Using Billing - Documents, Payments & More

Beyond managing your daily schedule of work can ease the effort in collecting payments from customers. On every job inside Dispatch you have the ability to create Estimates & Invoices, and even collect signatures along with payments when at a given appointment.


Terminology & Workflow

Let's explain some key terms that will be used throughout your experience.

  1. Billing/Line Items: a set of saved/stored products & services that include titles, descriptions and a standard price
  2. Contracts: written language that may include terms or legal details that can be optionally attached to any billing document
  3. Billing Documents: estimates and invoices created to be customer facing that displays line items, pricing, contracts, contact information, signatures, and payments
  4. Payments: collected as cash, check, offline credit card, credit card, or bank check and attached to a given Invoice
  5. Status: documents can be in one of several statuses at any given point - "Draft", "Sent", "Balance Outstanding", or "Paid"

Getting Setup

Payments

Before creating any Estimates or Invoices we suggest  visiting the settings page to choose your payments options and sequential numbering.

We can help you  enable Credit Card Processing, you'll simply need to select from one of our integrated credit card payment options and contact us to connect with your account - this is a premium option. Collecting credit card payments through Dispatch does not subject you to paying us transaction fees.

Tax Rates

If you charge taxes, you'll certainly want to  setup tax rates as applicable to your company. They're very straightforward where a single tax rate can apply on a billing document, though you can choose which line items should be calculated with a tax rate. Be sure to enter the exact tax percent like shown in the below screen shot with a corresponding name for your team to use where applicable.

Billing Items

In order to simplify accounting and enable more exact reporting, many organizations choose to establish a list of standard billing line Items for their team to use across Jobs and Appointments on all billing documents. 

To add Billing Items, click on Billing in the main menu if you are not already in this section of Work. Next, click on ItemsCreate Billing Item.

You will see the add Billing Items dialog, which you can fill out with all of the relevant information. Click on Taxable if the Item incurs a tax (e.g. state sales tax) and save your item! Afterwards, you will find this new Item in the alphabetized list view. Clicking on the Item in the List will open the Edit Billing Item dialog.

As your list of Items gets longer, you may find it easiest to use the Search function located in the top right of the Billing Items page. Field and Manager mobile app users can search this list in the field as well, and they can add new Items as they create Estimates and Invoices. Any new additions from mobile users will populate the larger organization's list of Items.

NOTE: If you have a large existing list of Items that you can export in a field-delimited file (e.g. CSV), you can contact  Support for assistance importing those Items and save yourself the manual entry. Secondly, if you do not want your technicians to be able to edit Billing Items, contact  Support.

Contracts

While optional, attaching contract language to billing documents may be a great way for your organization to include state-required legal language or perhaps general customer agreements for all signed documents. Our contracts enable your staff to select pre-written language for any given document before sending off to a customer. 

And you can certainly have as many contracts as you wish, such as when the type of service provided requires slightly different language than another. You can  create & update contracts as you see fit and even select a default contract to be attached to all billing documents unless otherwise specified on individual estimates/invoices.


Estimates & Invoices

All Estimates & Invoices have statuses in terms of where they are in your process. The order is typically the following:

  1. Draft
  2. Sent
  3. Balance Outstanding (approved)
  4. Paid

You can create an Estimate for a customer on any job that you wish to provide "estimated" pricing and capture signatures prior to creating an Invoice. In fact, when creating an Estimate, when the Estimate changes to a "Won" status, a subsequent Invoice is automatically created with the exact same line items, pricing, taxes, and contracts except remains in 'Draft' status to allow for changes.

Inside the web application at work.dispatch.me you can view a list of Estimates or Invoices along with the current status, creation date, and click in to each individually for all of the detailed information.

On every Estimate and Invoice you'll see action buttons which include:

  1. Send (by email)
  2. Download (immediately downloaded to your device)
  3. Print (printable PDF copy)
  4. Delete

There is no place you can view deleted documents so be sure you really do wish to delete an Estimate/Invoice before choosing that option!


Capturing Signatures

While visiting a customer your team is empowered to capture digital signatures on their mobile devices within a few of seconds just by allowing a customer to sign with their finger. Signatures are attached to Estimates & Invoices, individually in person. Along with customer signatures your Technician or team member can sign the document after the customer. We automatically apply the name of the user who's logged in to the mobile device as the "Technician" - be sure your field staff have individual user accounts created with your team otherwise signatures & names will not match.

These signatures are attached to all views of the document:

  1. Sending Preview
  2. All Document Statuses
  3. PDF file (when sent or downloaded)
  4. Document View in Mobile and Web applications


Payments

Accepting customer payments is the last part of the experience. You can collect a few payment methods:

  1. Cash
  2. Credit Card
  3. Offline Card
  4. Check
  5. Bank Payment (electronic check)

In the web application you may see a payment screen like the following, and you can toggle between the different payment options at your free will.


Common Questions

  1. Why do we have Estimates & Invoices? Should we use both?
    Using Estimates is a great way to have several versions of an 'agreement' with a customer before doing any work. Think of an Estimate as a way to summarize your services and pricing where a customer could sign, receive a copy, and you can track which Estimate was the agreed upon total. Using Estimates prior to an Invoice will allow you to automatically create an Invoice when any given Estimate is marked as "Won" - we'll duplicate the Estimate as a new Invoice with the exact same line items & pricing on the spot. 
  2. Can I edit a document after it has been approved/has a payment?
    Currently we do not allow for modifying billing documents at certain statuses. You can "Send" a document to any email address you wish while the document is in "Draft" status and still be able to modify the document. For instance if a customer reviews the PDF document sent to them and provides you feedback, you could still change the contents of the document.

    2a. If an Estimate is marked as "Won" or "Lost", you can not modify the contents of the Estimate
    2b. If an Invoice is "Approved" or has a payment attached, you can not modify the contents of the Invoice.
  3. Do customer signatures on an Estimate get copied to the Invoice?
    No, a customer signature on an Estimate will not automatically appear on the Invoice if the Estimate is marked as "Won". Customers will need to sign the Invoice independent of the Estimate, in-person if a signature is required for your organization.

Still need help? Contact Contact