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Fitting the bill

Invoiceit! 4 takes the stress out of SOHO paperwork. Software review hed: Fitting the bill dek: Invoiceit! 4 takes the stress out of SOHO paperwork.

There’s an old SOHO cliché that says that a project isn’t finished until all of the paperwork is done. Small businesses can get so busy providing products and services to their customers that they often don’t have time to invoice them. Sometimes it’s because they lack the right software. Into this void comes The Scrambled Card Co.’s Invoiceit! 4 for Windows.

TSCC says the program is compatible with all flavors of Windows including 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP. But upon installation on my decidedly flaky Me machine, it produced a litany of error messages (fortunately, they didn’t seem to affect future operations). With its modest system requirements of a Pentium processor, 64MB of RAM, and a 100MB hard drive, you can install Invoiceit! 4 on that old computer you can’t bear to throw away. Make it a dedicated invoicing machine by connecting an inexpensive inkjet printer and you won’t have to tie up another office computer when you want to generate invoices. This setup will go a long way toward helping solve that paperwork problem.

The program’s interface is clean but uninspired, yet its overall design makes it possible for anyone to use it. A row of icon-labeled buttons across the top and left-hand side of the screen helps shorten the learning curve and even people without accounting knowledge can crank out invoices within an hour or less. There’s a lot more here than customizable invoices: Invoiceit! 4 contains other business tools such as cashbook finances, quotations, inventory and stock control, client and vendor tracking, and the ability to produce 60 customizable reports. Making effective use of these additional features will take a little more time than invoicing start-up, but the process is enhanced with a built-in help function that’s well designed and to the point.

Part of any company’s SOHO success is tracking cash flow. Invoiceit! 4 reports markups and gross-profit margins by client, sales person, or product, and can show the effect on your profit margins when applying the kind of discounts that are inevitable in our current economic climate. Some of the program’s other practical features include an appointment schedule and diary, contact list, mailing labels, and e-mail broadcasting. You can also use this spunky little program to generate marketing letters and direct-mail product offers for clients who purchase related products.

Although produced in New Zealand, Invoiceit! 4 supports tax systems from 20 different countries and can calculate up to four different sales taxes for the United States. In the 12 European Community countries, local value-added tax is automatically applied, and invoices are generated in dual currencies. All documents, including invoices and quotes, can be customized and translated into other languages.

Invoiceit! 4 is an effective, network-compatible invoicing/cashbook program that’s available directly from The Scrambled Card Co.’s Web site for $82. If you’ve been using word processing software to generate invoices, now’s the time to put your computer to work generating real invoices. It will help your cash flow.

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