What is a workflow?
It’s the process and steps involved when completing a task. Businesses usually have workflow procedure in place to raise quotes, invoices and chase payments.
The manual way of raising quotes and invoices to your customers:
- Create a quote using Microsoft Word or Excel
- Email or post the quote to the potential customer
- Record the quote manually on a spreadsheet or in a cashbook
- Quote gets accepted
- Complete the work
- Manually create the invoice using Microsoft Word or Excel
- Email or post the invoice to the customer
- Record the invoice on a spreadsheet or in a cashbook
- Chase the customer for payment
- Finally – get paid
Whilst this is all going on, you may also be updating profit and loss calculations, so you can monitor the performance of the company. All these tiny processes can end up taking you hours in the office. Hours you could spend taking on growing the business or spending valuable time with friends and family. So what if I told you those steps can be streamlined using a cloud accounting package like Xero?
How can Xero save you time raising quotes and invoices?
- Raise the quote in Xero – You can design quote and invoice templates with business logos so anything you send to potential customers looks professional and personalised.
- Send the quote to customer – If you have sent the customer a quote before then Xero will prepopulate names and addresses to appear on the invoices. You can also email the quotes directly from Xero to your customers.
- Record the quote – You don’t have to do this. Xero automatically records the quote and allows you to easily review any outstanding quotes, edit existing quotes and view accepted quotes
- Quote gets accepted – Clients accept the quote online by simply clicking “accept” on the electronic quote you sent
- Complete the work – Unfortunately, you do still have to do the work. We can’t help you there – you’re the expert!
- Raise the invoice – You no longer have to repeat the process of manually copying the information from a quote to an invoice. Xero allows you to copy the information you’re your quote and transfers it into an invoice.
- Send the invoice to the customer – You can either email the invoice from Xero or print it and post it to them.
- Record the invoice – Xero will automatically record the invoice and updated your debtor’s ledger and profit and loss, so you do not need to do this.
- Chase the payment – Xero can automatically send a reminder or statements to your clients with outstanding bills. For example, you can tell Xero to send messages to any client who has a bill that is 30 days overdue.
- Get paid – Customers can easily pay you by clicking on the ‘pay now’ button on the invoice. Setting up payment services has proved to get business paid 50% faster!
Processes that took hours can now be done in minutes with Xero and it’s all included in the standard Xero subscription for just £22 per month plus VAT. It could save you a day of admin in the office every month, or even every week and providing you with important financial information on a daily basis.
All of this can be done on the go, on your mobile. Imagine that, going to see a customer, raising a quote or invoice and sending it there and then in minutes without even entering the office!