Progress Claim by Amount Invoices – Auto Generate Invoice Lines

In Abtrac you can create a detailed progress claim invoice automatically from your job task and timesheet data.

Automatic Progress Claim invoices can be generated by amounts to look like the examples below.

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There are quite a few key details to get your progress claim invoices set up and working they way you need them.
It is a good idea to read through this article from start to finish, but we have also summarised the key components below for quick reference:

Progress Claim Invoices – Setting up your Jobs and Tasks

Where to enter fee estimates and claim details

Progress Claim Invoices – Invoice Generation

How to use the ‘automatically generate’ invoice options

Progress Claim by Amount Invoices Gallery

Screenshots of ‘automatically generate’ invoice options and the invoices they create

Progress Claim by Amount  – Invoice Lines

An explanation of how invoice lines for Progress Claim invoices are created, how to assign time to claim lines, and how to enter the line amounts you require for each claim item

Progress Claim by Amount  –Understanding Invoice Columns

The Progress Claim columns show the Task Fee Value, Percentage Complete (Task %), Fee to Date (Value Completed), Previously Invoiced and a Line Amount for the current invoice.

Progress Claim by Amount  – Editing and Styling invoices

Each of the columns in an invoice can be edited, styled and hidden from Administration >> Settings >> Invoice Line Control Settings, or by editing the invoice line.

Click on the links above, or read on for details

Creating Progress Claim Invoices – Setting up your Jobs

To create a progress claim invoice, you will first need a job with task budgets entered.

Go to Clients, Contacts & Jobs >> Search Clients and Jobs >> click on the relevant ‘Job Code’ to go into ‘Job Details’ page >> click on Tasks to go into ‘Job Tasks’ page where you can enter/edit details for the ‘Job Tasks’ for the selected ‘Job’.

People will then need to enter their time and disbursements against each respective task (you will want to ensure that tasks are required for the job).

If you are not using tasks yet, we would recommend reading through this article to learn the best way to set up and use of  tasks in your office. (aka. stages, phases, or matters)

You may also wish to generate progress claim numbers automatically for each invoice. This can be enabled from Job Billing Details.

Creating Progress Claim Invoices – Invoice Generation

At invoicing time, go to Invoices >> Generate Invoices >> choose your client and job and click on ‘Generate Invoice’ button.

From the Invoice Lines, Narratives and Amounts section >> choose the ‘Generate Lines Automatically’ button.

Then, from the ‘Auto Generate Options’ pop up that appears, choose the Progress Claim option and decide which style of progress claim invoice you would like to use.

Clicking on the ‘Generate Invoice Automatically’ button in the ‘Generate Invoices’ screen will take you straightaway to the ‘Auto Generate Options’ pop up.

This article relates to Progress Claim by Amount invoices. The process is similar for Percentage Progress Claim invoices.

Progress Claim by Amount Invoice Gallery


Progress Claim by Amount – Option 1

Option 2: Itemise Disbursements

Option 3: Itemise Disbursements with Grand Total Line

Option 4: Subtotals by Task Group with a Grand Total Line

Option 5: Additional text lines (grouped using invoice subtotals)

Generating and Editing Invoice Lines

Invoice lines for an automatically generated progress claim are created for each current job task – regardless of whether any time exists in the system for that task.

Unbilled time and cost for each current job task is automatically assigned to the corresponding task line.

The invoice line amounts for each task are left blank (zero) when the invoice is automatically generated – line amounts need to be entered manually. 

You can determine what to bill by viewing the assigned time (at this point you can also un-assign items and hold some back for the next claim if required).

Alternatively, you can bill any other chosen amount, including an amount greater than the original fee estimate. However, to clearly view and analyse any variations to the original scope, you may prefer to track the variations as separate tasks.

You can also bill a percentage of the total fee estimate. By entering a percentage amount from the edit invoice line details, the line amount will calculate automatically.

For this, click on the pencil edit button on each invoice line. Edit the Invoice line in the below pop up that appears and save the changes.

Line Narrations
The invoice line narrations for each line are copied from the task name as a default, but these descriptions can be amended on the invoice line narrative.

Adding additional lines to automatically  generated claim invoices

Once lines have been created, you can independently create text only lines containing a description of the work carried out. You can also create other types of invoice lines (text/value etc) –  but these won’t be taken into account the next time a claim is automatically generated.

You will need to use subtotals to ensure the claim details still display as expected with extra invoice lines inserted. Make sure you set the ‘Show Header’ and ‘Show Footer’ columns for the additional lines to ‘No’ in the ‘Manage Subtotals’ pop up.

You can learn more about managing subtotals in the article Invoice Subtotals.

Manage Subtotals and Sort Order

Option 5: Additional text lines (grouped using invoice subtotals)

Understanding Invoice Columns

Each Progress Claim by Amounts invoice contains columns for:

  • Task Fee Value
  • Percentage Completed or Done (Task %)
  • Fee to Date (Value Completed)
  • Previous Invoices
  • Line Amount of the current invoice

All the columns can be renamed, re-ordered and hidden from the invoice, this is explained in the next section – Styling Progress Claim Invoices

Task Fee Value is auto-filled from the Task Fee Estimate

% Completed or Done (Task %) is automatically calculated from the total Fee to Date (including the current Line Amount) ÷ Task Fee Value. You can also enter a percentage from edit invoice lines (e.g. 50%) and the Line Amount will be worked out for you.

Fee to Date (Value Completed) is automatically calculated from all other invoices and invoice lines in the system which also contain the same job number and task – including the current invoice.

But if you are using Progress Assessments, then the Value Completed will be taken instead from a calculation of the % ge Done field (and will not necessarily be equal to the billed value to date.)

Previous Invoices is automatically calculated from other invoices and invoice lines in the system (excluding the current invoice) which also contains the same job number and task.

Line Amount of the current invoice can be calculated from entering the % ge complete value, either in the invoice line, or in the task screen (as a progress assessment). Or you can enter the line amount manually for all progress claim lines.

Each of the fee column options above are visible from Edit Invoice Lines – some fields are editable, some are not.

Styling Progress Claim Invoices

To style the default layout and the titles of the columns within the invoice, you will need to specify your requirements from Administration >>  Settings >> Invoice Line Control Settings >> select ‘Progress Claim’ from the dropdown menu.

Whether each column is included in the invoice, the sizing, display order, column names(labels), and other styling is determined from here.

Header and Footer Descriptions

You can also style the progress claim column headers, totals and descriptions. Each claim can display one or more groupings of totals, the display of totals, and what you call your total lines can also be specified here.

Section Headers using Task Groups and Itemised Disbursements

If you wish to automatically create titles for the task and disbursement claim sections within the invoice, you can use task groups. You can create/edit task groups from the Job Tasks page by clicking on the ‘Task Groups’ button.

Tips for using Progress Claims

What if I have created an invoice for a job that wasn’t a progress claim – but I want to include the details of this invoice in the ‘previously invoiced column’ for future claims?
If you have previously created an invoice for the job that was not a progress claim, you can adjust this previously invoiced amount, and optionally update the task fee estimate at the same time.

In the example below an additional $1820.00 was billed prior to the automatically generated progress claim invoices, but was omitted from the task estimate for the job. Enter the new value in the ‘Previously Invoiced’ field, which automatically recalculates the ‘Line Amount’. Now enter the desired ‘Line Amount’ manually and click on the ‘Update Agreed Fee’ button. The previously invoiced amount, and the task value are both increased by $1820.00 once you click ‘Yes’ in the pop up that appears.

Abtrac KB# 2085