Handling invoices

Currently, all invoices go into an alphabetical accordion file until they get paid. However, as we are doing more business, the accordion file is getting difficult to manage.

For those of you who have a lot of outstanding invoices, how do you manage the physical invoices themselves? The computer end of it is fine, but it’s the paper I’m looking for help with.

And just to be complicated, I use half-sheets, so my invoices are 8.5" wide by 5.5" tall.

Have you considered going paperless?

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We only track invoices through Service CEO. We print out invoices at the beginning of the day and leave those with the clients. Once the job is closed all of our clients have their billing terms and we have the system send automatically generated emails for past due notices. Clients that don’t receive email, we send a past due notice to.

Emailing all your invoices is the only paperless way

I have thought about going paperless, and I would love to do it if I knew a good way. I know of one company that does it, and they issue a tablet to every cleaner, and all of the work orders are on it. The invoices are automatically send then the work order is closed. That’s a pretty significant investment, both in the software, and the hardware.

But they are residential only. I don’t really know how that would look with multiple commercial and residential crews.

I feel like you really need to have a signature on file at the end of each job, if they don’t pay at the time of service. It wouldn’t matter if it’s on paper on electronic, but we frequently have to re-send the original work order when a payment gets missed.

Wouldn’t the time saving over the long term out way the investment upfront…

Just something to think about.

I’m thinking about how many tablets I’d have to buy every year, plus the monthly cost for an online database, then you’d still have to have office staff processing the payments. It would be less processing, but there would still be some. Hard to say which would be more expensive.

If I found a system that I thought did paperless really well, I’d be willing to incur the additional expense, but I don’t know if it even exists.


After collecting payment invoices and close out forms are filled in 3 inch binders by last name. As a binder fills up get another.

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@WesternReserveWC i was thinking quickbooks online could do it nicely. not sure if you are a quickbooks user though. your field techs could use their smartphones to create, process and take payment for invoices. then it just syncs to your main account. you just set them up as limited users.

here’s what we’re doing for this upcoming season, using a combo of Housecall Pro and QB online:

-field techs look at HCP schedule for their daily work orders.
-crew leader processes the invoice when the job is complete. if a customer signature is necessary, i believe HCP has a field for that in it’s invoicing sequence.
-if the customer is present and wants to pay on the spot, the field tech processes payment through HCP (either marks it paid by check, cash, or takes instant CC payment). if not, they just mark the job complete.
-periodically through the day the office administrator checks hcp for completed jobs. when the job shows as complete, the office admin migrates the customer/invoice/payment status data over to QBO, where it feeds into our AR flow.

the way i see it, you need a crm. and you need a finance manager (probably quickbooks right?). why not just combo two things you already use to setup a paperless invoicing workflow? if you want to buy 4g ipads for each vehicle you can but you wouldn’t need to. probably cost $15 a month for a data plan on each device, and $200 for older model ipad minis that would work just fine.


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I do use Quickbooks, but I really only use it for accounting and payroll. I still have the old-school office edition of Service CEO for my crm, including tracking of all work orders, payments, credit cards, and tracking cleaner pay. I don’t love it, but it does get the job done.

What’s really holding me back is that I would love to find someone who is actually doing this paperless, in an organization that at least resembles mine (at least 5-10 crews, mix of route and residential, etc). I just don’t want the hassle of re-inventing the wheel if someone has already done it. I just feel like it’s a hassle I’m not really looking for.

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It’s not that the current system has me bogged down, it’s that we are doing a lot of work, and have a lot of open invoices. I’m just looking for a better way to handle the physical invoices between the time that they get cleaned and when they get paid. The accordion file is about to break at the seams.

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I’m new to the forum and new to the window cleaning business idea. I’ve been researching window cleaning over the past month or so. During that time I’ve looked at several ways to keep up with customers, estimates and invoices. What I’ve found so far that will meet my needs is InvoiceASAP. It will cost me $3.99/month and will allow me to enter customer information, estimates, invoices, products/services, and even allow me to accept credit card payments via Square. It will sync with Quickbooks. It will also send me notices of outstanding invoices and a daily email showing my financials. One of the things I like about it is you can download the app to your phone or tablet and take your business with you. You can do estimates on-site and even have your customer approve the estimate while you are with them. You can email the estimate and invoice to them for approval and payment.

I’m really liking the idea and think it will be a great fit for me.

Check them out, this might help you.


I now use HouseCall Pro and Quickbooks and my office is 90% paperless but here is the old skool way we did it before HCP when we are using Service CEO. A clipboard with outstanding invoices organized oldest to newest. Then every Monday we call about invoices over 10 days old.

My suggestion is that if you are using an accordion folder or a file just make sure it’s a tickler file organized by date, not name. Then you always have the oldest toward the front. If you call and they say next week, make a note on the invoice and move it back a week in the tickler file. That’s how we did it.

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The best decision I ever made was using a CRM. It handles everything you will ever need when it comes to quoting, scheduling, invoice, rinse and repeat. You can also upload photos so most CRM’s.

We use jobber and never looked back since!