It’s early in the month, and for freelancers/agencies, it is time for invoicing. It could be so much fun if it weren’t such a hassle each time writing, updating, verifying… until you finally get all the invoices done and out. Valuable time down the drain that could be better invested in other areas of work.
In order to improve this workflow and get rid of all of the pain, we did some research on how to set up invoicing for our agency and found a perfect solution in Zervant which integrates perfectly with our time tracking solution, toggl. In this post, we want to outline our workflow which we believe can help you save time.
Zervant and toggl – an overview
First up, a quick intro into the two tools: Zervant is an invoicing tool that supports you in creating your invoices. Clients and services can be saved to make the generation of future invoices that much easier. Additional features include invoicing templates, the ability to email clients their invoices directly from within the tool and basic dashboard functionality for keeping track of all invoices. The best thing about Zervant, however, is it comes free of charge for most of the essential features you need. How do they earn money, you ask? If you want to mail invoices by post directly from within the tool, you can add this service as a premium feature. Though a premium version exists, we have been satisfied with just the free version.
We use Toggl for time tracking. The tool is very handy as you can predefine customers, projects with hourly rates and it includes the ability to integrate with many external sites. For us, linking Toggl with Asana was a game changer. With this integration, we click on Toggl’s bright red button on every Asana to track time spent on our clients’ projects. We’ll elaborate more on that in a later blog post.
Speeding up the invoicing
If you need a basic guide on how to set up Zervant, here is the link to Zervant’s help centre, which is pretty informative. Once you have set up all the essentials, it’s time for the magic. First, you need to import all of your customers. In the top navigation menu, you find the menu item “Customers”. Clicking on it opens the “customers” page. There you see the option to either manually input your customers or upload a CSV. We were able to quickly import our customers by exporting our clients’ information from our CRM and uploading it to Zervant. 50% of the process done.
Next up you have to upload the services you provide. This process is a little less obvious. First, you need to click “My account” in the top right main navigation menu. Then you’ll find “Products and services” on the left-hand side. Clicking on it opens the overview of current services and provides you with the opportunity to upload more. Switching to Toggl, after the invoicing month is over, we just quickly export all projects from Toggl to Zervant as seen in the screenshot below. This overview contains the client, the project as well as the hourly rate, which we need for the second step.
The exported csv can be pasted in this sheet, which we generated in order to speed up our invoicing even more. Feel free to make a copy and use it for your use. The sheet combines the projects with the client and adds the unit, usually hours, and the VAT to the row which we need in the last step for the import.
In the final step, we quickly generate a CSV export from the Google sheet and upload it to the products in Zervant. You have to pick the column headers as shown in the screenshot so that Zervant attributes the columns to the correct information.
As soon as you hit import, all the products are available for invoicing from now on. With each client, you can quickly look up any additional services provided and add them easily to the invoice. As we have many recurring monthly items on our invoices we only need to follow this process for new clients or one-off projects. Changing the process to what we’ve explained in this post has saved us a huge amount of time and hassle. Invoicing has become what it is supposed to be: the gratification for all your hard work written on paper.
So that’s it, we hope you’ll find this helpful for your invoicing. If you have questions or amendments to the process, let us know. How do you do your invoicing? Have you found other ways to save time? Leave us a comment below. And if you need help with workflow automation, business intelligence or marketing, reach out to us as well. We will be happy to update our Zervant for you!