On mowing lawns and cutting cheques

Sarah* has run a garden service for the past eight years. Her priority is to provide work for the poorest of the poor. Over the years she has trimmed her personnel to a core group of workers who are reliable and enthusiastic. They are more like family than employees. And in the winter months when work is scarce, they all tighten their belts, surviving, with the promise of abundance come spring.

In winter when work is scarce, they all tighten their belts, surviving, with the promise of abundance come spring.

Two of their big challenges are to get their invoices out ASAP and follow up on payments. They work from dusk till dawn, getting as many gardens serviced as daylight permits. They arriving home dead-tired with little motivation to do any paperwork such as sending out invoices and reconciling payments received. It is easy to think that the important work — attending to the clients’ gardens — are done and that invoices are on a lower order of priority. But this is not true! It is like running while holding your breathe, you can continue for a few steps, but eventually you run out of air…

The taskflow solution for them is to create the invoice when and where they have completed a job. From there an automated process is kicked off and it is only completed once payment was received.

The foreman fills in a form on his mobile phone, submits it and moves on to the next client.

The foreman fills in this form on his mobile

In the background, the taskflow is activated and tasks are kicked off. The invoice is immediately emailed to the client. At the same time an email is sent to Sarah (the manager) with the details of the invoice. As work continues she receives more such emails giving her an idea how the team is progressing throughout the day. (She could decide that she does not want to receive any of these emails and remove this task from the taskflow.)

Once a week she dedicates time to reconcile the bank statements with the list of taskflows that represent the invoices.

Taskflow reports that Sarah uses for bank reconciliation

All payments that have been received are indicated on the applicable client’s taskflow by ticking “received”. A “thank you” email that acknowledges the receipt of payment is automatically sent to the client. Job done.

Indicate whether payment has been received or not

For those where payment is still outstanding after 7 days she can continue the taskflow and tick that “payment has not been received”. Again, an automated email containing the invoice details and a friendly reminder of the overdue payment is sent to the client.

These taskflows will stay active so that next week Sarah can revisit them and if she still has not received payment she can call those clients.

The benefits

  1. The invoice is generated on the job and is sent out immediately. The majority of clients are more than willing to pay for services but they just need an invoice. Writing out a physical invoice would have taken longer.
  2. At a dedicated time Sarah can reconcile her bank statements. On one screen she indicates whether payment has been received or not, and “tick” to either send the client a reminder or a “thank you” email.
  3. All the work the team has done as well as the full invoicing and payment history is seen in one table. For the first time, Sarah now has her finger on the pulse of her business.
The sequential history of any taskflow

Do you want this solution? Get it now in your Kotive account for free. Need to make one or two changes to fit your business better? No problem!