Two years ago this month, I purchased an invoicing system for my company. The idea was that it would automatically bill my clients monthly, quarterly, etc. and then I could just sit back and collect the money. Well, not really: I still have to provide service, after all!
Unfortunately, I found that just like my previous invoicing system, the new one was hardly the ideal of automation. WHMAP, as it is known, ties into my hosting control panel nicely, but it didn't ever send out the bills automatically. It would generate them and then they would sit there until I went in and manually selected each one and told it to send. So much for efficiency.
So, a few months ago I decided to get a new system. I tried out a couple, researched even more (including some I passed up when I bought WHMAP), and decided on ClientExec. I really like CE's better tie in with PayPal (even without using subscriptions, the process can remain totally self service for the client: the client logs in, clicks “pay now” and it processes the payment and marks the invoice paid); moreover, the new system attaches the invoice to the e-mail it sends to the client rather than sending a message that tells my clients to login to read their new invoice. I also like that CE has a built in helpdesk system so that I can provide my clients with support and billing in one convenient location.
So what's odd? Tonight I went out to the mailbox and had a payment from a client. The invoice was enclosed with the payment. Guess what? The invoice wasn't from CE. WHMAP finally remembered to send an invoice!