As a buisness owner it is important to keep track of your invoices, so, as the programmer I am, I whipped up a PDF-generating system that synchronizes data from my calendar to minimize my administrative workload.
I work as an on-call consultant to boost my income during my studies. To manage this income I need to send out invoices, reminders and check for payments at a routinely fashion – in the light of this I wrote my own system
Since my time is mostly spent with my clients and I have a strong need to keep my calendar updated and á jour so that I do not miss any meetings or deadlines. Since they also pay me for my time it made sense to make my calendar the primary data source for my invoicing. I see it as a service and a must have to specify the invoices clearly, so I also take notes about what each meeting was about inside the description of each meeting inside my calendar. I have my phone set up to synchronize with Google Calendar so I easily can edit the data while on the move.
My invoice system synchronizes with my work calendar and automatically creates jobs that has not yet been invoiced, it takes note of how long I’ve been at the client and what I did at that meeting. The only thing I do is approve and click create invoice.
Now of course, not all posts on an invoice are time-related so I also have the possibility to add a static entry to the invoice, for example interests, fees and products that they have bought. Once created, the invoice gets printed out at my printer with an accompanying e-mail reminding me to put it in the mailbox. If my customer has choosen e-mail-invoicing it get’s delivered to me and I can view the result before forwarding it to the customer.