Citrus: Giving Invoicing The Juice

September 11th, 2008

Citrus LogoAs businesses grow there is a need for capable invoicing, preferably one that is easy to set up, mobile, and makes paying as easy as it can be for the customer. Citrus does these things with an attractive, intuitive invoicing platform with direct pay options.

As we take a look at Citrus, some things become immediately clear. For a start, they understand how hard it can be to go through all the steps necessary to begin invoicing and have broken down the process for you on the Welcome Page. Click on the items in the checklist and before long – under ten minutes – you’ve uploaded your logo, customized the color palatte, input customers and users, set your preferences, sent out a welcome email to your customer, and are ready to begin invoicing.

From the look of the icons and menus it’s clear they know how to balance simplicity and function in design, and have crafted an interface that makes navigation easy. Tabs across the top allow for views into major areas of function, such as Customers, Invoices, Payments, Reports, Users, and Settings. A sidebar at right has quick links to specific functions related to the page, across any tab. For example, the Customers Tab has Manage Recurring Invoices, Setup Opening Balance, and Apply Credit links among the list, so no matter where you are in the application, you’ve got easy access to any function.

Citrus Branding Screenshot

Taking a closer look at the role of customers in Citrus we see that they have provided a range of options for customers. From the Customers tab we can manage our customer list; adding customers, appending notes to keep track of special conditions, and seeing at a glance the statement and upcoming payments for the customer are all available. As with all pages, the sidebar has quick links to create quotes, invoices, and reports, but it is under the Settings tab where the customer options become interesting. Citrus offers the ability to include customers in the process, enabling customers to dispute invoices, send customer statements, or create a custom workflow system that would allow customers to validate invoices. For the invoicer and invoicee these options can smooth contentious payment issues, making Citrus a resource for companies that need to balance their invoicing needs with client relations.

Citrus Invoice Screenshot

From the Invoices tab managing invoices is as simple as filling out a form, and, as with most invoice applications, you can construct invoices, search for an invoice, or view a report. What is different about Citrus is how we can craft quotes and invoices with custom tax rates (set as many as you like), and price lists of your products/services. Set through links under the Invoices tab, both of those features allow for better customization, and once set up, rapid invoicing. Say you have a customer in another country. Since that customer requires extra shipping, and the labor to put together your product may take longer for them, you want to set a different rate for your invoice. By setting up a custom price list (or tax rate), whenever you need to invoice with that customer you have your pricing ready to go, and all you have to do is add that price list to your invoice and the invoice is ready to go.

Citrus Pricelist Screenshot

In addition to the ability to import and track payment information, one of the features in Citrus is the ability to process payments, either directly (through manual entry), or through one of the electronic payment services. Citrus supports CMS, RapidData, SecPay, PayPal, and MultiBill. To use one of these services, set up the account through Citrus’ Settings tab. Options for setting Credit control, Sage and general exports are available through the Payments tab. Reports on payments – as well as debts – are accessible through the Payments tab, though for a full list of report options, there is the Reports tab. With the Reports tab Citrus allows users to run reports, based on debts, payments, or balance limits and output them to PDF, csv, or Excel.

Citrus offers a wide range of options for the invoice process in an attractive and effective interface. Though we would have liked to see the ability to make any existing invoice a recurring one (you currently have to click on a separate button), we were impressed to the degree we could make our own product lists, run reports, track payments, and set security settings for users (through the Users tab).

With the free account you are limited to 5 invoices and 2 customers, but Citrus offers more storage, customers, and unlimited invoicing with paid subscriptions. The first level ($10 a month) lets you add 25 customers and 25mb of storage, and power users can upgrade their accounts to 12,000 customers, 500mb of storage, and 30 users. For growing businesses, and for companies that want better tracking of payments, Citrus is a strong choice. To find this application or others like it, please use the Listio search invoice+business.

Previously in this series: Blinksale: Invoicing With Custom Templates
Next in this series: Comparing Invoicing Applications: Zoho Invoice, Invoices Made Easy, Blinksale, and Citrus

Application: Citrus
Listio Profile: http://www.listio.com/web20/app/Citrus/
Website: http://www.citrusbill.com
Citrusbill.com provides an online billing website for your customers, where they can view, download and pay for their invoices by card or Direct Debit. You can import your existing invoices, or create them with ease online. Tackle bad debt and cashflow problems by letting Citrus manage your payment... Learn more

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