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Rate Groups, Rates, Retainers and Fixed Fees

Updated: Jan 9

This is a guide to creating Rate Groups and setting up your Rates, Retainers and Fixed Fees for billing purposes.

This process has five steps:

  1. Adding Rate Groups

  2. Adding Included Services

  3. Adding Rates

  4. Adding Fixed Fees

  5. Assigning Rate Groups to Clients

1. Adding Rate Groups

The Rate Group table is where you will set up retainers and billing packages.

To add a Rate Group:

  • Go to the Rate Group table under Setup.

We have added some Rate Groups for you as examples.

The table contains a few columns:

  • The Rate Group column is for the Rate Group name.

  • The notes column is for any internal notes.

  • The Invoice Description will appear on the invoice for Fixed Fees or Retainer Clients.

  • Fixed Fees for Included Services is the retainer amount. Please leave this field blank if this rate group is not a retainer. We will show you how to connect each task with a rate later.

  • The Default Rate Group column should only be set once in the table. This will become the default rate for any task where a rate and rate group has not been assigned. It is an excellent setting if you have some services that are charged at a set or hourly rate regardless of the billing package or retainer.

You can add your rate groups by:

Amending the current Rate Groups

  • Click on the one you want to amend to open the details panel

  • Then change the information according to your need

  • Click Save

Deleting the current Rate Groups

To remove all the current Rate Groups:

  • Click on the square next to the column headings to select all the records (see the little blue ticks below)

  • Click on Actions

  • Click on Delete Selected

To remove only some of the Rate Groups and keep others:

  • Follow the above procedure, but instead of clicking on the top block next to the Headings, click on the separate block of each Rate Group name. This will add blue ticks to those blocks only. Then select Actions and Delete Selected.

Add your Rate Groups:

  • Click on 'ADD RECORD' in the top right-hand corner

  • Fill in the details

  • Click Save

2. Adding Included Services

Rate Groups such as retainers will include some services.

To add included services to a Rate Group in the table:

  • Click on the Rate Group Record

  • Click on Included Services in the top right corner.

  • Click on ADD RECORD

  • The Rate Group field will populate automatically

  • Select a task from the Included Task dropdown

  • Save

Below is a list of all the tasks available in DataGrows to use as a reference

Task List
Download XLSX • 11KB

3. Adding Rates

Rates can be added for each task within a Rate Group. If the Rate Group is a retainer but includes some tasks that fall outside of the negotiated amount, those rates can also be set up in the Rates Table.

The best way to do this is by using the template below.

Download XLSX • 14KB

We have added each task to the Rates tab/sheet under the Rate Group called Guide. You can copy and paste these rows for each of your Rate Groups to make sure you have included all tasks, or you can copy the entire tab as follows:

  • Right-click on the Rates tab/sheet

  • Click on Move or Copy

  • Select Copy

  • You can then rename the tab by right-clicking on it again.

The tab contains the following columns:

  • Task Name

  • Rate: The rate charged for the task (Currency Column)

  • Rate Type: Hourly or Fixed

  • Invoice Description: The description will display on the invoice if different from the task name.

  • Billable: TRUE/FALSE

  • Rate Group: Please make sure the spelling of these Rate Groups is exactly the same as in the Rate Group Table in DataGrows.

Once you have added all your Rates for each Rate Group, save each tab/sheet as a CSV

(comma delimited) file.

Remember that when you save an Excel file to a CSV file, only the first tab/sheet in the Excel file will be saved. This means that you must move each sheet in the Excel file to the position of first tab/sheet to save each one to its own CSV file.

  • Save the file as a CSV with the Rate Group Name. This is the first file for import.

  • Now move the second tab/sheet to the position of first tab/sheet, then save the file as a CSV again under the new Rate Group name. Each time the first tab/sheet will save. Keep repeating this process until all tabs/sheets have been saved.

Now you can upload each sheet into DataGrows.

To do this, you will first need to delete the current rates:

  • Go to the Rates table

  • Select all of the records in the table by clicking on the square next to the column headings (this will add the little blue ticks to each block next to each record).

  • Click on Actions

  • Click on Delete Selected

  • Then click OK to confirm

  • Next, click on Menu (see above).

  • Select Upload.

  • Then drag and drop the first CSV into the window.

  • * If an error indicates that only one column was identified, please click cancel and change the separator by selecting another separator from the dropdown. (The separator is dependent on the operating system you use). Click Save again.

  • A notification will pop up in the right-hand corner indicating that the upload was successful.

  • You can now repeat the steps to add all of the Rates CSV files to the table.

4. Adding Fixed Fees

Fixed Fees that need to be claimed back for, such as Xero or Sage subscriptions, can also be set in DataGrows.

To do this:

  • Go to the Fixed Fees table under Setup

  • Then click on 'ADD RECORD' in the top right-hand corner

You can add:

  • An Invoice Description: This is a text field

  • Client: Please select from the dropdown

  • Billing Frequency: How often this amount should be included in an invoice.

  • Amount

  • Start Month

  • End Month (if any)

  • Invoice code

In another blog post, we will show you how to generate invoices or export the timekeeping records to upload them onto your current billing app.

5. Assigning Rate Groups to Clients

Now that your Rate Groups and Fixed Fees are all set up, you need to assign a Rate Group to a client.

You can assign a Rate Group to a client by:

  • Going to the Client Table.

  • Clicking on a client record

  • Selecting the Rate Group from the list

  • Clicking Save

Help Is Available

If you struggle at any point, please email or call or WhatsApp 063 426 0080 for assistance.


Click here to see how you can start timekeeping in the app to gain insights into your workflow and billing.


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