Posted - 28/10/10 | 0 Comments

By the way – we include a free archive

Someone pointed out to me the other day an element of our service that they think we underplay – The Archive.

I know from bitter experience the nightmare of storing boxes of past invoices or having all your invoices stored on the hard disk of your laptop. What could possibly go wrong? Well at the simple end of the scale someone could ask for a copy of an invoice from last year. How good is your filing system – hard copy or electronic? If you are lucky several unproductive and frustrating hours later you lay your hands on the document.

But at the “disaster” end of the scale your hard disk could fail. Slowly the full scale of the catastrophe dawns on you – you haven’t backed it up. You have just lost all of your past invoices!!

Clear is a Cloud-based service. Everything is stored and backed up online in an industrial strength data centre. In fact to be exact in two industrial strength data centres which copy everything between themselves to be extra sure. So not only could we withstand a hard disk crash, we could survive a plane crash and still be able to serve up your invoices without interruption. And how much extra do we charge for this “sleep at night” peace of mind I hear you say? The answer is nothing. It is free now and will be included in whatever price plans we introduce in the future.

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Posted - 13/10/10 | 0 Comments

Clear 1.3 – OMG!

We released Clear Version 1.3 today and there are high fives all round in the Development Team for a job well done. The theme of this release has been the user experience and we think V1.3 makes creating, sending and managing invoices even easier! We have now got the creation and sending of an invoice down to 3 clicks of a mouse! We have also given you a much cleaner and more intuitive user interface. The main new features are:

1. Free text entry for one-off items on new invoices. Most of our users invoice for the same goods over and over again – just to different customers. However, some of you who do bespoke work or varied types of consultancy told us that you either; always invoice different items or at least would like the option to include a “one time” item. In this case it was laborious to create a new item, invoice it and then delete it. We listened and hey presto! V1.3 includes the ability to invoice for one-time items (i.e. invoice items that you don’t want to re-use).

electronic invoicing

Free text entry for one off items on a new invoice

All you need to do is to click your cusrsor into the description field in the new invoice screen and make a free text entry – no need to create a new item and Clear won’t remember it. here is a screen shot:

2. Invoice Management. This one was also high up on the list of most requested enhancements. In the received invoices tab we have now added some action buttons to help you manage your invoices. Now you can Query, Reject, Delete or Archive invoices as well as record payments so that you can keep on top of what has been paid. Here is a screen shot:

online billing

New invoice management buttons

Watch out for the same tools (and a few more) being incorporated into the Sent Invoices tab in the next release of Clear.

3. Dispute management. We have added a “Dispute” button which allows you to start a dispute dialogue through Clear – much faster than by phone or email. The dispute conversation is recorded and while the invoice is still subject to a dispute you can see the conversation by previewing the invoice. A dispute is ended when an invoice is marked as paid. Here is a screen shot:

4. General improvement of the user interface. You will see a number of general improvements around Clear in the way information is being presented. Clearer tables, better action buttons, less cluttered forms. We think the whole experience is now much better.

We are on a constant mission to improve and enhance what Clear can do for you and would love to know what you want. Visit the forum and join in the dialogue about new features.

The Clear Team

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Posted - 05/10/10 | 0 Comments

How many companies take their own medicine?

Don’t you think it’s a bit odd if you come across a company that provides a service but doesn’t use that service themselves in their business? What does that say to their audience? I’ll tell you – it says: ‘The proposition and the benefits that we constantly tell you come as a result of our service don’t really exist”. Because if  the benefits really did exist and the business believed that, I can’t think of a  good reason why the provider of that product or service would not be their own biggest customer.

Not only do we send invoices electronically to our customers but we use our own tools to help them through the approval process. And to prove the benefits are real we get paid quickly. On several occasions this year our days sales outstanding have been less than our 30 day terms of credit – in other words some of our customers are paying us before the invoice is due! That takes some doing!! Not only do we take our own medicine, but it has a real and positive effect on our cash flow. There is no better advertisement for our service.

Recently we took it a step further and asked all our suppliers, initially the small ones, to send invoices to us using Clear. Of course there was a bit grumbling….until that is they got paid a bit earlier than usual. Now they are fans – because the benefits we preach are real and we believe in them.

So when you come across companies that don’t take their own medicine – don’t take it yourself. If their service or product is not good enough for them, that tells you all you need to know.

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