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Create Line Items in a Custom Invoice Calculator

We’ve set up several scenarios for when it makes sense to use a custom invoice calculator. Now it’s time to create line items to underscore the power of this tool. And that’s what we’ll do in this article. You’ll learn how to:

  • Activate a custom invoice calculator,
  • Make selections on your custom configuration screen,
  • Create a custom invoice calculator with line items, and
  • Edit a custom invoice.

Activate a Custom Invoice Calculator

We need to activate our custom invoice calculator to get started. Follow the steps below.

1. Click INVOICING...CONFIGURE from your navigation bar.


2. Click on the CALCULATORS tab.

You’ll see all of the calculators that have been generated. For the purposes of this example, we’re going to use an existing custom invoice calculator called, Custom: T&M with Deposit.

Note: Learn how to create a custom invoice template.


3. Click the ON switch for one of your custom invoice calculators. Then, click on the title itself, that way the “edit” option appears.


4. Click EDIT and a new screen will populate, where you'll make custom invoicing selections and add and edit line items, which we’ll explain next.


Selections on Your Custom Configuration Screen

The calculator we selected in the previous section is a blank template that we’ll customize to handle our current scenario. Once you activate your custom invoice template, you'll be prompted to make several selections on the custom invoice configuration screen.


Here’s what you need to do:

  • Select the type of invoice you’d like to create: manual, T&M (time and materials), or fixed fee.
  • Select the terms you want to use when generating calculations. The first three terms—retainer, deposit, and holdback—are standard terms. Each can be connected to a line item type within your accounting system. The last three terms—integer, overall budget, and retainer—are custom invoice terms that we’ve created on the project. Only project custom fields of a numeric type will be an option to include on the custom calculator. That means, a custom field type that is an Integer, Currency, or Double.
  • Click NEXT once you’ve made your selections.

Now we’re ready to create our custom calculator.

Create a Custom Invoice Calculator

Once you’ve selected your configuration settings, you’ll be ready to add line items, which are at the core of every invoice. In this section, we’ll walk through several examples to show you how to add line items.



Click on the gray arrow next to STANDARD in the TYPE column. A short picklist will populate (see image below). Here’s what you need to know:

  • Fee or Expense Item- create a line item for every fee-base or expense-based item on the invoice.
  • Deposit- keep track of the debits and credits across all invoices for the deposit term. Each time I create a new invoice, I have the balance of debits and credits for any of the line items linked to deposit.



The description column is where we describe the line item and set a condition. Think of a condition as a rule: if the condition is true, then apply the line item. We’ll walk through several examples. Our first line item is for a deposit: if I have less than $5,000 in my deposit balance, then I want to add $10,000 to it.

First, we’ll add a description, “Deposit”, to the description column. Then, we’ll click on the hyperlink, add condition, to clarify the line item. The condition matters because we don’t want to add $10,000 every time we create an invoice as a deposit line item—only when the deposit is less than $10,000. We’ll clarify this term with a formula.


Add a Condition

To add a condition, you need to select your terms. Get a list of terms that are associated with this invoice by clicking into the condition textbox. Then, hold the control key and hit the down arrow; a picklist of terms associated with this particular invoice will populate.


Note: A small orange box will describe each term as you use the down arrow to scroll through the list of terms.

Follow these steps to add the condition:

  • Select a term from the picklist.
  • Add a full stop (ie, a period)
  • Select the next term from the picklist that populates beneath the add condition textbox.
  • Add a full stop (ie, a period)
  • Select the next term from the picklist that populates beneath the add condition textbox.

This is what our condition looks like:

This formula says: only add this line item if my deposit balance is less than $5,000.

Note: If you think that Term.Deposit.Balance is too wordy, then try the shorthand: x.Balance. “x” refers to whatever the line item type is.

Let’s consider one more example: a deposit credit. Here’s the scenario: if I have fees on the invoice, then we’ll credit back 10% based on the deposit that I have on hand. But we need to make sure there’s enough in our deposit balance. We’ll apply those details below.

We followed the steps outlined in the “Description” and “Add a Condition” sections to add details to our invoice. We were sure to add a condition to execute only if there’s enough in our deposit balance. Here’s what our template looks like now.


Finalize Your Custom Invoice

When you’re done adding line items, click NEXT. You’ll be directed to a new window where you can add more details before you publish your calculator. Then click SAVE. Now this calculator is ready to use.


When you create an invoice, you’ll see the custom invoice you created as an option.


Edit a Custom Invoice

Say you’re working on an invoice and want to update an existing formula for one of your line items to be more specific. Return back to the custom invoice you’ve been working on and make your specific changes.

Here’s an example. You’re updating a deposit credit. You’d like the system to see that you have a prior balance of $7,500 and a remaining balance of $4,900. Although you could type this information into the line item description, you may not want to do this because this will “hardcode” the values you type in.


That said, you’ll want to use curly braces and brackets, depending on the information you’re adding. In the example below, we changed the prior balance number to a variable using curly braces. However, balance remaining requires a calculation. In this case, we’ll enter the formula inside brackets, surrounded by curly braces.


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