The proliferation of web-based business solutions has led to a flood of super simple, easy to use software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools. This is nice, except for when you need more functionality than just one simple tool. Then you end up using three or four online services just to access the features intended to make your workday easier.
Fortunately, many web app providers recognize this issue and are moving to build web tools that encompass the needs of a whole business.
Specifically, project management software companies specializing in products for small businesses are starting to incorporate invoicing and billing functionality into their offerings.
This benefits small business users for several reasons.
Project management (PM) software is the central hub of your team’s progress. Simple time tracking features allow you to track the man-hours spent on a project. The labelling of projects for clients and the tasks required to complete them are perfect indicators of what services your clients are paying for. With all this information in one place, automated invoicing expedites the process of calculating final costs, and can help you bill your clients faster, and more accurately.
Invoicing is an area that can be particularly challenging without proper tools. Emails and addresses have to be collected and managed. Invoice templates have to be constructed and applied consistently. Each invoice ID is tied to a list of services, addresses, post dates, due dates, payment confirmations, plus possible discounts or negotiated deals.
Using software to track these variables saves time. The integration of invoicing and other tools into project management software knocks out two, three, four, or more birds with a single stone.
Tools with unique method of integrating invoicing
The following are several software solutions that each have a unique method of integrating invoicing tools with project management:
- Vorex Backoffice: This Vorex module has all the capabilities of Vorex Project, a standard PM solution, plus an additional invoicing module. The additions include invoice generation with discounts, taxes and due dates, payment management and tracking, and contractor billing.
- Goodwerp: Geared towards creative agencies of various sizes, Goodwerp places equal weight on project management and billing functionality. The software allows you to track time spent on specific projects by specific team members, create invoices from the project you’re billing for, and provide accurate estimates based off of the project man-hour and resource requirements.
- Copper: Copper’s PM solution goes beyond simple invoicing. It records time spent on a project, and the amount and price of material items used, to create invoices available to print, save as a PDF, or send to Xero. Copper integrates with Xero accounting software to help you tie together your project management and financial procedures, making your project management software as integral to finances as it is to workplace efficiency.
Of course, you can do your own invoicing by manually time tracking and calculating cost, or using a stand-alone program, but the right SaaS app can consolidate all, or most, of your business tools into one. The data available in your project management software makes gathering the necessary information for invoicing and finances much easier.