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5 Ways Invoice Automation Can Benefit Your Business

Download the PDFPeople looking over invoices

Every business needs to have a record of sales made. An invoice is a standard document issued by most businesses to serve that purpose. There’s no reason to present a case for invoicing, so let’s get straight to invoice automation.

How does Invoice Automation Work?

There are two stages of automation here. The first one is create an invoice and the second is the processing of the invoice.

Invoice Creation: This process involves setting up a series of scenarios that will trigger the creation or automation of an invoice right in your CRM like HubSpot or Salesforce. For example, when a client makes an online order for your product, automatic invoice generator software like Windward Hub will automatically use the information entered by the client to create an invoice right in your CRM or other platform which can then be sent to the client automatically.

Invoice Processing: This occurs on the client-side. When an invoice is sent to the client, it is automatically scanned and the payment details extracted so that payment can be effected.

Both of these automated processes are increasingly becoming popular in many organizations and here’s why.

Benefits of Automated Invoice Creation and Processing

As the case usually is with most of the technology like an invoice automation software adopted by modern businesses, automating invoice creation improves efficiency.

This translates into the following benefits:

Prompt Reporting of Income

Automating invoices doesn’t give space for procrastination which can result in inaccurate income statements. With an automated invoice, the action is performed in real-time and the corresponding record of income made is recorded instantly.

Encourages Timely Payment

If invoices are sent promptly, then payment is more likely to be on time. Most businesses struggle with AP while they try to manage cash flow. Automating invoices takes away the pressure to ensure invoices are sent and processed on time. It works for the vendor and the buyer if this process is automated since even manual checks that need to be carried out to verify data entered are no longer necessary.

Reduces the Cost of Processing Payment

According to the Institute of Finance and Management, processing an invoice can cost between $1 and $21. This is due to:

  • Labor needed to process paper invoices
  • Wrong data entered into invoices
  • Cost of paper and delivery of documents

With automation, these issues get cancelled. Unnecessary admin tasks are eliminated and that makes invoicing cheaper, faster, and effective.

Supports Online Business

Processing of online invoices can be overwhelming especially when retailers have large numbers of orders. Automating invoices makes this something easier to deal with. Orders are immediately accompanied by invoices. Customers have a more pleasurable experience doing business this way.

Accurate Income Statements

Businesses can be sure that their account statements will not be tampered with or exposed to costly errors. The automation system ensures that the right data is entered into the accounts reports. There’s usually very little need to verify the entries.

How to Automate Invoices?

With a few steps, a business can automate invoice creation and processing. Of course, there’s still the need to have the technology available.

These are the steps to automate:

Step 1: Design the Workflow

Creating a sketch of all the processes involved in invoicing will help you get a clear picture of what has to be done to automate the process. Getting the timing right is very important. You should determine at what point the invoice should be created.

Step 2: Create Guidelines

Using the mapped workflow created, set rules that determine what happens when a particular action is taken. Wholesale and retail clients may require different rules for issuing invoices.

Step 3: Choose the Best Document Automation Software

Carefully choose a document automation software that meets the unique requirements you have - from designing an invoice to creating it. Remember, not all perform well when looking to create invoices right in your CRM. You need to ensure it integrates right into your CRM.

Final Words

Invoice automation will make the accounting process within an organization flawless. Fewer people need to be involved in the process and that saves money and avoids human error. Any business seeking to have a more efficient transaction process would appreciate this.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Try Windward with our 14-day free trial and start automating invoices in quick time with our low/no code solutions.

Tags Start & End

Tags Can Start & End Anywhere

Appendix B

.NET code for multi-page image output

Appendix A

Java code for multi-page image output

Data Bin Search

The Data Bin can now be searched to find a table, column, node or other piece of data without scrolling through it all.

Shrink to Fit

This will shrink the contents of a cell until it fits the defined cell size.

Time Zone Conversion

A new Windward macro has been added to help with converting dates and times from UTC time to the local time zone.

Image Output Format

New image output formats added.

PostScript Output Format

PostScript, commonly used with printers and printing companies, has been added as an additional output format.

New and Improved Datasets (Designer, Java Engine, .NET Engine)

Datasets have been re-written from scratch to be more powerful and easier to use.

Stored Procedure Wizard (Designer)

This works for all tag types that are connected to a SQL-based data source (Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, or DB2).

Boolean Conditional Wizard (Designer)

Before, conditional statements could only be written manually. Now they can also be built using our intuitive Wizard interface.

Reorganized Ribbon

The ribbon menus have been re-organized and consolidated to improve the report design workflow.

XPath 2.0 as Data Source

Adds various capabilities such as inequalities,descending sort, joins, and other functions.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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SQL Select Debugger

SQL Select  Debugger

  • The look and feel was improved
  • Stored Procedure Wizard
  • Improved Exceptions pane

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Tag Editor/Tag Selector

Added a Query tab as a field for typing or pasting in a select statement

  • Color Coding of Keywords
  • TypeAhead
  • Evaluate is now "Preview"

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Rename a Datasource

All tags using that Data source will be automatically updated with that name.

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Connecting to a Data Source

New single interface to replace 2 separate dialog boxes

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Tag Tree

Displays of all the tags in the template, structured as they are placed in the template. This provides a simple & intuitive way to see the structure of your template. Also provides the capability to go to any tag and/or see the properties of any tag.

Added Javelin into the RESTful Engine

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Support for Google Application Engine Integration

The ability to integrate the Windward Engine into Google’s cloud computing platform for developing and hosting web applications dubbed Google Applications Engine (GAE).

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Additional Refinement for HTML Output

  • Improved indentation for ordered and unordered lists
  • Better handling of template header and footer images
  • Better handling for background images and colors

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Redesigned PDF Output Support

This new  integration will allow for processing of complex scripts and bi-directional  text such as Arabic.  Your PDF output  will be much tighter and more closely match your template, and we’ll be able  to respond rapidly to PDF requests and fixes.

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PowerPoint Support

Includes support for new ForEach and slide break handling, table header row repeat across slide breaks, and native Microsoft support for charts and images.

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Tags are Color Coded

Tags are color coded in the template by type, making it easy to visually identify them.

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Increased Performance

Version 13’s core code has been reworked and optimized to offer a reduced memory footprint, faster PDF generation and full documentation of supported features and limitations in the specifications for DOCX, XLSX and PPTX.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Advanced Image Properties

Documents can include advanced Word image properties such as shadows, borders, and styles.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Improved HTML Output

Windward has updated HTML output to reflect changing HTML standards.

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Version 13 New Data Sources

Windward now works with a slew of new datasources: MongoDB, JSON, Cassandra, OData, Salesforce.com

If you've just discovered us, we're excited. Learn more about Windward document automation software now.

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Generate Code

The Generate Code tool in the designer allows you to open an existing template and, with a click of a button, automatically create a window with the code needed to run your current template with all data sources and variables. Simply copy this code and paste into your application's code in the appropriate place. You now have Windward integrated into your application.

You only need to do this once. You do not do this for each template. Instead, where it has explicit files for the template and output, change that to parameters you pass to this code. Same for the parameters passed to Windward. This example uses explicit values to show you what to substitute in where.

Pivot Tables Adjusted in Output

Any pivot tables in an XLSX template are carried over to the XLSX output. The ranges in the pivot ranges are adjusted to match the generated output. So your final XLSX will have pivot tables set as expected in the generated file.

This makes creating an XLSX workbook with pivot tables trivial.

Imported Template Can be Set to Match the Parent Styles

In an imported sub-template, if its properties for a style (ex. Normal) differ from the parent template's properties for the style, the use in the sub-template can be set to either use the properties in the sub-template, or the properties in the parent.

You set to retain when you don't want the child template's styling to change when imported. You set to use the parent when you want the styling of the imported template to match the styling in the parent.

Any explicit styling is always retained. This only impacts styling set by styles.

Tags can be Placed in Text Boxes

Tags can be placed in text boxes. Including linked text boxes. This gives you the ability to set the text in a textbox from your data.

Tags can be Placed in Shapes & Smart Art

Tags can be placed in shapes & smart art. This gives you the ability to set the text in a shape from your data.

HTML Output Supports Embedded Images

When generating HTML output, the engine can either write bitmaps as distinct files the generate HTML references, or it can embed the images in the HTML providing a single file for the output.

Footnotes & Endnotes can Have Tags

You can place tags in pretty much any part of a template, including in footnotes & endnotes.

Document Locking Supported in DOCX & XLSX

Any parts of a DOCX or XLSX (PowerPoint does not support this) file that are locked in the template, will be locked the same in the output.

Specify Font Substitution

If a font used in the template does not exist on the server generating a report, the font to substitute can be specified.
In addition, if a glyph to be rendered does not exist in the font specified, you can specify the replacement font. This can be set distinctly for European, Bi-Directional, and Far East fonts.

Process Multiple Datasources Simultaneously

If you need this - it's essential. And if you don't need it, it's irrelevant.

Windward enables you to build a document by applying multiple datasources to the template simultaneously. When Windward is merging the data into a template, it processes the template by handling each tag in order, and each tag pulls from different datasources. (As opposed to processing all of one datasource, then processing the next.)

This allows the select tag to use data from another datasource in its select. For example, if you are pulling customer information from one data source, you can then pull data from the sales datasource using the customer ID of the customer presently processing to pull the sales information for that customer. If you're interested in patching together your data from multiple datasources, read this post on our blog.

Written by:_
Genesis Abel

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