Those of you providing snow services, I know how you scramble to get those invoices out the door so you can get the cash coming in! And for those of you who will start getting really busy soon, it’s important not to have to spend any more time than necessary to get the invoicing out the door.
Getting invoices done quickly improves productivity, reducing overhead. Even something as little as 15 minutes a day adds up over a year. If you work 48 weeks a year (52 minus 2 weeks’ vacation and 10 holidays), 15 minutes a day is 60 hours a year. Just think what you or an employee can do with that extra time. Additional billable work, another sales call, or clocking out sooner. Financially, it’s $600/year for an employee making $10/hour, $1500 at $25/hour, $6000 for someone at $100/hour!
These tips below can save you much more than 15 minutes a day, depending on the complexity and volume of invoicing.
- Invoice off of Estimate or Sales Order – Rather than create an invoice from scratch, if an Estimate or Sales Order exists, click on Create Invoice, select some or all of the Items on the invoice – definitely much faster.
- Use Item Groups – This is a fast way to pull multiple items onto an invoice (or estimate or sales order). While you might select only 1 item (group), you might find your invoice now has 20 Items. Examples – items in a display, components of an outdoor fountain, labor and materials for a shed… Below are a couple screen captures. For more details on creating Item Groups, you can read this article we wrote). If you don’t want your customer to see the detail of the group, then be sure you uncheck the Print Items in Group.
- Duplicate – If you need to create an invoice similar to another one you’ve done, you can duplicate the invoice, change the customer and any other pertinent information. (You can also use this feature with estimates – very helpful for those who need to price 2 ways for whatever reason.) Right-click on the document to get the pop-up menu below
- Memorize Invoice – Need to do this invoice (or type of invoice) frequently? Then memorize the entire invoice.; very helpful for landscapers and other service providers who invoice the same amount monthly. IF the services are the same but the quantities or rates are different, then memorize without the numbers that vary. I once had a client used this feature because the detail in the item descriptions was lengthy, specific for the client but the same description every month. Definitely saved her more than 15 minutes!
- Batch Invoice – This is a very fast way to create invoices for multiple customers who are being invoiced for the same product or service and the same An example would be homeowners’ monthly association fee or maybe an area where you plow snow.
- Invoice from Time & Materials – If you invoice for time and materials or expenses and have the information already in QuickBooks, you can pull that into your invoice. You get to choose how it appears.
- Batch Time & Expenses – Available in Premier or higher – different than Batch in #5, this lets you create time and material invoices quickly. Your billable time and expenses summary shows in a chart (great way to see it all in one place) and you can quickly invoice multiple customers who may all have very different times and expenses.
- Group of Memorized Invoices – For those of you who send out monthly invoices and a client is billed the same amount each month, but a different amount than another client, this is a powerful tool. A landscaper could quickly invoice all their lawn maintenance clients, or a bookkeeper with flat fee billing or a contractor providing project management…. You have to first create an invoice, memorize it and then save it in a group (you can have multiple groups). When it’s time to invoice, simply go to your memorized transaction page and double-click on the group, enter the date and all the invoices in that group will be created! Or even better yet, set the group to automate transaction entry so you don’t have to do anything!
You most likely will use a combination of these options, but you will definitely save lots of time and get your invoices out much faster.
So what will YOU do with the time that you save? Would love to hear which method(s) you have found the most effective for you!