From estimate to invoice

Small businesses inevitably find that initially-attractive applications are proprietary, trapping their hard-won data. If your business is pushing over the £500k T/O marker, then the applications that helped you grow, are now a constraint.

For a small but growing business, one of the first ‘must haves’ is the ability to reduce inefficiencies and promote cashflow by automating invoicing.

However, if you are a small business that has hitherto relied on niche software applications because you’re working in a specialist area, the likelihood is that those applications (so necessary to your initial development) will not integrate with accounting packages like Xero.

This inability to integrate, often described as “won’t link to”, “won’t connect with”, or “doesn’t talk to” are the words which may make your heart sink.

But there is a way forward.

Your problems increase with the number of applications your business relies on. Typically, a small but growing business will have 2 or 3 niche applications that it uses on a day-to-day basis for core tasks.

If for instance, one of those other applications is a sales & marketing CRM, ‘Contact Management’, ‘Estimating’ software, resource management software or an ERP, ‘Design Management’ software, ‘Home Staging’ software, ‘Stock Management’ or ‘Inventory Management’ software… then the one thing you will absolutely NOT be able to do…. is manage!

If those applications do not integrate with (i.e. ‘talk to’) accounting software, such as Xero, then your problems multiply. Every invoice, quote, pro forma, statement, credit note, account credit, phase payment, charge or draw down you want to issue means going into each application individually in order to retrieve the information you need to draw up your invoicing manually. That’s very repetitive and inefficient.

But help is at hand. Incorvus has a solution that can take you out of the “my systems don’t talk to each other” trap and can put you in control of your business, your finances and accounts.

Another impediment to growth is the inability or unwillingness of some applications (typically what we call ‘proprietary’ software) to even allow data export, meaning that your data, your key business data, is completely trapped (i.e. there is no ‘exit’). Such applications make no provision for connected processes.

If there is any data export facility, this too can be unhelpful – the export format may be limited or constrained to a particular format such as a spreadsheet.

More spreadsheets compound the problems that arise from data being ‘squirreled away’ in desktop spreadsheets because that’s data that isn’t immediately available to management, accounts or analytics adding a further dimension to your headaches. Spreadsheets are also vulnerable to human error when formulae aren’t checked. Proper systems build in calculation logic.

So trapped data impedes management & increases risk: it’s also costly and inefficient, tying up man-hours in manual administrative tasks.

The more you grow, the bigger your problems become.

The longer you delay the inevitable, the worse the data choke becomes, and the more costly.

Because that data is is siloed, business performance overall cannot be analysed.

You won’t have visibility of your business, end-to-end, nor be able to spot risks or opportunities.

You won’t be able to assess your business against its key measures, the KPIs.

Command of your business data is vital. More so in a tough business environment where you need to stay on top of creditors, debtors, stock levels, suppliers, accounting, bookkeeping, inventory & billing. The ‘cash must flow’!

So, please, talk to us at Incorvus if you want to discuss linking your key functions through to your accounting systems, from estimate to invoice.