Welcome to GrandTotal 4

This manual can be printed or opened in your Web Browser by right clicking it.

Getting started

Setup your Preferences

The simplified Preferences will guide you through the most important settings using a few clicks: Show simplified Preferences

In Preferences you can enter all the basic data about your business and your documents.

Customize your layout

A selection of templates can be downloaded in the layouts section. You may modify the layouts to fit your company's design needs.

Video Tutorials

A selection of Screencasts is available here: Show Screencasts

GrandTotal 3 Users

What has changed in version 4?

GrandTotal 3 Users should feel familiar with GrandTotal 4 within minutes. Almost everything has been kept in the same spot. The search fields have been moved to the title bar (if available).

New features

  • The interface has been modernized and simplified.
  • New customizable charts in the overview let you visualize and compare your figures.
  • Document icons now are colored to provide a quicker overview where action is required.
  • More placeholders for layouts
  • Additional documents now can be added to Estimates as well
  • Conditions now support cash discounts
  • Estimates can now have optional items Learn more
  • In Preferences you now can setup notifications that are displayed while GrandTotal is not launched
  • You now can create blocks in the layout to display text only if a placeholder has a value Learn more
  • Titles can now autocomplete whole blocks of items
  • Layout lines now support insets
  • Export to Excel now exports native .xls format. Columns that can be summed contain the corresponding formula in the last cell. This files also can be opened with compatible applications like Numbers.
  • Import for .xls format (Clients, Catalog)
  • The Find window now can filter by document type and search for amounts Learn more
  • Support for custom time importer plugins. Check the supported services in Overview/Get Plugins
    • Support for Tyme
    • Support for Toggl
    • Support for Paymo
    • Support for Tick
  • PDFs are now optimized in size
  • Pick your preferred mail client in Preferences/Mail Supported Clients
  • Help has been improved and can be accessed contextually (?-Button)
  • Dropbox sync now supports business accounts

GrandTotal 2 Users

What has changed in version 3?

  • Invoices and Estimates are now located in Clients. The newest documents appear on top of the table.
  • The client data can be accessed using the ⓘ-Button in the left table.
  • Projects are now folders. The project field on documents is gone. The title of the project now is taken from the enclosing folder.
  • Item groups are now located in the taxes preferences
  • The elements for BezahlCode (Germany only) and swiss OCR have been changed and need to be added to your layout again.
  • Placeholder for custom fields need to be added to the layout again because the syntax changed

Buy an upgrade

The old license is migrated automatically if found. Otherwise you need to double-click your license.

Your Licenses are listed in the GrandTotal/Licenses menu. From there you can buy an upgrade.

Once you have purchased and activated an upgrade License you may delete the old one.



Enter your own contact data here.

Additional fields can be used in your layouts. The same fields are added to all of your clients as well


Decide if newly created clients have net or gross prices calculated. This setting can be applied to all clients using right click.

The format of the client number and the current counter can be changed here. (Counter shows the number the next client will get)

Here you also can change the settings of Account statements


Define what label you want to use for your invoices and credit notes. Invoices with a grand total below zero are treated as credit notes

The payment terms are copied to newly created clients and my me changed there individually. In addition you can set custom terms while sending an invoice.

Invoices not being paid within this terms are marked as due. When the date passes the value in the second field they become overdue.


For each payment type you can define own conditions. Those appear at the end to the invoice.

Bank accounts and other information to the payment process can be entered here.

Conditions can be built from text mixed with the blue tokens you find below the text field. Please note that some tokens offer a menu where you can pick from options (e.g. Cash discounts).


The numbering of invoices can be customized as well. Use the menu of the token to customize the format of the components.


The settings for estimates are similar to the one for invoices. Instead of payment terms you can specify a validity here.

The conditions are shared for all estimates

Other Documents

You may attach follow up documents to invoices or estimates using the action button. E.g. confirmations, reminders or delivery slips. These documents will show the same items as their parent document.

Here you can setup your additional document types and their conditions.
Optionally you can ungroup items for a detailed work report.

To show the dates of the parent document, use the <original.sent/> and the <original.due/> placeholders in your layout.


In this section you define the contents of an E-Mail for the various document types.

In case you are using stationary paper for printed invoices you may add backdrop for mailed documents here. (Don't use backgrounds in your layout then). If the backdrop hat multiple pages, the first page is used for page 1. Page 2 is used for all subsequent pages.

Following mail clients are supported:

Apple Mail

Comes with Mac OS X

Mailplane for Gmail

Microsoft Entourage

Discontinued. See Microsoft Outlook.

Microsoft Outlook


Sparrow Homepage (Discontinued)

Other Programs

There is only support for Mail Applications that can be controlled by Apple Script. Programs are not capable of creating a draft document with an attachment include: Thunderbird, Mailbox, Mailpilot and Unibox.

The scripts can be modified here


At the time you send a document a PDF is created. Here you define where you what to save them.

Base: The directory where all the documents are saved in.

Folder: The sub directory in which the documents are saved. (use "/" between the elements to create further sub directories)

File name: The name of the document.


Here you setup how taxes are calculated.
In the vertical axis of the matrix the client groups are listed. Horizontally you can add tax groups.

The tax groups are assigned to the item groups.

Once used in a sent document taxes can't be changed anymore.

In case taxes are being raised or lowered over time you can duplicate the tax group by clicking on it’s gear button. Then configure the new tax.

* Ask your  tax adviser in case of questions

Combined Taxes

In some countries 2 or more taxes need to be added. Up to 3 taxes can be combined.
For Tax #2 and #3 you can decide if the tax applies on the net value or to the sum of the net value and the first tax.


GrandTotal supports multiple currencies.

You may add an exchange rate relative to the default currency. This will be used to covert rates when changing the currency of a document and to calculate the values in the dashboard to your native currency.

Define the conditions for the different payment types in Preferences/Invoices

You can setup up to 3 cash discounts that can be used using the options menu of the “Amount” tag in Preferences/Invoices/Conditions

Work time

Define here how items of supported time trackers are imported.

Timed entries are imported with the unit "h" by default. You can change the unit here.

Using rules you can declare what item groups should be used for the items. If there are no rules the default value of your item groups is applied.

All this settings apply during import and won't affect already imported items.

When adding an online timer service it will be added to the Overview screen.


GrandTotal can use the Notification Center to inform you when invoices are due, overdue or recurring.

Notification can repeat themselves if you wish so.

Estimates expire when the validity date is reached and it has not been marked either accepted or declined.



GrandTotal can be synced using Dropbox. The official Dropbox application needs to be installed and running.

All users need to use the same Dropbox account or share the “GrandTotal” folder in the root of Dropbox


Turn the autocompletion off if you don’t want to get suggestions while typing a title.
Suggestions are based on the catalog documents you have created in the past.

International Formats

GrandTotal formats numbers and dates in the common format of the recipient’s country. The date format can be adjusted.


The language menu allows you to set the interface language of GrandTotal. This does not affect your layouts.


Enter your information for ESR/BVR slips here.
Contact you Bank for details.

This settings are only available when your System Preferences are set to the Region of Switzerland or Liechtenstein.

V11 und camt.054.xml files from Post or Bank can be dropped onto the dock icon of GrandTotal.



The dashboard gives you a quick overview of open invoices. You also can compare revenues to last year's period.

All values are converted to your default currency using the exchange rate entered in Preferences/Payments.

Note that the open amount stays the same regardless if you have chosen to show the net or the gross amount.


In the Charts section you can compare and visualize values. The scale can be picked on the top right.
In the bottom part you select the values to be in the chart. The color of the bars can be changed. Drag the items to change the order. Drag it out of the window to delete them.

Right clicking on a bar gives you option to spilt the values by various criteria.
Clicking on a bar shows a list of the corresponding documents. Double clicking a document will show it. The list can be exported as well.

All the values are shown in your primary currency. The exchange rate can be set in Preferences/Payments

Previous year's values are only displayed in scales that are comparable.

If comparing items, it is most likely that you will get rounding differences compared to the invoices. (This is because taxed are calculated on the total on invoices and not on the individual item)


Here you will find all the documents that have not yet been sent.


Here you can see your Document-Templates (if you have created any) and edit them. Templates are created by right clicking an existing invoice.

Use the "Edit/Delete" Menu to remove unused Templates.

Work time (optional)

GrandTotal supports various time tracking applications. Their recordings appear in the corresponding section. Already invoiced items are listed in the "Invoiced" section.

Item with no cost are not listed by default. This can be changed in Preferences/Time tracking

"Invoice selection" is looking for the client for the items. In case there is already an invoice draft the entries will be added. Otherwise a new draft is created with the selected item.

You also can add times to a specific document by copying the items, move to the invoice select the list and paste them.

If the option "Auto-group" is turned on, items with the same title are grouped. Titles are setup in Preferences/Work time.

Using Edit/Delete you can remove unwanted time entries from that lists. Right click the List to show them again.


Timings is a Time recording application compatible with GrandTotal.

Entries archived in Timings will not appear in this list


«Time tracking is vital for invoicing, accounting, and scheduling. Yes, it’s been an annoying necessity for all too long. Let’s strike back. With an advanced, yet simple tool to help you get things done.»

Mite accounts saved in your keychain are listed automatically. You can add accounts in Preferences/Work time

Important: The API-Access has to be activated in your mite account.

Entries archived in .mite will not appear in this list


More services can be added by loading them from the „Get Plugins“ section. Show


All sent documents are listed here. They are grouped by year and month.


There are several tools to analyze invoices and payments.

In "Date range" you may summarize you data in various ways. Use "File/Export" to save CSV files.

Smart lists

Using smart lists you can group invoices, estimates and payments according to different criteria.


All documents for the corresponding client are listed here. On top you will always see the most recent document.

Click the ℹ-button to change the client information.

Client Data


A client may contain multiple contacts. These can be assigned as recipient to a document.

Here you define the client group, the default currency, terms and what layouts should be used for this clients documents.

Client group

The client group decides if and how taxes are applied to this client’s documents. See Preferences/Taxes

Additional fields

Additional fields can hold information about your clients. This fields can be added to your layouts as well.


An invoice always consists of at least one item. Additional items can be added when needed.


State only appears on sent unpaid invoices. Use this to cancel an invoice or mark it as completed.
The date you sent the Invoice. This will be set to the current date in the send dialog unless you change the date there manually.
The date the invoice becomes due. This date is calculated from the send date and the terms you set in the send dialog.
Usually this is the main contact of your client. If your client has more than one contact, you can change it here.
The number of the invoice. This will be set automatically while sending the document. If you pre fill this value no new number will be generated.
Optional subject for the document.
Use this field in case you want to add a reference.
If you turn an estimate into an invoice the number of the estimate will be copied into this field.
The currency the Invoice is issued in. For a new invoice this is taken from the clients settings. When changing the currency the prices are changed according to the rate entered in Preferences/Payments.
Payment Type
The kind of payment to be expected from the client. This is taken from the clients settings.
Payment Terms
The time in days until the invoice is due. This value is taken from the clients settings.
Date range
If the items of your invoice contain dates this the range is calculated automatically. You may set a custom range here.
Invoices can be marked as recurring. Recurring Invoices are listed in the Overview. First in the section „Recurring later“ and if the recurring date is reached in „Now recurring“. From there you can create an invoice.

When there are recurring invoices ready to send, a blue badge in the overview icon will notify about them.

Custom Fields
You may add custom fields. The fields are the same for all Invoices but they can contain individual values.


The Table of an invoice consists of at least one item. if needed you may add other items as described below.
On the top of the item list you can enter a personal introduction that will appear above the first item of the invoice. More information
An item consists of a quantity and a unit price. Both values multiplied result in the price of the item.
Optionally you can add a unit like "pcs" or "h".
If you enter a discount the percentage is deducted from the items price.
Items can also have a date.
The item group defines if how much taxes are added for that particular item. Taxed are calculated at the end of the document.

You can find some plugins for calculating items such as areas and volumes in Overview/Plugins/Get Plugins.

Add notes if you want to add information without any cost.
Use titles to structure your documents if needed.
Options only can be added to estimates. Each option marks the start of optional items. Optional items have an own total.

When an estimate is converted to an invoice, options are transformed into regular titles.

In complex documents it can be useful to add subtotals. The sum is calculated from all items from the last subtotal. (Or the beginning of the document if there is none)
Page break
Page breaks are added automatically when an item does not fit on a page. With this element you can enforce a page break.
Items can be grouped into one item using ⌘G. Only the grouped item is then visible to the recipient.

Groups cumulate the notes of all enclosed items. You can customize the text by right clicking the notes field and select „Insert note“.


In this view you can see the document in the form it reaches your client.

If the document is still a draft you can edit the layout. More on layouts

Credit notes

An invoice automatically turns into a credit note as soon the total is less than zero. Keep in mind that you need to mark credit notes as paid as well.


Estimates work like Invoices. An estimate can be converted to an invoice using the action button. The resulting invoice is a copy an can be modified.


Each invoice can hold as many partial payments as needed. If the sum of the payments reach the total of the invoice it becomes paid.

If you add a payment before sending the invoice it is considered as a progress payment (Date of the payment is earlier than the date of the invoice)

If you get a Deposit from a client you add this to the top hierarchy of the documents. If you drag this payment on an unpaid invoice later it will be assigned to the invoice.


Use projects to organize your documents. The name of the project will be shown in the documents when you add the <document.project/> placeholder.

Account statements

The document list of the client can be changed to history mode using the clock symbol. There all invoices and payments are listed in chronological order.

Using multiple selection you can select which item should appear on the account statement.

In account statements the layout placeholder <quantity/> is replaced with the date of the invoice/payment


The catalog is used for commonly used items. It also appears on the right side of the list in documents. From there you can drag items either to the document of from the document to the catalog.


The layout defines how your documents are looking. This is fully customizable.

In case you need layouts in multiple languages you need to create a separate layout for each language.

Usage: this number shows you how many times a layout has been used. This also counts how many times this layout is assigned as default in client settings.


A layout consists of at least 2 pages. The "First page" is used in every document. In case there is insufficient space for the items on page one, the "Following page" will be used subsequently until all items are listed.

Additional pages can be used to append extra pages. E.g. terms of service.


Each Page can hold a PDF-File as a Backdrop. You create the background in the program of your choice in the same paper size your layout needs to be. Drag the PDF on the page.

If you have a multiple pages in your background, right click the background to pick the correct page.

If you are using stationary paper to print your documents, leave the backdrop empty and add it to Preferences/Mail instead

Using large backdrop files will result in larger PDF files and slower performance.

You can check the file size by right clicking the background. A size of 300KB max. is recommended.


The table consists of different sections that are used for different types of items.

Clicking on the table once in page view will show you the global options for the table. Such as background color and if the sums should be aligned at the bottom of the table. A double click will take you to the editing section of the table.

The sections are only used if needed in a document. There is no need to delete fields in unused sections. Deleting all fields will produce empty lines once needed.


The introduction section appears on the first page if you have typed an introduction above the items in the documents.


The header holds the captions for the items. It appears once per page above the items.


The invoice item.

If you use discounts on items you need to add the <discount/> placeholder.

Quantities (<quantity/> ) are automatically formatted as duration when the unit is "h". Use the <qty/> placeholder to always show decimal values.

Date range (<dateRange/> ) shows you the date and the time of items imported from Timings, Toggl and Paymo (Only works if the timer service provides the day time). This placeholder is empty on grouped items.


Titles are added manually to documents.
This section will only be shown when needed.


Options are headers for optional items in Estimates. See Options


A note is like a regular item, but does not contain price information. It needs to be added manually to your document.
This section will only be shown when needed.

Sub total

Subtotals are added to the document manually.


The discount section is shown if you have entered a discount for the document.


If your document contains taxable items this line will be added, showing the net value off all items.


This line is added when taxes are calculated to the document.


This is shown if your document contains prepayments. It displays the cost before payments,


Prepayments are listed using this line. This are payments added before sending the document.

To Pay

This section defines how the grand total is displayed on your document.

End note

The end note always appears als the last item of the table.



With this tool you can add text fields to your layout. You can add placeholders or regular text to those fields.
If you use a placeholder, the style of the first character of the placeholder will be applied to the whole substitute.
A list of the available placeholders can be accessed from the gear button on the right of the text field. In addition this list can be accessed using right click while editing the text.


When setting a list style for a placeholder, the style will be applied to the text if it consists of more than one line.


One line

  • Line 1
  • Line 2
If you only want to show a text if a place holder is replaced with a value you can enclose the text and the placeholder with brackets.

Example: [Discount: <discount/>]

Using JavaScripts the contents of a text field can be generated dynamically. The result of the script will use the font and style of the first character in the field.

In case you just want to replace a portion of the text add the placeholder <script/&gt at the position the script result should be placed.

Scripts can only read values, not change them.


You can place PDF images in your layout using this tool.


Colored rectangles.

Table area

The table area can be placed on the first and the following page of a layout. It defines where on the page the table is placed. Only one table can be placed per page.

Payment Elements

Region or country specific payment elements. Drag the desired element on you page.
Creates a link in your invoice that allows to pay using PayPal.
The link has to be configured after adding (double click to edit the settings)
PayPal does not support all currencies.
BezahlCode (Germany)
Bezahlcode is a machine readable QRCode. The recipient can scan it with specialized App like iOutDank to start a payment.
The Bezahlcode has to be configured after adding (double click to edit the settings)
This only works with german bank accounts
SEPA QR-Code (European Union)
SEPA QR-Code is a machine readable QRCode. The recipient can scan it with specialized banking application.
The QR-Code has to be configured after adding (double click to edit the settings)
ESR/BVR Elements (Switzerland)
The ESR/BVR elements are for payment slips of the swiss post. The settings are in Preferences/Switzerland.


On the right of the Colors tool you can find a little triangle. Use this if you want to batch replace colors in your layout.




Clients, catalog items and lists in the reports section can be exported as CSV or Excel files. Menu File/Export.

The columns in the preview can be ordered in to fit your need.

You can remove columns by clicking on their header and use the ➖ button. Using the ✚ button you can add other fields.


Documents can be exported in PDF format to the Finder or another application using drag'n'drop. In the lists of the overview you may select more than one document at a time and export them.


Export layouts using the File/Export menu. (On the other mac double click that file to import it)


GrandTotal can send it’s data to compatible bookkeeping applications. Use the „File/Send To“ menu for this.


Import clients and catalog items using the File/Import menu. The files need to be in CSV or Excel Format.


Entries from MoneyMoney are sent from the "Accounts" menu from within MoneyMoney to GrandTotal.


External invoices can be copied from Receipts using ⌘C and be pasted by hitting ⌘V in a GrandTotal document.



Documents can be printed using the regular Print menu.

For drafts you will see a warning in the print dialog. Drafts are not intended to be sent to the client. Use the "Send" button for this.


Lists in the overview can be printed using "Print List“ in the File Menu. Clients and catalog items also can be printed as list.

Things you should know

Copy & Paste & Duplicate

Items can be copied and pasted to other documents.

This works with documents as well. After copied you can paste them in the list of another client.

Duplicate items and documents using ⌘-D.

Dragging out PDFs

You can drag a document preview to the Finder to save a PDF.


Use the File menu to save or restore backups.

Filtering & Searching


Above the lists you may filter the list by typing a string. Some lists have a menu on the right where you can change the sorting of the list.


If you like to search for an item, use the "Find window" (⌘-F).

Begin your search with

  • =
  • >=
  • !=
to find an amount.
e.g. „>415“



Net: The prices of the items don't include taxes. Tax will be added at the end of the document.

Gross: Tax is already included in the items. Taxes are declared a the end of the document

Payments are always a part of the gross amount and have no net value.


Once a Document has been sent it can't be edited unless you unlock it.

In Germany invoices can’t be unlocked 30 days after they have been sent anymore (GoBD).


Invoices can be cancelled. See Invoices/State


A lot of records can't be deleted after all relations have been removed.
An item group for instance can't be deleted when all items that are pointing to it are removed. Documents that have been sent can't be trashed unless you have unlocked them.
Documents with attached Payments can’t be removed unless all payments are deleted (This also applies for drafts).
A client may not be deleted as long it contains documents or payments.


There are two different kind of discounts in GrandTotal.

One is on a single item. This is deducted directly from the item itself. Your item section in the layouts table needs to contain the <discount/> placeholder to display the discount.

The global discount entered below the items affects all items. (Including the ones already having an individual discount). This discount will be shown in separate line after the net section.


All documents are drafts after creating them. As long you don't have sent them they don't have a send date and can be edited.

In the preview you will see a red question mark instead of send and due dates. Those will be replaced with the actual dates after hitting the send button.

Changing recipients

To change the recipient of a document, drag the document onto the corresponding client in the clients list on the left.

This only works with drafts. You need to unlock sent documents first

Additional fields

Additional fields can be added for three different record types. They always consist of a name that is shared for all records and a value that can be assigned individually for each record.

All fields can be added to layouts as well.


You can use this for adding additional data to clients. A fax number, Banking information etc.


Use this for information like Location, document related legal information etc.


Item numbers, dimensions or similar can be added here. You setup the fields in the catalog section.


Stationary and PDF

In case you are using preprinted stationaries you should not add background elements to your layout.

Save your stationary template as a PDF and add it as backdrop to Preferences/Mail. This background will be added to all documents you send by mail.


Numbers and dates in documents are always shown in the locale format of the recipient.

Europeans will get a DD.MM.YYYY date while americans will see a MM/DD/YYYY format. German recipients get a comma as decimal separator, while swiss have a period.

There are options for the date format in Preferences/Advanaced.

Tipps & Tricks

Copy/Pasting time entries

Time entries in the overview can be copied and pasted to the item list of an invoice draft. (item list needs to be focused before using ⌘V)

Pasting Text

Tab separated text can be pasted to the items list. GrandTotal will try to extract quantities and prices.
Handy to paste items from a spreadsheet.

Layout Placeholders

Changing case

By adding _uc to a placeholder in your layout, the replacement will be in upper case letters. Use _lc for lower case.


Other Documents

When using Other documents you can add the dates of the parent document using


Extending GrandTotal

Mail Scripts

Mails are controlled by AppleScript. Scripts can be modified by clicking here. To restore the original functionality, delete the file from ~/Library/Application Support/com.mediaatelier.GrandTotal3/Mail Scripts/.

Work time importers

Work time importers are Javascript based plugins. Working samples are available from Overview/Get Plugins.


GrandTotal has a plugin interface based on HTML and Javascript. Open API Reference (Programming knowledge required)
Plugins can be installed by double clicking them and are located in ~/Library/Application Support/com.mediaatelier.GrandTotal3/Plugins/