It is early in the month and for freelancers/agencies it is time for invoicing. It could be so much fun if it wasn’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 the pain we did some research on how to setup invoicing for our agency and found a real good solution in zervant which combines perfectly with our time tracking solution toggl. In this post we want to outline our workflow which we think 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. You can save clients and products in their to generate offers and invoices. It includes a lot of important features like invoicing templates, the ability to directly mail clients from inside the tool and a basic dashboard functionality. And the best thing: it comes free of charge for most of the basic features you need. How do they earn money you ask? If you want to mail invoices by post directly from the tool you can buy that as a premium feature. However so far we are all set with the free version.
We use toggl for time tracking. The tool is super-handy as you can predefine customers, projects with hourly rates and it features a lot of integrations. For us, connecting toggl to asana was a game changer as we have a neat button on every task so that we can timetrack directly from asana. More on that on a later blog post.
Speeding up the invoicing
If you need a basic guide on setting up zervant, here is the link to zervant’s help centre, which is pretty informative. After you have setup all the necessary basics, it is time for the magic. First you need to import all your customers. In the top navigation you find the menu item “Customers”. Clicking on it opens the customers view. There you find the option to either manually input your customers or upload a csv. We were able to quickly implement our customer base by exporting clients from our CRM and uploading it to zervant. 50% of the process done.
Next up is uploading products. This process is a little hidden, first you need to click “My account” in the top right main navigation. Then you’ll find “Products and services” on the left hand side. Clicking on it opens the overview of current products and provides you with the opportunity to upload products. This is where we change to toggl. After the invoicing month is over, we just quickly export all projects from toggl 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 purpose. Basically what the sheet does is it combines the projects with initials from the client and adds the unit and the VAT to the row which we need in the last step for the import.
In the final step we make a quick csv export of 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 right 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 the initials and add the lines 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 this way saved us huge amounts of time and hassle and 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 invoicing and have you found other ways to save time there? 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!