Saving money and time by replacing paper invoices and purchase orders

A software package that generates customizable invoices, purchase orders, and other forms

Efficient ordering, billing, and recordkeeping

* * *

Asking a printer to give you 500 invoices is throwing money away today," says Chuck Brown, operations manager of $200,000 NeoSonics Corp., of Joliet, Ill., a manufacturer of sonic flossers and other dental products. Paper invoices and purchase orders are anachronistic, he says, "especially when Walgreen wants the invoice one way and QVC asks for it another."

What about an accounting package (say, QuickBooks or PeachTree Accounting for Windows) that generates invoices and purchase orders, and updates the books simultaneously? Brown believes such a package would actually have slowed down the ordering process rather than speeded it up. If he'd integrated the business forms with accounting, he says, he would have had to process them through the accounting department before sending them out. In addition, most of the accounting software packages for small businesses include only a few of the many forms that NeoSonics needs.

Instead, Brown bought an $89.95 software package, JetForm BizForms (JetForm, 800-367-6375), that generates customizable invoices, purchase orders, credit return forms, and other standard business forms. When a customer orders 100 flossers, for example, Brown opens an electronic invoice that he can customize if necessary. He fills out the order information and faxes the electronic copy to the customer. He then labels the invoice and stores it electronically. If someone disputes a bill (one buyer refused to pay a shipping fee, claiming that Brown hadn't put the charge on the invoice), Brown can search for the invoice by name or date and fax it again before he gets off the phone with the customer.

Eventually Brown hopes to upgrade to a beefier electronic invoicing system. But for now, his simple solution is to create the perfect form.

-- Joshua Macht