Tip #384: Billable emails

Would you like to make your emails billable? Of course, you would. Add the field(s) dealing with the billing information and you’re all set, right? Not so fast. The problem is that tracked emails “arrive” into CRM as activities already closed so editing won’t be possible.

Enter the realm of Adam “I’ll leave nuggets everywhere I go” Vero. He casually dropped the solution for this problem in one of his comments. We thought it’s so useful that it deserves a tip entry of its own.

What I (Adam Vero, that is – t.j.) have also observed and taken advantage of a few times is that if you have a field on an activity that is configured to be Business Required, but this field is not filled in, then even after the record is closed, you can enter this data – including users just using the regular form. But this is a one-time thing – once it is filled in, it cannot be changed again.


Custom field on an activity record that is created by tracking in from Outlook, such as a category picklist used for billable/non-billable time. Especially useful on emails, which are closed by definition once they are sent or received, so the user does not get an opportunity to fill in the additional fields (you can’t “view in CRM” until the email is copied to CRM, by which time it is too late).

New custom field that did not exist on previously closed activity records can now be filled in by revisiting those records (eg to use Bulk Edit).

Tipp Jarr’s $0.02

As it turns out, this technique works well only for emails but not any other activities. I suppose that’s because emails are special in the sense that they can be tracked in CRM automatically, leaving a user without any opportunity to have a say.

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