Recent Posts:

Why you shouldn't use spreadsheets for invoicing

  • 2 minute read

Hands up who still has critical dependencies on spreadsheets as part of their invoicing process?

Pause to watch a sea of hands go up…

Whether the amount is recorded on a central spreadsheet from the contract, or spreadsheets are used to circulate time for pre-billing approval, a surprising number of large and otherwise sophisticated companies still have some critical spreadsheets as part of their invoicing procedures.

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Powerless in the world’s biggest library

  • 2 minute read

You pride yourself on knowing your stuff.

Technically, as an MSP owner, you know exactly what to do 99% of the time and if you don’t, you can find out in seconds via Google and multiple data and vendor sources.

We forget how lucky we are with technology and the amazing tools and opportunities it opens for us.

When I see my daughter researching resources in seconds for GCSE revision I compare it to the latest tech I had access to when studying for my O levels - micro-fiche searches at the local library. It’s why working in and with technology is such a great business to be in – it’s an enabler of the highest order, transforming our lives at an ever-increasing rate.

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How A PSA Helps You Manage Contracts and Projects Efficiently

  • 2 minute read

Winning work is hard enough, delivering can also be challenge. However, surprisingly, the hardest problem many organisations face is getting the contract set up correctly in potentially multiple systems.

Let’s take a look at a typical scenario for a technology company.

You win a new customer with a project to deliver, combined with an ongoing support contract.

As a minimum, how many times does that order (or parts of it) need to be modelled in their internal systems?

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How a transactional CRM improves Contract Execution

  • 2 minute read

Aside from on-line, on-demand license agreements, the vast majority of businesses still execute paper contracts. Quite amazing given the extent of on-line automation available these days.

Indeed, companies are making a living selling tools that allow you to execute a printable agreement using a signature that is not your own, based on you typing your name which is then displayed as though you physically signed it using someone else’s handwriting. Weird.

More significantly, they then go on to model the contract behaviours embodied in the agreement into contract management software, going from text to data model rather than using a data model to auto-generate text. This is also weird as clause generation software has been around for more than 20 years.

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Does your business flow?

  • 2 minute read

This may seem an odd image for a business blog, but the analogy is very strong once you think about it.

The difference between a canal and a river is most obvious at a flight of locks. Canals don’t flow, rivers do.

So, which of the two does your business resemble most closely, the canal or the river?

We’re talking here about your internal control systems architecture. Think about new customer acquisition. Firstly they will appear in your CRM system, sometimes correctly populated, most often not.

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Low to zero touch invoicing, part 2: contract billing

  • 2 minute read

If you’ve worked in the finance department of a company that produces regular monthly, quarterly or annual contract invoices, you’ve probably seen the spreadsheet at the end of the universe that controls how much is billed when.

On the face of it, contract billing is simpler than timesheet billing. The amount is determined by the contract and just has to be keyed onto an invoice - what could be easier? No need to worry about automating that…

And if nothing ever changed and sales were slow, that would be true.

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Low to Zero touch invoicing, part 1: billing time

  • 4 minute read

You could say that the primary purpose of PSA software is to get the right invoice out on time.

Which makes it surprising when we speak to companies that don’t use their PSA tool for invoicing. “Too inflexible” is the normal response to the question, “Why not?”

How many companies do you think take timesheet data out of a PSA tool, dump it into a spreadsheet, pass it round for review/edit, then manually type their invoices and review them again before release? Based upon 100s of conversations, we reckon this is actually the majority of services business, seriously. This is really an indictment on the industry as a whole….

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How to model channel sales correctly

  • 2 minute read

CRM, Order management and billing systems are generally designed for a direct sales model where the lead, opportunity, quote, order and invoice only involves two counterparties: a seller and a buyer. Simple.

But what happens if you sell via a reseller, or an agent who is on commission? What are the data modelling and contract implications? How do you track who is who, how do you model the end customer in a way that your service desk system understands this properly?

So, let’s dive into the detail around these two behaviour models to understand the control system needs as a guide to buying the right solution.

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Why we're aiming for a touch-free work to cash cycle

  • 2 minute read

When we set out to write Harmony, we had a dream.

To build a business process management tool where every key-stroke adds real value.

A system that self-administers through the work you do.

A system supported by smart product objects that understand their own accounting behaviours.

A system that automates referred revenue calculations.

A system where balance sheet management in general is fully understood by the business process and so doesn’t need manual intervention or spreadsheets. And finally…

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A short guide to using BlueSnap in Harmony

  • 2 minute read

Taking payments using Bluesnap from within Harmony could not be simpler, it breaks down into just four stages:

Stage 1

Open a Bluesnap account. From this account set-up process you will get a Bluesnap API username and a Bluesnap API password.

Save these, you need them in step 2

Stage 2

Connect your Harmony instance to your Bluesnap account. To do this, you go into Finance/Setup/System/Financial Settings and at the bottom of the page you will see fields for the Bluesnap Account name and password you created in Step 1. Insert them and save.

Now you are ready to start collecting money immediately.

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