Dustin Wheeler

Dustin Wheeler
Dustin is a technology-driven CPA in Orem, Utah.

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Integrating Chrometa and FreshBooks - easy timekeeping, easy invoicing

Like peanut butter and jelly, I’m adding Chrometa and FreshBooks to my list of things that go together.  Both perform time and billing functions, but have unique strengths in each area:

  • Chrometa, which I reviewed for the CPA Practice Advisor, runs in the background and automatically tracks the amount of time a computer user spends on active program windows.
  • FreshBooks has an easy user interface for online invoicing and accounts receivable management (including tracking when customers have viewed and paid invoices).

Setting up the integration was very easy.  It was so easy, in fact, I intuitively figured it out without having to search for help.  In Chrometa, go to Account, then Integrations.  Enter your FreshBooks URL in the input box as shown below.

FreshBooks URL

Chrometa exports invoices to FreshBooks, but not time entries.  A user integrating the two programs will have to use Chrometa for timekeeping and creating invoices.  The user would then use FreshBooks for sending the invoices to customers.

In Chrometa, click on the Time button.  Assign time to a project (in my example, the client is “Test Client” and the project is “Tax Return”).

Chrometa assign time to project

Click on the Invoices button, then New Invoice.  Select the client and project name.  Enter the start and end dates for the time you want to invoice for.  There is also a cool feature here to round time to the nearest minute, six minutes, fifteen minutes, or hour.  In my example, 14 minutes and 42 seconds rounds up nicely to an even 15 minutes.

Then, click on the Get Time button.  Click on Save to generate an invoice.

Chrometa invoice setup
Click on the Invoices tab.  Click on the drop-down arrow in the Action column and select Export To FreshBooks.

Export to FreshBooks

Now, log in to your FreshBooks account.  Under “Recent Activity” on the home page, the newly imported invoice should be listed.  Click on the link for the new invoice to view it.

FreshBooks Invoice

With the invoice open in FreshBooks, I can edit it and choose among several options for sending:

  • print it.
  • convert it to a PDF document.
  • e-mail it.
  • snail mail it.

*Obviously, this invoice is completely fictional.  I do not prepare tax returns for $100/hour, nor does it typically take 15 minutes.  The name “Test Client” is completely made up, and any similarity to a real person, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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