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treefarmer
07-15-2010, 08:37 PM
I'm looking for a secretarial assistant, but my business is really too small to hire somebody for the job. So I'm wondering if any of you use services for this kind of thing. It takes me far too long to send out invoices every month, and I want to reduce the time involved. Any ideas? What keywords would I search to find such a service??

THANKS!

LandscaperBillingSoftware
07-16-2010, 07:45 AM
Hi Tree Farmer

Would hiring someone part time be doable? There are plenty of folks in this economy who would take a part time job, a couple hours a day or a week, doing your invoicing. You can post an ad for free on Craigslist and get quite a number of responses.

You pay a premium to agencies for temp workers, and sometimes you get real lousy workers from them. And the cheaper agencies tend to provide people who you can't trust to do a good job, not without constant supervision. Not someone I would to be billing my customers.

My recommendation would be to contact a few places and find out on average what a temp/agency will cost. Then, figure out how much it would cost for you to hire someone part time. Compare them apples to apples (taking into account the advantages and disadvantages to each). The results may make it very easy to make the decision.

Another recommendation is to speed up your invoicing process. I assume you do a lot of recurring monthly charges for the same customers, with some one offs thrown in for newcomers. If you aren't using a billing program that automates those regular customers you should be. It will significantly reduce your invoicing time. Try out Landscaper Billing Software, designed specifically to save landscapers time with monthly billing. Direct link in my sig or click here (http://landscaperbillingsoftware.com/demo_for_lawnsite)so you see the Lawnsite.com special. Regardless of what software you decide on, automating is going to save you a lot of time.

Good luck!

JCLawn and more
07-16-2010, 08:02 AM
i usually collect on the spot, or bill on the spot. I don't know if that is a option for you. I keep my laptop on my truck so I can keep track of everything.

seabee24
07-16-2010, 09:10 PM
yes - get service auto pilot, set a schdual then you or yoru crew clock on and off the jobs with a smart phone threw out the entire month...VERY simple, less than 30 mins you can do all your billing. email as many invoices as you can , then the rest send to a print shop for 79 cents, they stamp, and mail them for you...6 clicks of a mouse and yoru good to go

poolboy
07-17-2010, 08:04 AM
Use QuickBooks billing solutions. Let them print, stuff, stamp, mail, or email your invoices for you instead. Customers can pay online if they like.

bohiaa
07-17-2010, 10:55 PM
there called accountaints.

and yes they take on small accounts,

stusstang
07-19-2010, 10:23 AM
I use OBEX Data Services, started using them 2 years ago. call them


1-800-464-6239

save a lot of time and I get all my payments every month.

360ci
07-20-2010, 09:50 AM
Ask your relatives if they'd be interested in doing it. By the time you spend money on software at your stage, when you don't think its entirely necessary, and you don't want to spend the time yourself find a friend or relative that can help out.

My wife (currently) won't do anything to help me out in terms of my business. She just wants all the rewards, so I got my mother, who works part time for someone else to keep track of my invoices. She's familiar with the MS office group, so I use that to keep track of my clients. It's not the best means, but it's simple, cost effective as I set everything up so all she has to do is enter in information, mail out the invoices and collect payments when they come in.

I don't make enough to even hire an accountant part time, let alone I don't like people looking into my finances as it is, it's always made me a bit queezy as I had problems with an accounting firm in the past that tried to double bill me for services they didn't even do.

The last thing I want to do is hassle some of my clients by getting a billing service to phone them when their account goes past due. I've never had problems collecting, and I give everyone 15 days to pay, sometimes it takes a few days longer by mail depending on when they received the invoice. Local invoices I like to drop off the following week when I'm there to do work, so it saves me a stamp, but it costs me a couple days of time.

A few lower volume clients pay me once every two months. I don't generally do it this way as it can make things confusing of course, but it saves me banking fees and the like. It gives them time to get the money if necessary, and it saves me $2 a month for a cheque deposit off of maybe a $100 statement each month. I'm with one of the better banks in the area and still feel like I'm getting raped. So no accountant for me.

RollingRoc
08-02-2010, 11:40 AM
How do you like Service AutoPilot? I've been checking out their website and are considering them over Landscape Billing & Gopher (looks cheezy).

Roger
08-02-2010, 07:47 PM
To the OP: How do you manage the finances of your company?

Any software that would be used to manage the finances of your company can create invoices. Many of use QuickBooks. All the income and expenses are accounted for easily. Invoices are created quickly and easily. It takes longer to stuff envelopes and put stamps. In many cases, no envelope is needed -- just e-mail the invoice directly from QB.

I'm wondering why you want an approach for doing invoices apart from your financial management software. This would mean having to do some of the same functions twice. Why not do it one time, manage your bank account, credit cards, receipt of payments, etc. from one place? What am I missing?

sahoward5@afo.net
12-30-2010, 03:19 PM
How do you like Service AutoPilot? I've been checking out their website and are considering them over Landscape Billing & Gopher (looks cheezy).

Yep, got it, use it, love it.