The Billing module lets you act like a rental yard for your own jobs and employees, renting and selling tools, equipment, and supplies.

The system automatically records your billing pre-sets (rates, rental minimums or defaults, rental maximums, sale refunds, and codes) as items are assigned in Item history (details), where they can be edited. Once recorded, your pre-sets and the data recorded in Item history (details) aren't connected. Changing one doesn't change the other.

  • Changing a pre-set doesn't change the data recorded previously in item history.
  • Changing the data recorded in item history doesn't change your pre-sets.

The data in Item history (details) is used by the Billing module to compute bills. Once computed, the bills displayed in the Bills screen aren't connected with Item history (details). Changing one doesn't change the other.

SET UP THE BILLING SYSTEM


RECORD AND EDIT BILLING DATA IN ITEM HISTORY (DETAILS)

Your billing pre-sets (rates, rental minimums or defaults, rental maximums, sale refunds, and codes) are automatically recorded as items are assigned. You can edit them in the Orders - Assignments screen Details sub grid (if their STATUS isn't 'shipped', 'received' or 'discrepancy') or in the Item history (details) screen (whatever their STATUS). Changing data in either screen doesn't change your pre-sets. If, for example, you change an item's rate at a particular job (to $0, for example, if you don't want to charge for the item), its pre-set rates aren't changed.


CHARGE FOR SOME BUT NOT ALL THE TIME AN ITEM IS AT A JOB

If you want to send an item to a job but begin charging on a later date, enter the start-charging date in RENT COMMENCE. If you want to leave an item at a job but stop charging for it, enter the stop-charging date in RENT COMPLETE (you'll need to create a view of the Item history (details) grid that includes the field(s) you want to use).

If you want to leave an item at a job but charge just for the time it's used, either assign and re-assign the item to the same job (alternating between it's pre-set rate and $0) or use the Bill for meter hours preference (requires both the Repair and maintenance and Billing modules).


RUN AND PRINT A BILL

If you're using rental maximums, want rental upgrades to consider the entire period an item has been out (not just the current period) or are using the Current = total - previous billing method, you want the Tracker to look at previous bills when calculating the current bill. Check PERIOD COMPLETE in the bills you want considered in those calculations.

  • Click the Data icon in the main menu then Bills.
  • Click the Edit icon in the main grid menu.
  • Check PERIOD COMPLETE in the bills you want included in your billing calculations.
  • Click the Save icon in the main grid menu.

Run bills from the "Item history with complete dates" or Bills screen.

  • In either screen, click the Tools icon in the main grid menu, Macros then Create bill.
  • Enter a NAME for the bill, COMMENCE and COMPLETE dates, click OK and the bill will appear in the Bills grid in the Bills screen.
  • Click on the bill in the Bills grid and its detail will appear in the Bill details grid.
  • To print a bill, click the Reports icon in the Bill details subgrid (not the main Bills grid!), the report you want (if you're unsure, try bill grouped by job) then Print.

SEARCH BILLING DATA

You can search for the data you want before or after running a bill (or both).

Bills run from the Bills screen always include all available billing data. You can only search after running a bill. Click on the bill you want in the main grid then the Search icon in the subgrid menu.

Bills run from the "Item history with complete dates" screen can be searched before running a bill. Search in that screen then run a bill and only the found data will be included. Use this approach if you want to run different bills on different schedules, for example, equipment bills monthly and consumable bills weekly. Bills run from the "Item history with complete dates" screen appear in the Bills screen, where they can be searched again.


EDIT BILLS IN AND DELETE BILLS FROM THE BILLS SCREEN

  • Click the Data icon in the main menu then Bills.
  • Follow the instructions in the Add, Edit and Delete section of the help overview to edit and delete bills.

If you edit billing data, you're only changing the data you see in the grid, not the underlying data in Item history (details) from which your bills were calculated. In most cases, it's best to change the underlying data. If you do edit your billing data, be sure to re-calculate any related fields (the Tracker doesn't re-calculate them for you), for example, if you change a rate, change the total due to match.

You can delete an entire bill but can't delete line items from a bill.

THE BILL DETAILS SCREEN

Bill details can be seen in the Bills screen (in the Bill details subgrid) and the separate Bill details screen.

In the Bills screen, Bill details can be limited to specific bills by selecting those bills in the main grid. If you select more than one bill, the details for all the selected bills will appear in the Bill details subgrid.

It can be easier to search for historical data in the Bill details screen than the Bills screen, for example, all the charges for a particular item or job. If you want to include just PERIOD END charges, click the Search icon in the main grid menu then period complete only.


FIELDS

  • (Bills grid) BILL HEADER NAME.
  • (Bills grid) COMMENCE and COMPLETE. The bill's commence and complete date.
  • (Bills grid) PERIOD COMPLETE. Checked bills are considered when bills are run.

  • (Bill details grid) COMMENCE and COMPLETE. An item's commence and complete date at an assignment.
  • (Bill details grid) CURRENT DUE.
  • (Bill details grid) LINE TYPE.

  • "Unique" items need only one Bill details row per assignment, but "Not unique" items can be assigned in odd lots, for example, 3 widgets are assigned to a job on day 1, 1 is returned on day 3, 5 more are sent to the same job on day 7, etc. The Tracker calculates commence and complete dates and figures the amount due for these then adds up the previous amount charged and current due amount in a "Summary" row.

  • (Bill details grid) PREVIOUS. The amount previously charged for this item at this assignment.
  • (Bill details grid) QUANTITY. If the item is unique, QUANTITY is always 1. If a quantity item, the number billed.
  • (Bill details grid) RATE.
  • (Bill details grid) RATE PERIOD. Hour, day, week, month, or sale.
  • (Bill details grid) TOTAL DUE.
  • (Bill details grid) USED. The number of rate periods charged, for example, 1.00 month (if RATE PERIOD is Sale, USED is always 1.00).

MACROS

  • (Bills grid). CREATE BILL. Creates a new bill.

COMPLEX SYSTEM REPORTS

  • (Bill details system view) BILL GROUPED BY JOB. Subtotals TOTAL DUE, PREVIOUS and CURRENT DUE for each job.
  • (Bill details system view) BILL GROUPED BY ITEM. Subtotals TOTAL DUE, PREVIOUS and CURRENT DUE for each item.

RATES

In Tracker 7, rates are usually assigned by item. Jobs can be given different blanket discounts, but all jobs use the same rates. The exception is rate book billing, where rates are assigned by group (for example, hand drills) and stored in rate books that are assigned to jobs. You can create as many rate books as you like, each with a completely different set of discounts. With this approach, you can give different jobs different discounts for different items, for example, job B can be given a 10% discount for some items and a 5% discount for others while job C can be given completely-different discounts for the same items.

Tracker 8 uses rate book billing, partly because it makes rate editing faster and easier (because you enter and edit rates for groups, not item-by-item). But also because it gives users who want it the ability to offer different discount schedules to different jobs.

If Waterwheel converted your data and you haven't been using rate book billing, we set you up with one rate schedule and made it the default rate schedule in your billing preferences. We gave your rate types names like 'D H0.00 S0.00 D45.00 W225.00 M945.00 R0 X0' that tell you, at a glance, rate type's rates (in this example, the D at the beginning means the default rate is Day (it would be S for Sale, W for Week, etc.); the abbreviations after that are for the Hour rate: 0.00, Sale rate: 0.00, Day rate: 45.00, Week rate: 225.00, Month rate: 945.00, sale Refund: 0 and maXimum rent: 0).


PERIOD END (called PERIOD COMPLETE in Tracker 8)

In Tracker 7, period-end bills must be run periodically to tell the system to start a new period. To undo a period-end bill, you have to restore a backup or run a utility program that deletes previous billing amounts and dates from the database. In Tracker 8, while period-complete bills aren't required, most Tracker 7 users will want to use them: bills need to be marked period-complete if you're using rental maximums, want rental upgrades to consider the entire period an item has been out or want bills to be calculated using Tracker 7's upgrade billing logic.

In Tracker 7, you tell the system you want a period-end bill before you run it. In Tracker 8, bills are marked period complete with an editable checkbox after they're run. Uncheck the box and the bill is no longer period-complete. So it's easy to re-run or re-print a bill. That said, check PERIOD COMPLETE in all the bills you want included in your billing calculations. If you don't, you'll get the double charges you saw in Tracker 7 if you didn't run a period-end bill.

In Tracker 7, bills can be saved and re-opened but can't be edited (if you want to change something in a bill, you have to change the underlying data, for example, a rate). In Tracker 8, bills are saved automatically and can be examined, edited and deleted, in whole or in part.


BILLING PREFERENCES

If Waterwheel converted your data, we mimicked your Tracker 7 billing setup in Tracker 8. But there are a few new billing preferences we recommend filling in.

  • Billing method specifies the arithmetic used when computing bills. We set most Tracker 7 users to Current = total - previous, which is the same as Tracker 7's upgrade billing logic: the system computes the total amount due for every item ever sent then subtracts the amount charged previously on period-end bills.

  • Tracker 8 can Bill employees and Bill items that are treated as containers. If you chose Tracker 7's bill containers option, we checked Bill items when converting your data.

  • Job default code takes precedence over rate type code. Pre-set (or default) codes can be set up in jobs or rate types. If there's a conflict and this option is checked, the job code is used. If not checked, the rate type code is used. If there's a conflict in Tracker 7, the user is asked which code to use.

  • Job default max rent takes precedence over rate type max rent. Max rent can be set in jobs or rate types (or the billing preference screen). If there's a conflict between the job and rate type max rent and this option is checked, the job max rent is used. If not checked, the rate type max rent is used. Tracker 7 didn't allow this kind of conflict to occur.

  • Default rate schedule. Used if a job isn't assigned a rate schedule. Also used with employees and items, if you bill them. If Waterwheel converted your data, we entered a value. If you're entering your own data, we recommend filling this field in. If you do, you'll only need to enter exception schedules when adding jobs.

  • Bill period. If you used a form of month cap billing in Tracker 7, we selected Bill for exactly one month, which requires bill COMMENCE and COMPLETE dates to be the first and last day of a month. Items out for an entire month are charged the month rate, exactly.

  • In Tracker 7, rental maximums can be assigned by item or job. In Tracker 8, they're assigned by rate group, job or a global Default max rent, a percentage of cost, used if no max rent has been entered in the relevant job or rate type. If you want to cap your rentals, enter a Default max rent and you'll only need to enter exceptions in your jobs and/or rate types. Be sure to enter a cost for all the items whose rentals you want to cap!

  • In Tracker 7, sale refunds are assigned item-by-item. In Tracker 8, they're assigned by rate type or the global Default refund. You don't need to enter a refund in an item's rate type if it uses that default. If you want to issue a refund when sold items are returned, enter a Default refund and you'll only need to enter exceptions in your rate types.

  • Hour start time is used if an items default rate period is HOUR.

  • When you're entering rates, the Tracker automatically cross-calculates hour, day, week and month rates if all 4 fields are blank and you've entered day, week and/or month breaks. A rate break is an upgrade point. If an item's hour rate is $1 and its day rate is $6, its Day break is 6 hours: if the item is out less than 6 hours, the hour rate is a better deal than the day rate; if out more than 6 hours, the day rate is a better. The Day break is in hours, the Week break in days and the Month break in weeks. If your Day break is 6, Week break 4, and Month break 3 and the user enters $6 as the day rate, the Tracker will cross-calculate a $1 hour rate ($6 / 6), $24 week rate ($6 x 4) and $72 month rate (3 x the $24 week rate). It doesn't matter which of the 4 rates is entered, the other 3 will be cross-calculated.

  • Bill repair and maintenance and Bill meter hours are like the same options in Tracker 7.

OTHER DIFFERENCES

Tracker 7 doesn't support clock-based hourly billing, for example, for an item checked out at 8am and returned 3 hours later. Tracker 8 offers this capability.

Changes to the Tracker 7 billing report require changes to the report template or the code. In Tracker 8, most billing report changes can be handled by changing a view or sort.

Quantity items are displayed in Tracker 8 bills with summary rows that you don't see in Tracker 7. The result is the same.