Issues with Billing and the QuickBooks Online Integration
I've used QuickBooks Online for my business since 2014 and have a lot of data there - including all my service definitions, rates, etc.
There are a few things that really bug me about Atera's integration with QBO and it effectively stops me from being able to use Atera's billing features because it makes billing so much more difficult than just doing it by hand.
When I export an invoice from Atera to QBO, the dates on the service line items are the date of the export, not the date of the beginning of the service period. Since I bill in arrears, I almost never generate invoices for periods before the next period begins. So when using Atera, all my generated invoices have dates for the wrong period, so I have to change each date on each line item by hand after it's been exported to QBO.
Each client of mine is setup in QBO as a client (obviously), and each client's billing contact details are there as well (again, obviously). When I export an invoice from Atera to QBO, Atera overrides the email address the invoice is sent to and will only send it to the primary contact in Atera. This is problematic because several of my companies use outside accounting firms or require invoices be sent to both an inside Controller and the outside firm. Since Atera is unable to leave the preconfigured email destination(s) alone, I have to modify this by hand after the invoice has been exported to QBO too. The inconvenience to this is that I have to keep a separate spreadsheet detailing where invoices need to go for each customer, even though QBO is already configured to do what I need it to - Atera just gets in the way.
This issue has a few parts to it.
- The number of devices for each service is really high. Is Atera including retired devices in the counts?
- When configuring the customer contract, I have a very limited set of items to count by. I have rates for different device types - like a monitored website vs. a network switch. Unfortunately I cannot count these properly, so this too must be done by hand for each client.
- I cannot count devices that are using services I offer. For instance, if a device has the ESET and Bitwarden installed, it should be billed according to it's corresponding rate I've configured in QBO. Right now, invoicing based on this kind of criteria is impossible with Atera. Once again, these counts need to be manually tallied and modified by hand in QBO after exporting from Atera.
- When an invoice is exported to QBO, the service descriptions that I have configured in QBO are not used at all. Atera just copies the service name into the service description box which makes the invoices less professional and lacks beneficial information that should be present. Once again, I have to do this by hand in QBO after the invoice is exported from Atera.
Atera will not bill a customer for a ticket until that ticket is marked resolved. If I spend time on a ticket and it just so happens to cross periods, I do not get paid for that ticket until the end of the period it closes in. This means:
- I cannot use tickets to work on long running issues.
- I cannot use tickets as a form of project management (like scheduling and communicating with a group of users about the status of an app upgrade or deployment)
- My cilents will puke if the work from multiple tickets gets unexpectedly billed in the same period.
This just does not make any sense to me, but I'm not the only one that uses Atera nor is my use case the only one that exists, so if this fits with your style of billing I would really love to hear about it!
If I setup a contract at a client for hourly work and I need to invoice that customer before the billing period is over (for a variety of reasons that I'll skip here), I cannot bill for any time spent on the hourly contract. I discovered the hard way that I needed to create a new contract for "on-demand" hourly work, then go back through all tickets for that customer and switch the contract to use the on-demand version instead of the hourly version. Now I'm thinking I need to change the contract to only use the on-demand version, but I'm scared of any unexpected changes that might introduce.
Billing had always been done by hand before I moved to Atera. When I moved I was hopeful that an integrated ticketing system, device counts, and integration with QBO would solve a lot (if not all) my issues with billing by hand. After using it though, I pretty much have to build every invoice by hand just like I did before, only now it requires more clicks 😔
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