As a young, fast growing company, one of the most important objectives we had was streamlining administrative tasks. Our invoicing process was one of the first to get a complete overhaul.
Up until that point, we were using a google doc spreadsheet where each developer was adding their tme, but the devs weren't too particularly keen on it and it took hours of otherwise productive time from the administrative team to chase developers. This obviously made it a challenge to present clientele with timely and accurate invoices.
The first solution came in the form of a slack bot we built to replace the google doc. The bot pings developers with a friendly reminder each day to enter their time. Thanks to artificial intelligence, it can even hold a bit of conversation. You can read more about our bot, here. It was a hit with our developers. We went from having to constantly chase to literally never having to chase them.
Even though this solved our initial issue of having to chase developers, once the bot gathered the info, it was stored in a database, meaning that we would still have to manually generate invoices. This presented another opportunity for us to improve our process.
The idea of the Upstack Portal Timesheet was born. We built a timesheet that is automatically populated by the data gathered by the bot, and aggragated by project and date, and synced with a calendar. It has enabled us to produce biweekly invoices in an extremely efficient way, we simply press the 'generate invoice' button. To make things even easier, clients can choose to have their credit card info stored and automatically charged, making paying invoices as seamless and efficient as it is for us to generate them. The timesheet also offers a new level transparency for clientele, as each client automatically has full access to the time spent on their projects and notes regarding them.
Screenshot of the timesheet in the Upstack Portal
While we believe everything has room for improvement, it has made invoicing smoother, more timely, and accurate, allowing us to focus less on administrative tasks and more on building awesome products that matter. The great thing is that we will continue to make this process better. As a development company, we are always looking to see how we can improve processes and that mindset, consequently, benefits any company that decides to work with us.