In a nutshell, I needed to get time tracking hours and descriptions into QuickBooks Online invoices in an automated manner. As a new startup business, our primary goal was to get clients and provide value to them through our video production and editing services. Once we started working with a couple larger clients that had consistent work and multiple sub-projects, a whole new set of challenges showed up. How do we track and itemize all of this work so we can bill the client property (and transparently) and ultimately get paid for it? We didn’t want to just send a large one line item invoice, but wanted to break it down into sub-projects that was easy for the client to understand. We already had online tools, resources, and some Excel macros to parse our time tracking and project descriptions–we just needed a way to get it all into QuickBooks Online invoices without a ton of manual entry. Needless to say, hand entering 30 to 40 lines of information for new invoices was taking a considerable amount of time. Since I was able to export staff time tracking info into an XLS file, I was on the search for a way to pull this into QuickBooks Online and automatically crank out an invoice. Unfortunately QBO didn’t do this natively. After trying out a number of competitor products, I finally came across Transaction Pro, my saving grace. I was amazed by how simple and straightforward the importer tool was. Other tools wanted me to supply an XLS file with 100 different fields to populate the information QBO needed. Transaction Pro only imports the columns you need and sets the rest to default, making the whole process very smooth and straightforward.
With Transaction Pro, I set the XLS files up with the descriptions and client project information/billing that I want and Transaction Pro quickly imports this into an invoice in QuickBooks Online. From there, I can do a quick verification and then send it off to the customer with very little manual intervention. I used to have to enter 30 to 40 lines of information manually into QBO’s invoice form. Unfortunately, I’d usually end up accidentally deleting lines of information and getting very frustrated in the process. It was much easier to set up the invoice in an XLS file (which already was automatically created) and then sort, modify, and calculate data within the sheet for easy import into QuickBooks Online via Transaction Pro. Without Transaction Pro’s importing solution, the ability to direct import XLS files into QuickBooks Online would, without hyperbole, be totally impossible.
As I mentioned, before finding Transaction Pro, everything had to be entered into QuickBooks manually. It was really the last piece of the automation puzzle for me to solve. We had great time tracking tools like Toggl, I put together custom Excel macros to parse time tracking data and got the billing for my staff and I together into a nice spreadsheet, but then it took over an hour get all of the information put into QuickBooks invoices without any data entry mishaps. The extra time was usually due to information getting deleted when setting up the billing categories in the invoice entry form. I usually had to rely on two monitors to copy each line item from the Excel sheet and paste it in. I knew there had to be a better way. First, I wanted to build my own tool, but after I found Transaction Pro, I knew I wouldn’t have to go to such extremes just to automate our workflow. Transaction Pro to the rescue!