How to create and use retainer projects

Learn how to set up and use retainer projects. See how to invoice retainer projects.

How to set up a retainer project

Retainer projects are usually used for work done over a longer period of time, a couple of months and even years. And it has a monthly price associated with it that will reserve your services for a period at that rate. They're used by agencies, law firms and other companies that would benefit from this billing method.

When setting up a project you have the option to select:

  • the frequency - monthly, quarterly, and yearly.

  • the start and end date

  • the retainer hourly rate

  • time or money budget

  • alerts when a certain threshold of the budget has been reached

In the project overview, you can now see the current period budget which represents the billable amount for the set period. The current period worked will show the remaining budget based on the work put in and how much your team already worked.

The Period progress area will display the current and future retainer periods. From there you can create new billing periods, mark them as invoiced, or create invoices based on them.

Note: when editing the retainer settings, the changes will affect only future periods.

How to invoice retainer projects

You can create an invoice from the Overview area of the project by clicking on the Create invoice button.

You can go to Accounting Invoicing click on Add outstanding time and costs and select the retainer projects from the list.

How time reports work with retainer projects

When creating a time report, the time will be displayed normally, but if you wish to display costs and billable amounts, the internal costs will be displayed based on the rates set, but the billable amount (what you will charge the client) won't be displayed, because that is tied to a specific billing period and value.