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Attach PDF for invoices - ticked by default

One of the problems we have is that we do not store client files locally on our servers, this means we need to pull the file down from our cloud storage provider, before attaching, this brings in a lot of extra latency.

One possible solution would be to add an optional token that can be embedded into your email body, perhaps something like @AttachedFileList@. This would then list out any attached files directly on the email, without requiring the user to go in to view the invoice.

Would that be a possible solution?

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I actually like that solution. It would make life easier in my opinion, and would also save clogging up clients inboxes

If the file list token returns clickable links to the pdf directly in order to then allow direct download then yeah that would be great, especially for people with big uncompressed files.

I would not have such files and I would therefore ideally require the actual attachments in the email. I also do not care about my clients inboxes if their requirement is to get the requisite information to them via email so I get paid on time. If the actual email takes 15 minutes to get there cause it has attachments then that works for me.

Ok, I appreciate this was not to @u4h37u liking, however this does still cause a problem for me, do we have any sort of timescale for an implementation?

If it is not something you are going to be able to do could you please let me know so I can start to look at other alternatives…

I personally do not see why you would “allow PDFs to be sent” but then not actually send them… just seems that if you want PDFs for a client then you would want this regardless not just on an invoice per invoice basis, from my point of view these are clients that request PDFs consistently, and will not accept them in any other format, not just adhoc, if it was just a one off then I could download it myself (by impersonating the client if needed) then attach it to an email?

Anyway… @Glenn if you could just let me know what your thoughts are on timescales etc…

Thanks

One thing I know from being on this forum for several years is that what’s intuitive and obvious to one person is not necessarily the case for someone else.

There’s always the default option to give users a choice but this effectively bloats the software and makes it harder for users to figure out what’s going on, it slows down our development and means more lookups and performance penalties.

I have to be honest, I don’t have a time frame for this right now. All I can say at this stage is we’ll listen to more feedback and make a decision in due course.

I’m sorry that I’ve put a spanner in the works on this for someone.

For me there are a few reasons why the way it works now is fine. One I’ve already explained and the other is the pdf setting applies to both invoices and estimates/quotes. We are quite happy for quotes to go out as pdf’s but with invoices we’re not keen on it as we lose the visibility of whether a client has seen the invoice or not. Having the client click a link to access the invoice has removed the old excuse for unpaid invoices of “but we didn’t receive your invoice”. Now I can see and prove that they’ve seen it.

We used to send all our invoices out on pdf (before switching to qf) and a few moaned when we stopped but now they seem happy. Most also like to be able to see all the invoices in their account and status.

I think if qf wanted to keep all users happy then making the option to attach a pdf should be available for all invoices irrespective of any client setting. Then have a client setting of “send pdf invoice by default” which then ticks the box for those clients.

I don’t get the impression that this is something qf want to do though.

I think in general Glenn and the team are quite open to tweaking anything but I think a lot of suggestions are from users saying “this is how it worked with X” or “client Y wants us to do $unnecessary-thing”. This probably falls in one of those categories, neither option is wrong, and similarly neither are correct as there is no right or wrong to apply this setting.

Seconded. If you don’t want to overload the user with too many choices then this is the obvious way round it - allow PDF attachments for all clients, and just offer one checkbox at the client level for whether or not PDFs should be the default. Either way it would be overridable for an individual invoice (to enable if the client setting is off by default or to disable if the client setting is on).

Extending the “Attach PDF” option to be globally visible for all users is not going to be an option for us. I just feel this would further encourage the usage of PDF attachments amongst new users who have yet to see how the client control panel works. It would actually get overused just because it’s familiar and likely then result in more questions as to “why can’t this be on by default?”.

There are cases where you do need this on for specific clients and it seemed logical that if you have this set at a client level it should also be ticked. The optimum was always to have a choice, we tried to shortcut this but I concede it’s best to add this as an account level setting, so we’ll look at doing that.

I think Glenn is right here. I know when we switched to QF the temptation was there to send out pdf invoices each time but having discovered the benefits of not doing this we prefer not too. The clients still get their pdf, but they’ve got to click a link to get it.

@hkphooey the @AttachedFileList@ email token is now available to use on new invoices/estimates.

You can find out more here

I have generally used the invoicing without sending the PDF. I like that I can see that a user has viewed the invoice, and experience has shown that the payment normally arrives shortly after. I therefore agree with the position to not enable this as a client default. As a community that benefits from this superb free service (although some pay), we should avoid things that will push up the burden on servers.

Hi,

I am not trying to be difficult or cause anybody else any inconvenience however, we have had two local authorities in the last week who cannot access the online version of the invoice/pdf because their firewall/content filtering whatever it is blocks the site… meaning that the person who receives the email then has to email me to say that they cannot open the pdf/invoice and need to have it sent via PDF so then I need to log back in to QF to manually attach said PDF to email.

I do not want to automatically send the PDF to every client as I have clients who like the portal checking back on previous invoices they have lost/misplaced and also being able to download their own statements etc. but unfortunately the LAs need the PDF to send to Finance Dept for payment, which means it is taking even longer to get paid than it usually does, this is starting to seriously affect my cash flow, I am only a sole trader, trying to do things “by the book” and all I am asking for is an option to automatically attach a PDF Invoice to the email for a few clients.

Is there any sort of idea when this may be implemented?

I appreciate that QF is free to use for most people and that really does help as a sole trader, there are soooooo many different accounting packages that drastically range in price, and I have to say from what I have used on QF in comparison to some of the others QF is incredibly feature rich, easy to use for a non-accountant for the price tag (£0)

Please, please could you have a little look and see what you can do, I appreciate that you can’t please everybody but if I want to work, I have to provide the customer an invoice/service/procedure that they can use.

Many thanks

Debbie

@stonegatetraining are you aware that you can send PDFs to individual clients from QuickFile? You just need to enable it for a given client.

Attaching a PDF copy of your invoice

The discussion here is whether the check-box should be ticked by default or not. Providing you manually tick this box QuickFile will send a PDF attachment for you.

@Glenn,

Yes I am aware of the check boxes, however this means that I have to remember every time I send an invoice to a client that cannot open the online PDFs rather than just sending the invoice and then not worrying about it until I get paid/it becomes overdue… at the minute I am more worried about if they can actually open it in the first place.

I would absolutely love the idea of being able to press that Client A always has a PDF attachment and Client B does not, as I too like the idea of being able to send the link and the client opening it on a mobile device easily, however as stated before some of my clients (I am sure others too) cannot use this function of QF and require a PDF invoice always.

By allowing us to press a checkbox that then automatically sends that client a PDF every time an invoice is raised would mean we don’t have to worry about how the invoice is sent, did they manage to open, I must remember to ask them if they got it, are they going to need a PDF, are they going to process the payment easily etc etc… and actually get on with working also by allowing this at a client level if another QF user does not want to use this function they just don’t tick the box…

I don’t understand why at the minute people go on to the clients account, modify the client details, tick allow invoices, statements, & estimates to be sent in PDF format… and then either:
a - never press the Attach Invoice as PDF or
b - have to press it every time…

surely if I have already said that I want it under the clients account then that’s exactly what I want - a PDF Invoice…

I am really not trying to be difficult or awkward… however you wish to label… but I am trying to run a small business with some very big customers, who unfortunately are demanding and either wont or cant access this information - I am stuck a little between a rock and hard a place

Many thanks

I just wanted to come back to you on your two points about ticking the boxes and never sending it.

We have some clients where we deal with multiple contacts (accounts departments, sales, customer services and marketing etc). The accounts department like a PDF, whereas the other departments are happy logging in.

This is where the situation, I believe, becomes a bit more complex.

[Edit]
I should add that although they are happy to log in, I’m more than happy to send them a PDF. However, I do like the fact that they can log in, and I can see this. In the worst case scenario, it gives me a bit of ammunition against the ‘I never received it’ argument should it ever arrise.

I’ve mentioned this before but I have noticed that other systems I use offer the option of HTML attachments for invoices so there is no real increased server load and it is still pretty universal. I have hundreds of emails sent to me that have HTML invoices attached and I have not had any trouble with viewing them in the mail client, on mobiles, in browsers etc.

Offering an HTML attachment option as the default attachment type would solve this issue as clients that want to send attachments can and the server load would be minimal and then sending a PDF could be a further option in settings somewhere so only users with specific clients requiring only a PDF can use it.

@stonegatetraining we have now implemented a new feature called Global Scripts. This effectively allows you to run custom Javascript inside your account, thus making it useful for these kinds of default preferences.

Global Scripts are part of the advanced customisation tools so they will require a Power User Subscription. If you have an active subscription I can add this script to your account.

For anyone looking to implement this on their own you can add the following single line statement to the scripts section.

$("#chkattachPDF").attr("checked", true);
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Hi Glenn

I am struggling with this too. I am a Power User, but don’t understand Javascript, so this seems a redundant upgrade! The suggestion above seems a much more viable option for me. Can your computer-whizzes add the JavaScript and then users can tick the box to initiate it?

Also, is there a way to set up scheduling a statement as standard, instead of having to access the client’s individual statement area? Or alternatively, a report to check which clients are set to receive a statement? I have 300+ clients and not all had the statement schedule updated. I am finding it very labourious to go through every client to check their schedule has been set correctly.

Thanks

Hi Sue

I will send you a PM to get some details from you. Please look out for a green notification in the top right of the forum.

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