💡 How to automate complex invoicing with Make and Monday

Hey Makers :wave:

Hope Wednesday’s treating everyone well!
I’m here to gently nudge you to put on your reading glasses and check out the clever solution of the Make Community’s own @timlittletech.

A reliable and flexible invoicing system is priceless when you’re running a business, but not only for the reasons you’d think (hello, cashflow!).

:thinking: One construction company discovered how complex their invoicing needs had become, and turned to Make partner Tim Little of Tim Little Tech to build a solid foundation for comprehensive invoicing, powered by Make.

:jigsaw: With hundreds, if not thousands, of variables at play involving clients, properties, and work order specifications, the company needed an invoicing system that could:

  • reduce manual work for employees
  • improve customer service
  • and enable business analytics for better planning.

:dizzy: Tim’s final solution utilizes tools such as monday.com, QuickBooks, and Excel.

The result? In a single click, the construction firm can generate detailed invoices, complete with pictures, for any customer, property, or project.

:nerd_face: Read on to learn more

What problem were you trying to solve with your automation?

Automate detailed invoicing for a construction / maintenance company

Why did the problem exist?

My client; the construction company; needed to provide detailed reports of maintenance and construction progress made as part of their invoices. This was a manual process to pull together paperwork orders and scans and combine them into an excel spreadsheet detailing potentially hundreds of work orders.

This process took 15+ hours a week and was error-prone and difficult to accomplish.

How did you solve the problem? What does your solution look like?

Work orders are submitted via a form that is added to monday.com via Make.

The form is broken down into how many hours each employee worked, and what parts were purchased as part of the work order. These are attached to customer/property records in monday.com with pictures of the work & total Labor/Part cost of the work included in monday.com.

Every month (or so), we push a button in monday.com to ‘create’ an invoice which triggers Make to

  • gather all the submitted forms for that customer,
  • group them by property,
  • and create a line item for each property in the invoice in QuickBooks.

Also, all of the photos for each property are combined into a single pdf with a page for each work order and attached to the work order (up to a dozen properties/pdfs on a single invoice).

Then, we create a Google/Excel spreadsheet with a row for each of the work orders (again grouped by property) and we break down the cost by each work order labor & parts, the date it was performed, and calculate a percentage of how much work is left for the particular property.

This Excel sheet gets added to the invoice as well (still using Make).

The invoice is reviewed manually and then sent out once everything is confirmed.

Look at the beauty that powers the process!

What did your solution achieve?

  • reduced 15+ hour workload a week to 1 hour or less
  • streamlined invoicing
  • better customer service
  • enabled business analytics

Tim Little - the man behind the automation wheel

Helpful Resources

:make: Monday on Make
:make: QuickBooks on Make