The invoicing autopilot is a set of 3 features that work together to help you automate your invoicing and get paid faster.
You’ve spilled blood, sweat and tears to deliver that project on time. Now it’s time to send an invoice and get your hard-earned money. It shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Unfortunately, we all experience situations with late payments, forgetful clients, and tons of awkward moments all the time. The business that seemed to be pleasant can easily turn into a dreaded task.
We worked couple of months to address some of these issues and I believe we have great news. Here’s what’s new:
- Invoice / quote scheduler (existing, improved feature) – helps you schedule your invoices / quotes for later sending;
- Automatic payment reminders – help you follow up on your unpaid invoices at regular intervals and get paid faster;
- Automatic thank-you note – lets you set personalized thank-you email that is sent automatically when full payment is received / recorded.
Beside the autopilot features, we’re rolling out few other improvements:
- Improved dashboard – shows better overview of your outgoing emails with one glance.
- Export functionality – lets you download your invoice/quote list to xml, csv, or excel file so you can make custom reports.
- Functionality that allows you to enter custom date when you record a payment.
You can learn more on these updates below.
Automatic payment reminders
This feature should have been ready couple of months ago, but we reworked it couple of times since we weren’t exactly sure how we would like it to work. Even though this might seem like a simple functionality it turned out to be real pain in the neck. No matter what we tried, the user experience never felt right. We wanted flexibility, on the other hand flexible meant more checkboxes, more prompts, and more distraction.
After tons of trade-offs we came up with something that we believe is quite simple and instantly intuitive.
We added an option to set automatic payment reminders on-the-fly, directly from the invoice editor. This way your workflow and focus will be preserved, and you’ll never forget to set your reminders up (even if you forget, you can still schedule them later from the main menu).
You can set up to 3 different reminders per invoice at a time. This way you can gradually change the tone of your language depending on the situation. You can also save default template for each reminder and re-use it for all future invoices without hassle.
Note: Invoicebus takes care to deliver your scheduled reminders during morning hours (7h – 11h), when most people tend to read their email.
Implementing automatic payment reminders pulled few other changes throughout the system. We had to change the way you schedule your emails, plus we had to add few extra indicators to the dashboard.
Automatic thank you notes
We do forget to say thanks. And we repeat this mistake quite often. Sometimes due to some burden of work, and sometimes due our own negligence. And this could be a real turn-off in building successful relationships.
That’s why we decided to completely automate the “thanks note” task. That means, as soon as you get paid Invoicebus will automatically send personalized thank-you email to your client, signed with your name and email address. As your client will not be aware that this is an automated thank-you, you will always look super professional and grateful.
Even if you don’t accept online payments, you can still set an automatic thanks note which will be sent immediately after you record a payment.
Thousands of emails get lost in the cyberspace every day. If this happens, the intended recipient will never get the message and many times you both won’t be aware that the email was lost.
By tracking all outgoing emails, Invoicebus makes sure this never happens.
Now we improved the dashboard by including few extra indicators that will help you track every outgoing email with one glance. This will also give you a better overview of all sent/scheduled reminders as well as thanks notes.
Each email can hold one of the following statuses:
- Scheduled – email will be sent automatically when conditions are met
- Sent – email was sent to the recipient’s email service provider
- Delivered – email was accepted by the recipient’s email service provider and was delivered to the recipient’s mailbox
- Opened – client opened your online invoice / quote by clicking the link
- Not delivered – email was not delivered
Note: Please note that all invoices sent before April 5, 2014 will only have status “sent”. This is because Invoicebus hadn’t tracked “delivered” emails before that date.
Export to XML, CSV, or Excel
Excel is a great tool which we enjoy using for creating custom reports and data charts. Even though Export-to-Excel functionality was planned for later on, we decided to push it into this update and we’re glad we did.
This feature is exciting because it lets you filter your invoice/quote list and download the result set into 3 different file formats: xml, csv, and xls. The output data is beautifully formatted so you don’t need to struggle with extra formatting later on. Then you can directly print it out, or make custom reports according to your needs.
Even if you don’t have Excel, you can open the csv file with any text editor or spreadsheet program.
Now it’s your turn!
Is there anything we can do to make Invoicebus better? Feel free to give me a shout in the comments below.