We have music students who come for lessons each week. We would like to enter into a database the dates when each student comes for lessons and how long their lesson was and therefore how much to charge them. I think ideally we need someone who is an expert on the different types of billings software out there to guide to help select the right software and help to configure that software to our needs. However, we are also interested in hearing quotes from those of you can build a custom made billings product as well.
We bill monthly in arrears for the lessons each student takes each month. At the end of the month, we'd like to press a magic button which then automatically generates a bill for each individual student which sets out the dates they attended lessons and how much to bill them for that month. Presumably this is where we'd need some sort of database to input the student lesson data in each week from which the monthly invoice can be generated. If the software could also automatically generate things like an invoice reference and date that would be great too but that is not essential Some ability to override or edit fields would also be helpful if we need to add extra comments on the bill. Of course we would like to have our logo etc come up automatically on the bill and for other things like bank payment details etc to be automatically included on the logo too.
We have quite a lot of students so having some form of simple automatic bill generation is important so that we aren't manually entering dates and times and figures ourselves for nearly 100 students. There is plenty of software out there which does invoices but you have to input most of the data in yourself.
Depending on the software chosen it might be that we don't have to input the data into a database first and if so that is fine too. It would be run from an apple mac computer running 10.6 OSX
Sorry for the slow response on my part - i've been reviewing all the good bids that have come in and its taking me a little bit of time to evaluate the pros and cons of each.
I'm leaning to towards going for a custom made system most likely using something like filemaker. I very much appreciate those of you who have offered to do a free demo as it can be difficult to explain these things in an email message.
The system will initially be used by me on a mac but then i anticipate that my personal assistant may then use it but she uses a PC. Would that cause a problem if we used something like filemaker? (i guess that's where a web based solution has its advantages).
Also, I would like some basic reporting as well - so just for example to know how much money we make each month and how much money we make from each particular client each month / year etc would be helpful.
Also the ability to convert the data into say excel spreadsheet format say for our accountants could be helpful too.
I'm attaching a file of the type of invoice that we send out just to give you an idea as to what we need the final product to look like once we have clicked on the magic button to turn our data into a monthly invoice.
many thanks !
I'm re-attaching the invoice in pdf format (it was in apple pages format which is why some of you couldn't open it) and i'm also attaching an example of the excel spreadsheet where i enter the data in on a weekly basis to record which students turned up at which particular client (we teach at several different client offices).
So the magic button needs to automatically create an invoice for each student based on the info (lessons attended etc) entered for that particular student into the database.
Sometimes the students have longer lessons so we charge more and sometimes they don't show up so we charge a cancellation charge.
Thanks for the information also regarding the problems of networking between a PC and a Mac - i anticipate though that at any one time there will be one primary user (either myself or my assistant) and that the other user would only need to be able to view (not edit) the data - so if its possible to publish the data online so the other user can see it (like you can do with say google calendars) then that is fine.