22 Feb, 2011

The great junk mail monster in the sky

Posted by: gerrymcnicol In: Browsers|Mobile|Tablets|Technology|Web Design

Is it just me, or does the internet have a special feature that makes emails with invoices and requests for payment go missing more often that those without? Requests for payment are sent off in to the great unknown, never knowing if they have arrived safely or have been consigned to the great junk mail folder in the sky. Whisper it quietly, but I have heard rumours there is some great email monster out there that feasts on unopened invoice pdf documents!
Who knows, but making sure the ‘accounting interface’ between yourself and your customers is a clear channel is one of the most important things in helping you manage your cash flow. It’s also something that an extranet, such as project-extranet can really help you with.
An extranet gives you the ability to set up a customer area attached to your website where you can publish invoices, quotes and statements, and allows you to manage access permissions so your clients can login and see only what they are supposed to (i.e. their invoices only). A good extranet will also keep a log of everything that happens, meaning you know for certain that your customer has received your invoice.
It’s not all about you either. Another advantage extranets give is to allow your clients access to their records, accounting or otherwise, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This makes them happy as they can work according to their timescales and get things done when they need to (which in the case of this article is paying you, something we really want them to do!). At the same time it gives your business a real efficiency boon; you are servicing their requests without tying up any administrative resource. You are doing more, with less.
Getting started.
If you already have an extranet setup then you can obviously skip this test and move straight to the next part. Otherwise first things first, let’s get you setup with an extranet. The best place to do that is over at www.project-extranet.com where they offer a free, no quibbles demo account, simply click this link and follow the instructions, www.project-extranet.com/try/.
Once you have your extranet up and running, create a new project using the Customer Accounts Template.
Happy sharing!

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