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Why Develop an Online Invoicing Package

October 20th, 2017

We’ve recently been asked why we developed an online version of our SliQ Invoicing software. To be sure, it has been a significant effort with a need to learn and apply new, different technologies to those used for our desktop software. Having said this, we were able to reuse some components from our desktop software for things like template editing, PDF creation, printing and so on. Ultimately, we’ve implemented the online version to meet requests from our customers. We had many requests to implement multi-user access, multi-currency and mobile access, i.e. the ability to raise invoices while out and about. We took the decision that implementing an online version was the best solution to hit the majority of our customer requests. We’ve learned a lot of things along the way and will implement some of the major features back into the desktop version – multi-user and multi-currency for example.

From our point of view, a major advantage of the online software compared to the desktop software is that not only is there nothing for a customer to install in order to begin raising invoices but the online software is always right up to date – any changes or improvements we make can be made instantly available to all users without the need for people to be notified of an update, for them to decide to download and install and so on. Support also becomes much easier. With desktop software, our package may occasionally be affected by other software installed on a customer’s PC/  Mac/ tablet/ phone. With online/ cloud based X software the likelihood of an incompatibility reduces to almost zero since everything runs on a server in the cloud except for the web pages in the customer’s web browser.

Since launch we’ve been asked a couple of times why the online application looks different to the desktop application. In part, the difference is that it would take a lot of effort to make any web application look completely like a desktop application. We also took the opportunity to come with what we felt was a very clean user interface with the intention that keeping the interface clean made the application easier to use. Any user of our desktop invoicing software that tries out our online invoicing software should find the application easy to navigate. Users should also find that the features present in the desktop application are easily recognisable in the online app.

For the online invoicing application the help documentation is located at:

http://help.invoicing-software.com

We will continue to add more help articles to this website over time and will prioritise by first adding articles that address customer questions.

For more information on our online invoicing software, please visit:

https://www.invoicing-software.com

 

 

 

SliQ Invoicing Online

October 14th, 2017

Following our successful desktop invoicing system SliQTools have launched an online version. This is an expertly built tool that is perfect for the new start up business as well as the established business owner.  Features unique to the online system are the facility to invoice in what ever currency you need – yes it is a multicurrency package, and you can have multiple users accessing the company at any time – yes it is multi user package too – from any location.

SliQ Online software has been beautifully created by the experts at SliQTools Ltd.  It helps you produce your invoices using your own bespoke templates and engage closely with your customers for the ultimate goal – being paid on time.

Unique to SliQ Online is an invoice template designer. Do you already use SliQ Invoicing Plus, our desktop version – the template editor for SliQ Invoicing Online is very similar. You can get the new online template editor by downloading it from the Choose Template setup page while logged into SliQ Online. After entering your API key (found in the Setup/ Manage Account page in SliQ Invoicing Online), the template editor will let you edit the templates in your online account.

online-invoice-template-editor

 

SliQ Invoicing Online has a clever tool that enables you to set up a recurring invoice.  Say you invoice the same amount to the same person or business every month then you just need to set this up once, enter a few parameters and you are away.  SliQ Online  will do the rest for you.

To find out more, visit https://www.invoicing-software.com. Visit feature tour to get an overview of the features in SliQ Invoicing Online.

Make Life Easy by Invoicing Online

October 12th, 2017

I was chatting with a fellow passenger on the train from Barmouth. He owned a holiday letting business. He was telling me he had spent the day scanning in paper invoices from cleaners in order to then post all the originals to the property owners. Poor you I thought, how backward, I thought surely your time is better spent marketing your properties.  So I suggested to him he encouraged his cleaners to use SliQ Online. Out pops my iPad , thanks Arriva Trains Wales for the free wifi, and I gave him an on the train training demo of the software. Excellent he said.  He hadn’t realised how simple to set up it was.  And for £6 a month his cleaners would then email everything to him and cc the owners and he saves all that time.  No brainer he said.

That’s just one example.

The cleaners can now analyse which properties they make the most income from. They can produce reports for the tax man of how much has been invoiced

So if you have a business you can’t get out of raising invoices and the least amount of time you spend on it the less painful and costly it is. Your customers are happy because they know what they owe. If they lose your invoice you can easily send them a copy. Try out SliQ Invoicing Online at https://www.invoicing-software.com/.

SliQ Invoicing and Windows 10 Support

August 4th, 2015

SliQ Invoicing works on Windows 10 as well as all earlier non-server versions of Windows from XP, through Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

If you are taking up the offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 from Microsoft and downloading Windows 10, during installation choose the option to keep your applications and personal data.

The Windows 10 upgrade process makes some identification changes to PCs. You may find that SliQ Invoicing Plus reverts to a trial copy as a result. If SliQ does display its trial notice dialog, press the Register button on the trial notice dialog SliQ displays when it starts and re-enter your unlock code to get back up and running. You can get your unlock code emailed to you via this web page:

http://www.sliqtools.co.uk/get-copy-of-unlock-code.aspx

We haven’t experienced any problems so far upgrading any of our PCs to Windows 10 with the exception that one of our older printers no longer worked. As no default printer was then selected in Windows 10, SliQ was unable to do a print or a print preview. If this is the case, go into Windows Settings and set a default printer. SliQ will then print and do a print preview OK. You can access Windows 10 Settings by clicking the new Start button at the bottom left of the screen and choosing Settings then accessing the Device and Printer settings option.

Get Windows Live Mail (a Desktop Email Client) for Windows 8.1

August 2nd, 2015

Microsoft provide a free desktop email program called Windows Live Mail for Windows 8.1. Windows Live Mail can be downloaded as part of Microsoft’s free Windows Essentials package. To download Windows Essentials either search on google for “Windows Essentials” or go to this page:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows-live/download-windows-essentials#wetabs=we2012

Download Windows Essentials 2012. Essentials includes a number of programs including Writer and Messenger. If you only want to download the Mail program follow the instructions after the download starts to choose the specific programs you want.

After completing the download and installation, follow the instructions at this link – How to make Windows Live Mail the default email program in Windows. Windows Live Mail will then be set as the default email program allowing programs such as SliQ Invoicing Lite and Plus to send invoices by email.

SliQ Invoicing Plus V5 Released

November 22nd, 2014

Version 5 of SliQ Invoicing Plus has been released. This is a major new version of SliQ Invoicing Plus and is released almost two years after V4. Over 100 additions and modifications have been included in version 5 based on feedback from customers.

The top user-requested features included in V5 are a built-in spellchecker when editing invoices and a stock control system for tracking stock level and helping automate raising orders for low stock items. V5 now also includes the ability to define HTML email templates, allowing users to add logos and formatted signatures to emails sent from SliQ, e.g. when emailing invoices to customers.

A number of smaller features have been added to increase flexibility, e.g. it is now possible to automatically insert date information into line item descriptions on recurring invoices. In V5 it is also possible to configure the date ranges used on ageing reports on statements to bring them in line with invoice payment terms if desired.

Existing customers can upgrade from any earlier version of SliQ Invoicing at the reduced upgrade price shown on our sales page. Any purchaser of V5 will be able to download any updated V5 release, e.g. 5.1, 5.2 etc. will be free updates for those who have already bought V5.

To find out more about the changes in V5, see our Release History page.

How to Capture a Screenshot and Send it via Email

September 20th, 2014

There are many ways to capture a screenshot, save the captured image to disk and then attach it to an email. Some versions of Windows come with built-in image capture tools such as the Snipping Tool in Windows 7.

Another alternative is to use SliQ Screen Capture. This is a free, very simple tool from SliQTools that provides easy options for capturing screenshots of your complete desktop, the current application running in Windows or even a control within an application. By default, when a screenshot is captured, SliQ Screen Capture opens the captured image in Microsoft Paint. In later versions, Microsoft Paint includes a Send in e-mail option that quickly allows you attach the image to an email.

If you want to use SliQ Screen Capture to send a screenshot by email, take these steps:

1. Download and install SliQ Screen Capture from this page:

http://www.sliqtools.co.uk/screen-capture-utility.aspx

2. Run SliQ Screen Capture.

SliQ Screen Capture always sits on top of all other windows. You can still work with other applications but SliQ Screen Capture stays visible so you can click on one of its capture image buttons.

3. Click on the window of which you want take an image.

For example, if you want to take a screenshot of a window in SliQ Invoicing, click on the window in SliQ Invoicing Plus with your mouse.

4. In SliQ Screen Capture, press the Capture Foreground Window button.

The button is highlighted with a red square in the following picture.

capture-foreground-window-as-image

Then wait for Microsoft Paint to launch.

5. In Microsoft Paint, open the File menu and choose the Send in email option.

paint-send-in-email-file-menu

A new email window should then open with the captured image attached.

6. Edit the email as normal – enter the email address you want to send the picture to, the subject and email message – and press the Send button to send the email.

If you are looking for help on taking a screenshot on an Apple Mac, see this blog post: http://www.sliqtools.co.uk/blog/apple-mac/apple-mac-how-to-take-a-screenshot/

Configuring Email Read Receipt Options in Outlook

June 30th, 2014

Microsoft Outlook allows you to configure options for how read receipt requests are handled. When you receive an email for which the sender has requested a read receipt you can configure Outlook to ignore the read receipt request, always automatically send a read receipt or ask you email by email whether to respond with a receipt or not.

To configure the read receipt options, choose the Options option in the Tools menu.

The, in the Outlook Options dialog, choose the Email Options … button near the top of the Preferences tab.

outlook-email-options

In the Options dialog, then press the Tracking Options … button.outlook-email-tracking-options

Finally, in the Tracking Options dialog, choose the desired option before pressing the OK button.

outlook-ask-for-read-receipt

For more Outlook tips, see Configuring the Default Email Account in Microsoft Outlook.

How to Fix a Hacked Website – Hacked by r00t3xpl0i7

November 4th, 2013

Coming back to one of my WordPress blogs at the weekend I had a nasty surprise. The website was showing the page below indicating that the site had been hacked.

hackedwebsite

To try and see how this could have happened, I attempted to log into the wordpress admin account by going to the URL: www dot mydomain dot com/wp-admin/. What was really surprising was that I could not log in as admin even though the correct WordPress login page was still visible in the wp-admin subfolder.

Fortunately, I was able to log in to the cPanel for the site through the hosting company’s main website and using the File Manager in cPanel, I began to look for any suspicious files or changes.  As I was unable to log in to the WordPress site, I knew I also had to check the passwords in the WordPress MySQL database.

To correct the password, I opened up the WordPress MySQL database using PHPMyAdmin and looked at the admin password and email address in the wp_users table. I found that the email address wasn’t mine – it had been changed. I edited the email address back to mine using PHPMyAdmin and cleared the password field:

wordpress-wpusers

I then went back to the WordPress login page on my site (www dot mydomain dot com/wp-admin/) and clicked the Forgot password link and followed the instructions to set a new password. To be on the safe side I set a very strong password. Having done that I could then login OK to the WordPress control panel.

However at this point, the website was still showing the hacked page. Going back to File Manager in cPanel and looking through the PHP files, I found that the index.php of the WordPress theme (in the wp-content/themes/theme name/ folder had a very recent modified date. Opening up the index.php for viewing showed that the file had been overwritten and now contained PHP to show the hacked page. Unhacking the site was then easy – I logged into the WordPress control panel and switched themes – the site was then back fully functioning. To be on the safe side, I deleted the hacked theme in the WordPress control panel. At this point I’m assuming the hack was due to a weakness in the PHP for the WordPress theme as the password was pretty obscure. However, I’ll be monitoring the WordPress blog to see if the site goes down again.

Do I need an accountant?

July 17th, 2013

We’re often asked by small businesses if they should employ an accountant. The answer often depends on the type of person you are and the type of business you’re running.

It’s a good idea to employ an accountant if your tax affairs are complex but many sole traders don’t necessarily need to go to the expense of an accountant. You can save yourself several hundred pounds per year if you’re organised and don’t mind doing a bit of research. It’s easier than you may think to get to grips with it using our practical tips.

1. Deciding Your Tax Year

If you are starting up and deciding on your tax year, it’s simpler and will save time filling out the paperwork, if you run your financial year in line with HMRC’s – 6th April to 5th April

2. Tax Return- DIY!

Tax returns can be much less daunting than they look. Particularly if your turnover is less than the £77,000 threshold, you can fill in the shorter version of the tax return.  (see http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/worksheets/sa210.pdf for more information on whether you are eligible for the shorter version)

It’s helpful to take a look at the form first so you know what kind of information you’ll need to supply. The forms can be downloaded at: https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-forms-and-helpsheets

These guidance notes contain really helpful information for example, how to calculate your income and expenditure figures and what expenses are allowed: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/worksheets/sa103f-notes.pdf

Make sure you fill in any of the supplementary sheets that apply to you: “self employment” or “partnership” for example.

Even if you decide you want an accountant to submit your tax return, you can save on costs by preparing a draft of the form for them to check over.

3. Keeping Proper Records

Sorting out your expenses receipts

Make sure you keep all expenses receipts. If you’re organised you’ll file them straight away. If you’re like me, you’ll shove them all in a big pot to deal with later.

If your annual turnover is below £77,000 (as at 2013) you do not need to provide HMRC with a break down of the different types of expenses. You can just put a total figure on your tax return. So you can just go through the receipts and add them up. You don’t need to number them or type them up, you can just write down the total figure for the year’s expenditure.

Having said that, it can be handy to keep tabs on what you’re spending in different areas so if you are really pushed for time or if you have a large number of receipts, you could pay a book-keeper or admin assistant to do this for you.

If you use an accountant to do your tax return, you can still save money by providing them with this total figure instead of paying them to deal with your receipts.

Don’t forget to include expenses that you might not have paper receipts for such as direct debits and online purchases.

Keeping track of your sales

You should try to make a note of all your sales and other income as you go along. Invoices that you issue should be numbered.

You should include a note of other types of income and sales that may not be invoiced or go through the till such as: money paid into the business from personal funds or goods or services taken for you or your family or to pay someone in kind.

Know Where Things Are!

It really helps save time if you can keep the following together in one place, so you have it all at your fingertips when it comes to doing your year-end figures:

  • Receipts
  • Invoices
  • Bank & credit card statements
  • All correspondence from HMRC

HMRC provides more details about what records you need to keep: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/sa/rec-keep-self-emp.htm#4

4. Ask for help

Don’t forget you can ring HMRC and ask for help with record-keeping and filling in your tax return. And it’s free. Contacts are here: http://search2.hmrc.gov.uk/kb5/hmrc/contactus/view.page?record=OILdX1VAnlM

5. Get your money’s worth

If you do decide to use an accountant, it will increase your knowledge and understanding of your business if you ask them to explain how they have worked things out. Rather than leaving it all to the accountant, if you take ownership of your finances, you are likely to make wiser decisions and make more money in the long run. It may also give you more confidence to do your own tax returns in future years.

Good luck!