How To Handle Progressive Billing


Progressive Billing is the term used to describe the process of invoicing a job/quote in multiple stages. Thus, the customer may have a quote for a job for $4,000. The job is done in four stages, and at the end of each stage, 25% of the quote is billed. The progressive billing function in ESC uses Quotes, Jobs, and Billing Codes to allow you to set up these job prices and bill a percentage of the quote in different stages. 

Create a Quote

If you do not already have a completed quote, you'll want to do that now.  Make sure that all costs and items to be invoiced have been added to the quote.  If the services you are providing require items that you do not wish to bill the customer for, make sure to include those in your quote, but set the Price to $0 and remove the check from the Print box so the customer does not see these items on the printed quote.  This will help you to properly track your costs.

It is also highly recommended that a Job be created and associated with this Quote.  The Job will transfer to all invoices and dispatches created from this quote and will help to tie together all final amounts.

Create the First Billing

Click the Bill button on the Quote screen toolbar, and the following screen will be displayed:

Let’s say that we wish to bill our customer in two separate billings, each for 50% of the total quote amount. "50" is entered into the Percentage to Bill field that was previously blank when the Bill button was clicked. 50% of the LAB billing code is computed and displayed in the Labor to Bill field – in this example, $499.86 is 50% of the $999.72 entered on the Quote. 50% of the material price is also computed and displayed in the Material to Bill field – in this example, $1,921.64 is 50% of $3,843.28. With the Retainage set to 5%, the Retainage amount is calculated at $121.08.  The Amount to Bill field displays the total of the fields above it, showing $2,300.43.

The inventory items on the Quote are listed in the Select Items to Cost on Invoice field. Checking any of these items will relieve them from inventory and apply the cost to the Material Cost of the new 50% invoice that will be created when OK is clicked. Only items with a cost greater than zero on the original Quote will appear in this list.

The "Percentage to Bill" field may be skipped, and the amounts may be entered into the Labor to Bill, Material to Bill, and Other to Bill fields. The Estimated column displays that totals for labor, material and other that have been entered onto the original Quote. The Prev Billed column displays the amounts that have already been billed on previous invoices against this Quote. The Remaining column displays the difference between the previous two columns to give you an amount that needs to be billed to reach 100% billing completion.

If this is the final billing, click on the Bill Remaining Amount button, and the amounts in the Remaining column will be displayed in the "To Bill" column on the left.

The Invoice

When the new invoice is created, the next invoice counter number determines the Invoice Number. The Invoice Form is set to be as the default form even though it was generated from a Quote. All other applicable fields are brought over from the Quote also.

You will see that the body of the invoice follows the AIA billing standards. Simply Print or Save it to complete the first draw.

Note: All of the items on the invoice are required (even the grayed out ones). Please do not delete any lines or change the value of any line item.

At the bottom on the invoice you will see the inventory items listed by inventory part number, showing that they have been costed on the invoice. In this context, the term "costed" means that it has been removed from ESC inventory, and its Material Cost now is included in the Material Cost amount of the sales invoice, visible in the lower left corner of the Sales Invoicing screen as well as the Sales Reports.

Additional/Final Billing

The next step in our example is to create an invoice for the second 50% of the amount of the initial Quote. Any number of invoices may be created for various percentages to finally bill the total amount of the initial Quote. In this example, we will have created two billings, each for 50% each.

Open the initial Quote from the customer's Detail panel in the Customer Center or by searching for the customer in the Quote List.   

As with the first part of this example above, click on the Bill button and select Progressive Billing. The same Create a Bill for the Estimate screen is displayed. If you wish to create another progressive invoice, enter the percentage in the Percentage to Bill field, and the amounts for the next billing will be computed. If this is the final billing, click on the Bill Remaining Amount button instead, and the amounts in the Remaining column will be displayed, including the retainage that has been withheld to date.

Note that this procedure remembers the items that were removed from inventory during previous billings. Since we previously selected some of the inventory items on our first progressive invoice, they do not appear in the list for this billing.


← How To Setup ESC For Progressive Billing

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