quickbooks – how about a third-party integration with Quickbooks! Alternatively, I’d love to be able to attach quickbooks invoices & PDF contracts to the project as an upload.

  • Great addition! I agree with a few previously posted comments regarding invoicing projects with a budget. Most of my projects have a set budget that I bill regardless of coming in under or over on time. The free form invoice works but an option to bill the budgeted amount instead of project/person/task hours would be very nice.

  • Thanks for these improvements. We note that the client address was added to the invoice export. Good to have a heads up when data export formats change.

    One item that would immensely facilitate our work with Harvest data would be addition of a field in the Labor and Expense data, noting the number of the invoice on which each charge (record) was billed (like the “Invoiced” field, but more useful) . We need this b/c we have clients who require customized invoicing/reporting formats that are not available in Harvest. To ensure that the reports and re-formatted invoices that we create match those we run in harvest (but do not send, as such), we establish linkage of labor & expenses to invoices in a post process. If Harvest simply added this field, we could drop that post process and be confident that charges would be grouped so that the associations match.

  • I would like to add a request that on the main projects page, there would now be a column to display “invoiced amount” next to the “costs” column. That way we can quickly view how much has been billed for each project at a glance. Even now with the invoice linking, it still takes two clicks to get to this valuable information, and only to view one project’s invoiced total at a time.

    Also +1 for linking estimates to projects, as well. This would be huge.

  • This is a great addition.

    I know it would help us a lot to be able to bill a percentage of a task and track that percentage per bill. For example: We have a set budget for a task and we’ve completed 30% of it, so we bill that 30% and it shows up as billed so then the following month when we bill that same task again for the work done that month, say… 50%, the invoice would show that we’ve previously billed 30% of that task and this month, we’re billing 50% showing that we’re 80% complete with that task.

    It’s helpful for our clients to know where we are as well as helpful for our project managers to stay within budget.

  • Daniel Gutierrez on October 6, 2016

    Will the new Link Field ever shows up on the Harvest Invoice Report and have it’s own column? It would be very useful for projects that contain sub-projects, etc.

  • A great addition! I definitely agree with some of the other suggestions, but also have one of my own. I use QuickBooks Online for my business accounting (linked to Harvest), which restricts me to one project per invoice. It would be really nice to be able to display/print the linked project(s) in the invoice header area (this is a feature of QuickBooks, which I used to invoice out of) or group the invoice line items by project with some sort of header containing the project name. My clients require the project name on all of the invoices for internal chargeback purposes. I’ve had to highjack the PO Number field and manually enter the project name on every invoice to compensate for this gap. In any case, keep up the good work!

  • This is pretty cool and will be very useful!! However, having to link the same project for every description field in one invoice is cumbersome.

    Am I missing something?

    Is there a way to link the entire invoice to one project using one dropdown box?


    • Calina Madden on October 7, 2016

      Yep! As Vlad mentioned above, just head to Projects, then click on any project. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a new Invoices tab for that project. In that tab, click Link Invoice. You’ll be able to link any of the client’s unlinked invoices with one click.

  • Herb Bentz on October 7, 2016

    So far I am not finding this feature useful.

    It would be useful if you could put multiple projects on one invoice and then get a report that listed the amount invoiced for each project for a set time period. I can see the amount invoiced on the Project tab, but no invoice numbers.

    It would also be useful if it was possible to assign project expenses to a separate project on the same invoice. Then you would be able to get a report indicating what project expenses were invoiced for a fiscal year. At present, this information has to be extracted manually from each invoice.

    • Calina Madden on October 7, 2016

      Hi Herb! Just wanted to let you know there’s a current way to report on expenses that’ll help you. To see all expenses invoiced this year, just head to Reports > Expense. Select a timeframe for this year, then generate your report. At the top of the report, in the Show filter, select Invoiced. That’ll show you all invoiced expenses for the year.

  • This looks like a great feature. Have you considered doing the same thing for Purchase Orders or POs? My business often has the budget for a project increase as new POs are issued from clients. Today we only increase the scalar budget value, and as it increases we have no way to *link* that increase to the physical PO document. It would be great if Harvest could copy the Invoice Link feature for this similar and critical aspect of accounting.

  • Carl Steward on October 9, 2016

    Thanks for the update.

    Can I add a +1 to a request that a lot of other people are asking for:

    – Allow an Estimate to be converted into a Project.

    We’re nearly there!

    Also a +1 to making this new project invoice linking available via the API.


  • Nice feature! Agree with Robert and Elaine that it would be nice to see the link on the invoice overview page. Now I have to open each invoice to see if I linked it to a project. Maybe just showing a link icon on the invoice overview would help, that indicates that the invoice has been linked.

  • Ole Christian on October 10, 2016

    I’d like to link [any] invoice to a project. For internal cost accounting (pricing).

    For example, we bill customers for fixed-price services. The hours spent on these services is recorded in an internal project. I’d like to be able to link certain invoices sent to customer X,Y,Z to INTERNAL.

    Feature: Internal projects with cost/hour/service/fee
    Scenario: Account hours to internal cost price
    Given I have an internal project
    And the project is non-billable (or marked with new type: internal)
    And person P’s hourly cost is 55 $ (Annual salary $ 100 000)
    When P has recorded 291 hours on the internal project
    Then I should see outgoing balance: -16005 $

    Feature: Link invoices to internal projects

    Scenario: Link external invoices to internal project
    Given I have a fixed-price services
    And I have sent invoices to every Quarter for these services:
    | customer | invoice id | sum | due date |
    | A | 1 | 3000 $ | 2016-01-01 |
    | B | 10 | 2800 $ | 2016-01-01 |
    | C | 21 | 5200 $ | 2016-01-01 |
    | A | 22 | 5000 $ | 2016-03-01 |
    When I link an invoice on an internal [non-billable] project: INTERNAL
    Then I want to see any unlinked invoice
    [Given the outgoing is balance: -16005 $]
    [When I’ve linked said invoices]
    [Then I should see incoming balance: 16 000 $]
    [And the project balance should be: – 5 $]
    [And I should be very happy I’ve priced my service perfectly]

  • In the previous version we had the capability to attach supporting documentation. For example: travel expenses – our clients need to see the airfare and hotel costs. Is there a way to attach the receipts to the invoice?

    • Calina Madden on October 13, 2016

      Hi Linda – We didn’t change the way you can attach files to invoices. So, you’ll still be able to do it the same way you used to. Once you save the invoice, you’ll see a link at the bottom to attach a file.

  • The convert to project workflow must be coming next, right? We love all things Harvest except this portion. I love the addition that closes out an invoice if they click ‘pay online’, that’s beautiful. Now I, and a lot of others, would love to see the ability to send out an estimate, they click accept, and POW – there’s a new project already started. Project name can just be pulled from the Subject of the estimate.

  • Just a quick question (not related to team sorry), is there a way I can create a report showing different currencies. We invoice some of our clients in either AU, CN and/or US dollars, and it would be handy to do a report showing how many invoices we have charged out in USD (for example). Ta, Kat

  • Ahhh, very nice, when you make an invoice from an estimate, the notes field now actually shows invoice notes and not the estimate notes. Thanks guys, this saves time.

  • Wow….Fantastic tutorial video. Thanks for sharing

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