Zoho Invoice will be at PayPal’s Innovate 2010

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We will be at PayPal’s Innovate 2010, a developer’s conference to be held at San Fransisco on the 26th and 27th of October. Receiving online payments is at
the core of what we do here at Zoho Invoice and we are happy to be associated with this event
.

At the conference you can titillate your innovative senses with some informative discussions. Sridhar Vembu, the CEO and co-founder of Zoho Corp, will
be participating in a discussion on “Business Payments Pricing”. Another popular face  you will see at the event is our evangelist and active blogger, Raju Vegesna.

PayPal
says the discussion on Business Payment Pricing, will highlight use
cases to show how PayPal can replace cash and checks for
receiving payments for invoices, rent, disbursements or payroll. We couldn’t agree more on this.
The
recent spikes in the number of online payment receipts and how there
are new players emerging in the payment gateway bandwagon only suggests
a shift in the way we transact.

What’s interesting about the online payment gateways space is that this is still a resource still untapped by many
business verticals, which only means that there is a huge potential for
growth and innovation. That’s exactly what PayPal wants to showcase at
this event. Being a geeky bunch ourselves, we are so excited about
the conference and all those integrations that are going to be formulated by the developers at the conference. To ideas, learning and
loads of fun. See you all at Innovate 2010!

“It takes 2 seconds to create an invoice” -Travis Van, ITDatabase

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This is what Travis Van, the founder of ITDatabase had to say about Zoho Invoice.

ITDatabase
is a San Francisco based start-up, founded in 2007. It provides
analytical tools for dissecting coverage related to specific tech
topics, competitors, and

other parameters – and helps tech companies
get the aggregate views they need to make important marketing and PR
decisions.




Here are some excerpts from our conversation with Travis Van.








How did you come up with the idea to start ITDatabase?










The
real problem we wanted to solve was that for nearly any tech topic, there are
hundreds and often thousands of people writing about it. New authors -
especially bloggers – pop up every day. Authors that wrote about
netbooks and other consumer electronics yesterday are today writing
about Cloud Computing or some other enterprise tech. It’s very
difficult to keep up with the changing focus for publications and
authors – and we felt that there was an opportunity to index all this
content in a much more organized way than anything that was available.
And after years of using every other available tool in the industry we
felt that there was an opportunity to build a tech media research tool
that was much more compatible with PR / marketing folks’ every day
needs.








How did you become a Zoho Invoice user?








I
did a web search for

online invoicing software
. I had quickly learned
that in our sales process, some customers enroll immediately, while
others have much longer approval processes. It became sort of a mess to
keep track of who is at what stage, and it was a bit overwhelming. So I
wanted an easy way to keep track of all of the outstanding invoices,
and I also wanted some reporting to be able to see historical customer
win and renewal dates.








What do you like the most about Zoho Invoice?









For
me it’s really the simplicity. You hear software developers describe
minimalistic design as the hardest goal for any product to accomplish.
I think Zoho Invoice accomplishes that. It doesn’t impose a bunch of
unnecessary features or configurations on the user. It provides the
perfect tool for the person to get exactly done what they want, and as
a result it is extremely efficient to use. It takes 2 seconds to create
a customer and 2 seconds to

create an invoice
and send it out to them
and then you have a paper trail of when you sent the invoice to the
customer, when its due, etc.. When they pay you, you can add the
payment and have a receipt sent to them instantly. For someone like me
with no background in finance, who is casually floating in and out of
looking at what our outstanding invoices are, what kind of revenues I
can expect in the next 6 months or 3 months – it’s just very nice to
use an invoicing tool that is so straightforward. With Zoho Invoice I’ve never had
a question as to how anything works, it is extremely user friendly.








The
price I’m paying for keeping my

invoices tracked
within Zoho isn’t much
compared to the time it saves me. Zoho Invoice has really helped me cut
out the time I spend on accounting. I would rather spend that time pursuing other features and improvements for our product. 


So what is Travis Van all about besides work and ITDatabase?








With
a two year old kid and a start-up, I’m not exactly the most exciting
profile in leisure time activity. But when I’m not working or spending
time with my family, I like to golf or surf. I’m not very good at
either, but that doesn’t stop me. Probably my favorite is just hanging
out at home and trying to cook something new.

You can also share your invoicing story with us, like Travis did.

Write to us now!

Invoice Template Gallery

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O
ne
little marketing trick many small businesses often forget….. Invoices!
Your invoices are the most effective marketing ideas and they are
proven to actually work. Invoices are repeated point of contact with
your customers, so up selling becomes easy because your customers are
already happy with you and they may fancy the idea of buying from you
again. Your invoice ought to be enthralling in its appearance,
engaging in its content and credible in terms of  figures.

Zoho Invoice

can do all of that for you.


Free Invoice Template
Introducing
to you for the very first time, a

template gallery for contemporary
templates within your Zoho Invoice account.  Now you won’t need to look
any further for some cool template designs. We have them


classified, chiseled out and ready to use.


We
kept the gallery simple for starters. We picked up a classic invoice
template, tossed in some chic background, splashed in some colors and
gave it a stroke of “Good Luck” with our wand and Voila! we had three
contemporary templates – each of a different style. One of them classy
, another a beautiful pastel and the other a retro silhouette.


We
do plan to spoil you for choices very soon with a host of interesting
additions. So take a plunge into our template gallery and come out with
a template of your choice.


Visit the gallery now!

Until we spin out something from our magic weave,

happy invoicing
!

10 Ways to Succeed as a Freelancer Using Zoho Invoice

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You
are ambitious, ready to take the world by storm with your skills…….
Read on as we tell you how to succeed and mint those millions, all with
an investment of $8 a month. 

Invoice software for freelancers


1. Call a “Freelancer” a freelancer


True
story, well “MY” story, back in those days when “Cindy Crawford” was the
rave. (Now don’t go guessing me to be your granny’s pal) I
happened to be a freelancer, good skills, clueless about business intricacies and that
was me. I told my clients I was
passionate about writing and guess what, some customers skipped paying
me, this is what they said to me “Why would you charge to do something you are passionate about”.


So here’s what you do, declare yourself as a “Freelancer” and not a “Free-worker”





Turn
to Zoho Invoice to: 

send an estimate
to your customer before you begin
work. Just to ensure that your customer has got the basics straight “He
ought to pay”



2. An advance payment is a joy forever






I’m
sure you’ve heard stories from delayed payments to “No” payments. To
save yourself from becoming the subject of such a story you have to demand an
advance payment. If a customer doesn’t pay you an advance he may never
pay. We are talking trust both ways, aren’t we?



The solution- demand an advance payment.



Turn
to Zoho Invoice to: Send out a

credit note
for the advance payment.
This will make your customer happy for he would know you are legally
bound for the advance.


3. An expense invoiced is a profit earned


The
calories you burnt off walking 3 blocks, that quick meal at the fancy
restaurant during your freelancing job, and every other expense on your assignment, bill your client for everything.



Turn to Zoho Invoice to: Record, track and bill for every

expense
.



4. A customer in need is a customer indeed


Keeping
in touch with old customers or generally all customers will land you
more projects. When you are nearing completion in your present project
all you have to do is “Say Hello”. You never know when your customer
needs your service.



Turn
to Zoho Invoice to: Maintain an updated list of all your customers and
contacts in Zoho Invoice. Say Hello from right within your Zoho Invoice
account.



5. Marketing with invoices


Your
invoices add value to your business. Some interesting ways of making
your invoices powerful marketing material are to add a tag about
something on the offering soon, include information on any discounts
which you are offering or if you are a designer customize the invoice
template with one of your radical designs.



Turn to Zoho Invoice to: Create a great looking

invoice template
.


6. Be professional yet personal


Your
customer’s Inbox would have about 10 new unread mails at every point of
time, on an average, counting out the promotional mails and news
letters. Let’s say 4 out of those 10 mails are from vendors of your
customer including yourself. How do you stand out from the rest of
them? Simple. A simple personalized email as an invoice notification
mail can do wonders. Begin with a greeting and end on a amiable note.


Turn to Zoho Invoice to: Personalize your notification email templates



7. Thank when paid


Every
payment calls for a thank you. We all love receiving a payment, don’t
we? A thank you mailer can again turn as your marketing material.
Promote your products or add in a discount information to your thank
you mail. You may walk away with another sale



Turn to Zoho Invoice to: Send out thank you mails to customers every time they pay you.


8. An invoice in the hand is worth two in the mail


Snail
mail your invoices to your customer. Let’s accept the fact that there
are some customers who are stubborn with paying. A hard copy of an
invoice may do the trick. Include a payment stub and see that payment
coming your way in no time at all.


Turn to Zoho Invoice to: Snail mail your invoice through

zPost from Zoho Invoice
.


9. A friend a day keeps you on your way


We
are talking about the magical word to getting business as a freelancer,
Networking! Network in the morning, network in the noon time and
network when the sun goes down.



Turn to Zoho Invoice to: Meet fellow freelancers through our communication avenue, the Zoho Invoice forum. You can

Share your story
on the forum with the community and get ideas or help on anything from invoicing to your business.


10. Stay focused


This is the key to any business, so it works for freelancers too.



Turn
to Zoho Invoice to: Save your time, money and all the tensed up moments
spent on invoicing, tracking and receiving payments. We have you
covered!




New in Zoho Invoice: Import/Export of Expenses

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Expense tracking is a topic which will be of interest to every one of our users


.


Saving up on expenses is the key to a successful business. Ain’t that true?


To
begin with, we’ll tell you what

expense tracking in Zoho Invoice

is all
about and then we’ll fill you in on all what you need to know about our
brand new addition, 


the option to import/export expenses.




First the basics. By using the expense tracking feature you can,




  • Keep track of your billable and non-billable expenses

  • Invoice your customers for the billable expenses

  • Record the payments received as reimbursements 



  • Generate reports on your expenses


So
it’s a no-brainer that every expense counts, every dollar spent if
reimbursed goes into your profit numbers. With Zoho Invoice, you spend
only where you ought to. Here’s a little visual on how getting the
dough for every little expense made a big difference to a Zoho Invoice
customer.


Now
that you are well oriented on the expense tracking feature, it’s time
to know how you can record expenses on the go and get them
imported into Zoho Invoice or how you can get the expenses recorded on
any other system imported into Zoho Invoice. 

The new addition to expense tracking is the option to Import/Export expenses.

You can now import your expenses from any other
application into Zoho Invoice easily. Get your expenses on a
CSV or TSV file and three simple steps later, your expenses will be
imported. Here’s how it works,       


  1. Select the file to be imported



  2. Map the fields from your import file. 


  3. Get a preview of your import statistics and begin importing
  


As
easy as it can get. Isn’t it? On that note….. spend, record and raise
your profits.

And as we always say, don’t forget to voice out your
suggestions, comments and of course your love for Zoho Invoice. 

Until we cue in another interesting tweak to Zoho Invoice,

happy invoicing!

Switch now from your Invoicing Software to Zoho Invoice

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It’s makeover time in Zoho Invoice, your favorite invoicing software. Getting a makeover this time around is our dear old Import feature. We added in a zing there to help you do it with ease. By ease we mean a scene where you are lounging on your couch, sipping on some coffee (diet shake for those health junkies please) and clicking through your import.

So how did this come about?

One fine morning, one brainwave splashed past all of us. Voila! The idea to revamp the import module was born. OK, let me spill out the beans, rather than cooking up a rather “told too often” tale. We are in the process of churning out some big goodies which you would have to hold on for a while to see. In the meantime we wanted to keep you entertained with something new to feast on. Thus the makeover ;)

If you are one of those people who’s deciding to migrate from a stale invoicing software which is updated once in 10 light years, to an invoicing software which gives you the best bet for your buck and at the same time stays alive and young with constant updates, then look no further. Hop on to Zoho Invoice by using our step by step import option to get the data from your old invoicing software into Zoho Invoice.

What would you see in the new import feature?

  • You’ll see a beautifully organized step by step process for importing your data.
  • The option to match the fields from your old invoicing software to the fields in Zoho Invoice.
  • A forecast of what will work and what might not during your import

The all important question……

How does it work?

It works like this……………


Step 1: Select a file for importing


Step 2: Map the fields from your import file with the fields in Zoho Invoice


Step 3: Preview and START importing!

Should you try it out now?

I bet you should and once you try, don’t forget to send that all crucial email to us. We always look forward to hearing from you and when we don’t, we presume you like it :)

Until we have some more make-over stories to write about,

happy invoicing

!

New in Zoho Invoice: Credit Notes

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An invoicing application which offers you the option to send out credit notes to your customers …. Sounds interesting? Read on.

By popular demand from our customers, introducing the Credit Note feature in Zoho Invoice. You can now send out credit notes to your customers from your Zoho Invoice account. Retaining a documentation of every transaction is the sign of a good accounting practice. So never let that customer credit go unaccounted for.

You ask, “When can I issue a credit note?”

The math behind a credit note is simple. You issue a credit note every time you owe your customer some money.

You say, “List out a few scenarios where I may need to issue a Credit Note?”

  • Your customer has been of the “Rare customer” category and has paid you an advance. Whoa! Wish that happens again and issue a credit note with TLC.
  • Oops! You sent out a wrong invoicing amount to your customer. Don’t fret, just issue a credit note and your customer is never going to be cross with you on that.
  • You were bitten by a generosity bug after you send out an invoice and you want to give your customer a discount. Don’t shy away, send your customer a credit note for the discounted amount.
  • This time around your customer is bitten by the generosity bug and he makes an over-payment against an invoice. Send him a credit note and win brownie points for holding up your business ethics

You ask, “How does creating a credit note and associating it to invoices work?

We’ve kept the process simple.

You ask, “What else?”

As a user of Zoho Invoice, you would know that when we make something, we make it tunable for every user and then there’s certainly going to be a report. (Oh yeah! We love the numbers). This is what you can do with
your credit notes:

  • Set your credit note preferences
  • Generate a report on credit notes issued
  • Customize your credit note notification mails

Disclaimer: We agree that that’s helluva lot of exclamations on one post. Well, that’s how excited we are about this feature. We are sure you are as excited as we are!

Until we put another feature on the platter, happy invoicing!