Thursday, November 4, 2010

Zoho Invoice and a freelance web programmer

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Learn how Nick Texidor, a freelance web programmer, found a better way to run his cumbersome invoicing process through Zoho Invoice.


Nick Texidor is a freelance web programmer with 25 years of programming experience to his credit. He has worked on Joomla and Joomla extensions for clients across various geographical locations like US, UK and Australia. His business model is to host, build and maintain websites for clients. He accounts his success to his passion for programming and his ability to understand and materialize the client's requirements into virtuality.

Nick and a friend started off a company called Webbods in 1997. In 2005 they split the company into two areas, design and development. The idea being that they could continue to work on existing clients, at the same time they could also outsource to other design companies and offer them development skills that they often didn't have in-house. In due course Nick decided to fly solo to greater things and moved on to freelancing. He's been in this space ever since and for good!


Zoho Invoice is an invoicing software from Zoho's range of business applications. It is built to be a simple, intuitive and quick invoicing application for users who run their business online through business productivity avenues like Google Apps. With Zoho Invoice, users can keep track of their invoices, estimates, payments received and expenses. The integration with Google Apps, enables users of a Zoho Invoice account to pull in their users and contacts from their Google Apps domain into Zoho Invoice. This seamless integration makes it so much easier for users to keep an updated list of customers and to set user roles.


Initially Nick thrived on invoices created using Adobe products. He realized that it was time consuming and that tracking the invoices seemed really tough. So to make things simpler he moved on to using the Australian tax office's e-Record system which also generates invoices. Soon Nick realized that this did not actually fill the void for a solid invoicing application to take care of his invoicing. The reason being, the e-record system was a desktop application and restricted the invoicing to just one work station. Also, it did not have the option to send out recurring invoices. So the ability to invoice on the go was a deal-breaker. Then he went on to evaluate various other invoicing applications until he found Zoho Invoice.


Invoicing became a pain area for Nick as time went by and his customer base expanded. Keeping track of invoices became impossible. He remembered using another Zoho service and he looked back to see if Zoho offers any invoicing solution. That's when he identified Zoho Invoice. The fact that Zoho Invoice is integrated with Google Apps, was the real winner for him. He's been using Google's services for a number of years. Zoho Invoice on Google Apps meant that he would be able to access his invoicing data from Google's universal navigation in a click. He soon moved all his data into Zoho Invoice and became a Zoho Invoice user in no time.

With Zoho Invoice Nick is able to satiate one of his primary requirements in an invoicing software, the ability to send recurring invoices to his customers. This makes his invoicing process much simpler considering that he offers hosting websites as a service to his customers. It was a relief to him to be able to set his recurring invoices and not be worried about it or to manually keep track of them. He received an email when its due to be sent and all he had to do is to approve it. With Zoho Invoice his clients were able to pay him online through payment gateways like PayPal which meant faster payments and no more waiting for those checks from across the globe.

Another thing he loves is the ease and speed at which you can create an invoice and navigate to Zoho Invoice. The ability to be able to move his contacts from his Google account into Zoho Invoice meant that he wouldn't need to download his contacts and import them into Zoho invoice. Toggling with multiple usernames and passwords isn't something any of us fancy and neither does Nick.


The move to Zoho Invoice has streamlined Nick's invoicing. From someone who restricted his invoicing to a desktop to someone who has been invoicing on the go, Nick has come a long way with Zoho Invoice. His invoices reach the customer on time, his payment receipts are online and he knows how well his business is doing from the reports he generates from Zoho Invoice. Nick says "What I like the most about Zoho Invoice is that I don't have to worry about my invoicing. I can just sign in and create an invoice in few minutes."

The Zoho Invoice and Google Apps combination has worked great for Nick. He's signed into Gmail around the clock to keep in touch with his customers, so accessing Zoho Invoice is as easy as clicking through to Zoho Invoice from Google's universal navigation bar. Every time he adds a new contacts to his Google Contacts he gets the customer imported into Zoho Invoice seamlessly. He says that saves him from a lot of invoicing hazards. With Zoho Invoice from Google Apps Nick has been able to save a lot of time.

He has been able to invest all the additional hours he gains from using Zoho Invoice with his adorable little daughter and to come up with brilliant business ideas.