Harvest is really good at timekeeping. One of the advantages of a cloud-based timekeeping system is your ability to access it from just about anywhere. There isn’t any excuse for not recording your time as it happens or at least once a day.
The beauty of daily timekeeping with Harvest is how you can get nearly ‘real time’ reports on how much time is being recorded on each project. But it gets even better. If you take a minute when you set up the project, you can see how the expended effort compares to your budget. Budgets in Harvest.
Here’s how it works…
When your are setting up your new project, to get Budgets in Harvest take a moment to select an Invoice Method  (in the image above). Of the four choices, I think “person hourly rate” gives you the best information. Choose that unless you have a reason not to. Next set the Budget in harvest.
There are five styles of the budget in Harvest that you can set :
You will note that you can get reminders. I start out with a low percentage and then bump it up after each reminder to make sure that I am watching the progress. Each time a reminder arrives, I look to see if the work we have accomplished is comparable to the budget used. If not, it is time for remedial action to get back on track.
The last part of setting up the project and the Budgets in Harvest is to specify the tasks/phases  that you will have (if any) and set the budgets. In this example I am setting up three phases and entering the amounts that I have specified in our proposal/contract.
Whenever you look at your list of projects, you see a snapshot of where you stand vis a vis your overall budgets in Harvest. Just click on a project to see more detail.
The expanded view repeats the snapshot information and then breaks things down by Tasks (Phases in my example) and also by Team.
The Team view of your data will show you everyone’s time on the project. You can expand each person as shown here to see how the time is posted per task. That can be done in the Task tab also. You many have noticed this COSTS column in the previous views. You can specify a ‘Cost’ rate for each person as well as a ‘Billable’ rate. Done right, this will give you profitability!
See this post to see how to do it right.
There you have it. Budgets in Harvest. Every time you review a project you will be seeing profitability thanks to the easily set project budgets. Not every bookkeeping or accounting program can do that. Harvest is one of the select few. Budgets in Harvest makes it possible to check profitability anytime.
Remember Harvest pays for itself just doing timekeeping. This benefit is a bonus.
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