Today we released a Smart Invoice Time and Expense Tracking Widget for Mac OSX. This widget allows you to record expenses and track time spent on client projects without logging into your Smart Invoice account. Download the Smart Invoice widget, try it out, and let us know if you have any feedback or suggestions for improvement. Video demonstration below (click the HD icon for better quality).
This morning we have unveiled a major new release of code, and have rebranded this service as Smart Invoice. It is far more than just a name change. Concurrent with this release, we have simplified the user interface, implemented several new features, and are preparing to release a number of utilities that interact with Smart Invoice (time & expense tracking utilities, QuickBooks integration, and mobile device applications). We have also taken the axe to our paid plans. We now have just two paid plans: one at $14/month, and the other at $39/month. This post describes some of the major new features in this release of Smart Invoice. As with any major release, we know that our users will have feedback, questions, and will likely spot a few minor issues. Please contact me directly if you have any questions whatsoever, and let us know what you think of the new Smart Invoice. Also, after a long hiatus, this blog has officially come out of hibernation. We’re back.
Sidney H. VanNess, Ph.D.
President & CEO
The first thing that you will notice is the new user interface. In addition to a complete redesign, we have added a dashboard that displays a snapshot of your business (A/R, billable work, and billable expenses), and which provides streamlined access to many of Smart Invoice’s core features. From this screen you can quickly create a new invoice, client, or project and can view recent activity and notifications related to your invoices.
Perhaps the most requested feature was the ability to track time. Smart Invoice now includes a simple time tracking interface that allows you to specify a client, project, and task, and log hours directly into your Smart Invoice account. The interface allows you to easily generate invoices based on time you have logged, and it sorts these items based on whether or not they have been billed. To make time tracking easier, we will soon be releasing a Mac Time Tracking Widget, as well as a time tracking utility for mobile devices.
Smart Invoice now features a simple expense tracking utility that allows you to log expenses against client projects, and to track your Company’s internal (i.e. unbillable) expenses. When you go to invoice a client who has billable expenses recorded, Smart Invoice will automatically remind you to include those expenses in the invoice. Note that the aforementioned widget will also allow you to record expenses from the Mac desktop.
Projects & Tasks
Smart Invoice introduces the concepts of projects and tasks. You can now track your work based on these inputs, and automatically generate invoices based on time you have logged against projects.
We have added PDF invoices to all paid accounts. When your clients view an invoice, they will be able to download a PDF for their records.
Automatic Past Due Notifications
Smart Invoice now features the ability to automatically send notification of past due invoices. To enable this feature visit Settings | Email Templates | Automated Payment Reminders. Enable each notification you wish to send, update the text as appropriate, and save your settings.
Business Identification Numbers
Several users (particularly users outside of the US) requested that we add the ability to display a business identification numbers on invoices. You can now add this by clicking Settings | Edit Account. You will see two fields: “Business ID Type” (e.g. VAT Number or ABN) and “Business ID” (the actual number). These will automatically show up in the address block of your invoices.
Smart Invoice now supports the import of both single and multi-contact vCards. Visit Clients | Import From vCard to perform a bulk import of clients.
Custom Item Types
We received frequent requests for the ability to add custom item types to invoices, and this has been integrated into Smart Invoice. To add custom item types, you can either click “+” in the invoice creation interface or click on Settings | Customization to define custom item types.
Smart Invoice now makes it easy to send clients a statement, which includes all outstanding invoices. To send a statement, navigate to Clients | <your client’s name> | Client Statement and click the send button.
The old AcuInvoice sales tax system was flexible, but cumbersome. Smart Invoice has adopted the less is more approach. The sales tax system allows you to specify the name of the tax and a percentage; you simply select the tax from a pulldown menu to apply the tax to the relevant items. You can define taxes in Settings | Sales Tax, or create them on the fly through the invoice creation interface.
We have significantly improved the recurring invoices feature. Previously, recurring templates required that you specify line items, a billing interval, and a start date. The problem with this system was that you could end up having several different templates for essentially the same service (e.g. web hosting starting on January 1, web hosting starting on January 2). We have therefore modified the recurring invoices feature so that a template specifies only line items and an invoicing frequency. After creating this template, you then associate specific clients, each of whom have their own start date.