Creating Retainers

Retainers are always associated with Accounts in Ravetree. To create a new retainer you will need to navigate to the account for which you wish to create a retainer. On the Account page click the "Create" dropdown menu and select "Retainer". Alternatively, you can go to the "Retainers" page and click the blue "+ Retainer" button located at the top of the page. The retainer setup form has many different field options which are explained below.


It's helpful to be descriptive when giving your retainer a title. You may have multiple retainers with the same name, which could be confusing when looking at the main Retainers page.


The account is the customer that is paying for the retainer. There can only be one account per retainer.


The owner is the person at your company who is responsible for the retainer.


Most retainers are billable, so we recommend leaving this switch enabled. If you turn off the billable switch, then you will notice that several fields are no longer visible on the retainer setup form. The removed fields are ones that are only relevant to billable retainers.


These checkboxes allow you to determine if Labor (i.e., time logs) and/or Expenses contribute to the retainer Amount. If Labor is checked, then any time logged against the retainer will be applied to the retainer amount. Likewise, if Expenses is checked, then any expenses that are logged against the retainer will be applied to the retainer amount.

Retainer Amount

This is the amount of money the Account (i.e., the customer) is charged for each retainer instance. The retainer amount is a a required field.

Retainer Hours

This is the total number of work hours that are given to the Account (i.e., the customer) for each retainer instance. You are not required to enter a value into this field.

Start Date

The start date is the date on which the retainer's  first instance begins. You are allowed to enter a date in the past.


The Frequency is where you specify how often each retainer instance occurs. A new retainer instance will be created at the frequency specified in this field. 


This is where you can specify how many retainer instances will occur during the lifetime of this retainer. You can select "Unlimited" if your retainer has no end date.

Generate Early Instances

The default behavior is for retainer instances to be created on the instance start date. For example, if you have a monthly retainer that starts on the 1st of the month, then the next retainer instance will not be created until the first of the month. Sometimes it can be useful to have the retainer instances created early. If this is field enabled and you select, say, 2 in the instances dropdown selector, then on the first of the month Ravetree will create the current instance for that month (if it isn't already created)  plus the next two instances. In effect, the retainer will always have the current instance and the next two created (in this example).

Track By

This field is used to determine how rollover and overages are handled. As explained below, the rollover option allows you to apply unused retainer amounts/hours to the next instance. The value selected in this field will determine what is rolled over, i.e., amount (currency) or hours. Likewise, if you give your client (i.e., the account) more work than what is specified in the retainer, then the value of this field determines how those overages are handled. Overages are explained below.

Retainer Rate

This is where you determine the billable rate that is used for each hour logged against the retainer. A "Fixed" rate will apply the same bill rate to all hours logged against the retainer. If you select "Dynamic" then the billable rate is determine based on the rate associated with the work role assigned to the user who logged time. NOTE: If a user logs time against a project (that is linked to the retainer) and the project is set to use a fixed bill rate, then the projects fixed rate will be used instead of the users work role rate. In this scenario you would still select "Dynamic" for the retainer rate.

Charge For Overage

If you exceed the retainer amount or hours for your retainer, then enabling this field will allow you to charge for overages. If  the "Track By" field is set to "Amount", then you can enter a fixed amount that will be charged to your customer (the account) whenever you exceed the retainer amount. If you have selected "Hours" in the "Track By" field, then the way you charge for overages is determined by the "Overage Rate" field, as explained below.

Overage Rate

This field allows you to specify how you charge for hours that exceed those entered in the "Retainer Hours" field. NOTE: this field is only visible if you also select "Hours" in the "Track By" field. Explanations for each of the four options are shown when hovering over the field name.

Generate Invoices

Select this option if you want Ravetree to create a retainer invoice each time a new retainer instance is created.

Invoice To

This is the Contact (i.e., person) at the Account (i.e., the customer) who will be listed on any invoices generated for the retainer.

Auto Send Invoice

Turn this switch on if you want the person listed in the "Invoice To" field to automatically receive their invoice via email whenever the invoice is created.

Auto Charge Invoice

This option requires that you have enabled the Stripe integration (on the Admin/Connections page). If enabled, then Ravetree will automatically charge your customer via your Stripe account. It is important to note that the customer must already be created in your Stripe account, and their email address must match the email address associated with the Contact (in Ravetree) that is selected in the "Invoice To" field.

Invoice Creation Date

You can use this field to specify when invoices are created for each retainer instance.


This option determines if unused amounts/hours for a given retainer instance will be added to the next retainer instance. Whether it's an amount or hours that rolls over is determined by the value you have selected in the "Track By" field.

Max Rollover

If this switch is enabled, then you can enter the maximum quantity (amount or hours) that rolls over to the next retainer instance. The quantity entered here will be either an amount of currency or hours, and is determined by the value you have selected in the "Track By" field.


Upload files to your retainer. For example, you could attach written retainer contracts/agreements directly to the retainer.


You can add tags to your retainer, which may be useful if you want to filter your retainers by tag.


Add a detailed description of your retainer.

Project Templates

You can link one or more project templates to the retainer. Doing so will cause a new project (from each template selected) to automatically be created for each new retainer instance. This can be useful if you do the same work for each retainer instance.

Work Item Templates

Similar to project templates, you can link one or more work item templates to the retainer. Doing so will cause the work items listed in the work item template (from each template selected) to automatically be created for each new retainer instance. This can be useful if you do the same work for each retainer instance.

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