Are you already using a digital accounting system? Perhaps Xero or QuickBooks? In this article we will go through some of the key advantages of having a digitally linked accounting system. A system that not only manages your finances, but a system that also connects with your other tools, e.g. your resource- and project management tool, to bring you the ultimate overview and perspective on your projects, resources, and business, and at the same time makes you able to bill your clients within minutes with information from your projects.
Connecting Xero and Forecast allows for intelligent management of your data. It lets you automate a lot of the work you'd previously have to do manually. It'll keep data up-to-date no matter the project, the time of the day, or whether somebody is on vacation. It happens automatically. It saves you time and effort, so you can focus on all the fun stuff rather than dealing with transferring numbers, making sure there are no typos in your invoices, making sure everything is aligned and reported the right way at the right time. This connection takes care of all such rather boring, but quite frankly important tasks.
Invoices are automatically generated. You just need to approve and click the Send button. Management and reporting is automatically taken care of, and you don't have to think about where to store the data, because the system takes care of this as well.
This article will focus on the connection between Xero and Forecast, but some of the points touched upon are true for many intelligent solutions out there, as long as they're able to tap into your data in another service through their API. We, at Forecast, make it simple to get started by just clicking Enable on the integration's page, sign in with your Xero account (in case of Xero), authorize the connection, and you're pretty much good to go.
The integration between Xero and Forecast lets you easily bill your clients with a deposit upfront, a fixed price, or an invoice based on the time & materials spend on the project.
- Deposit Upfront: Your clients can complete a deposit invoice for easier billing. Create an upfront invoice for a part of your forecasted or fixed project price. The amount they deposit will be subtracted from the final invoice.
- Fixed Price: You're in control of the Project Profitability and getting the ideal rates. Make sure you get paid on time for the hard work you've completed.
- Time & Materials: Create an invoice for the hours you've registered for your projects. You have the flexibility to group by individual time registrations, cards, milestones, roles, or people.
For instance in case of Time & Materials, we simply synchronize billable hours from your projects in Forecast into your accounting system. This automatically creates an invoice complete with information on billed items, and makes you able to bill your clients within just a few minutes. Importing the data into Xero happens with the click of a button, and what's left for you to do is just to review and approve the invoice before you send it to your client.
Clients in Forecast are linked with clients in Xero. Each project in Forecast has a rate card assigned to them, and each role on those rate cards has a defined rate. Each team member working on those projects do also have a role assigned to them, and this is how Forecast is able to calculate the price of the billable hours that you're going to bill your client. After the quick setup, all of this happens automatically, and when activated the integration with Xero will add a new tab in your projects where you can send your information to Xero to create and send the invoice.
The Xero tab is only accessible to the Controller and Admin permission levels in Forecast. It shows all the previous and upcoming invoices related to the project, and lets you see the status of the payment directly in Forecast. Not Paid / Overdue, Partly Paid, Paid, Cancelled or Voided, and no alert for regular upcoming invoices. Clicking an invoice in the Xero tab takes you directly to the invoice in Xero. From here, you can perform any changes you need to make on the invoice, and have it reflected right back to the Xero tab in your Forecast project.