Profiteering or Profitraining, either ways...

Life is the easiest when one can concentrate on one thing and one thing alone. However life was not meant to be simple. If one is a developer for commercial purposes then it includes the responsibility of scoping (if dealing with clients) development (the easy bit) and then Delivery and Installation (unless it is on the App Stores for mass consumption) but it is a known fact that custom software developed for a client are going to fetch a better price than the $0.99 put together on the app stores, unless of course the app just takes off.

The single largest issue associated with the developers facing clients, or for that matter any business owner that has to collect money for their services is Invoicing. In many cases, businesses, not just single developers or tradies forget to invoice the client and have large amounts outstanding to be collected and wonder why their cash flows are affected.

The question is how does one manage the invoicing? Well, there are a couple of options that one could choose from. Today we are focusing on one called ProfitTrain from ClickableBliss. The app is simple and straightforward, it has four major steps, Setup the company, setup the client, create the billable hours and Invoice.

The wonderful thing about ProfitTrain is creating multiple companies is easy, not clients, Companies (if the Invoices are created on different Trading names). Clients have certain defaults and some global entries, so the price per hour can be set on different clients as may be the case.
Due dates can be set as payment on receipt or based on a period provided (which would otherwise be called Credit Terms).
The Line items created can be of one of the four types, Fixed, Product, Time and Travel. Here in Australia it is very common to travel a fair distance to meet the client but these costs are not billed to the client unless prior discussion (there are other Tax complications associated), but in Europe this is a very common practice, where travel mileage is charged for client visits. ProfitTrain manages this quite well.
The text on the Invoices can be customized to display text based on the requirement
A Line Item Blueprint can be created that sets up the costs as standard on every new invoice.
The invoices can be send as estimates or the final Invoice
Payments can be in full or partial
The reports with ProfitTrain allow to view the balance sheet
The reports/data can be exported via csv files for use in other apps

Lastly when the Invoice is paid in full, it shows a paid stamp across the invoice watermarked quite distinctly.

A set of To-Do items can be created for each client which is handy to keep track of all items pending/outstanding with the client.

Though the app is customisable, there are a few issues that we found limiting the use of the software. There is no indication on the size of the Logo's so when a large (hi-res) logo was used, it stuck out as an ugly sore and the inability to position the logo or design the template did not help, ultimately an alternative smaller logo was used.

For an Invoice to be valid and used as a legal entity there are a series of things that should be on the Invoice, the invoice templates are locked to two examples, this makes the invoices generated unusable.

Another point that I found limiting was what if I have been paid for a particular task and need to invoice on a latter date. The options for Due dates on the invoices are Payment on Receipt or Due on a fixed date. No payments can be added to the invoices unless they are dispatched and the invoices can be modified after they are *dispatched* or published. Part payments are handled but the Invoice does not display what that payment was just the amount paid and amount due.

Based on our run with ProfitTrain, it is an app that can do a good job of invoicing as it helps one to track the clients and invoices. It would be wrong on our part to try to put a price range on an app, but given that these days a $0.99 has more features and computations than the Shuttle that was launched in the 1960's, developers expect that the price range of most apps in the $0.99-$4.99 for iOS and a maximum of $19.99 in terms of Mac Apps. The price of $49 is slightly overpriced for the features it offers. However given that the other alternatives that exist are like QuickBooks, MYOB (Australia), Sage, Peach Tree, etc are all $200+ packages and a bit difficult to use as they manage more than invoicing.

Software : ProfitTrain
Version : 2.0.7
Publisher : ClickableBliss
Website :
Twitter : @profittrain
Platform : Mac OS X (10.6.x or higher)
Demo : 30 days
Price : $49.95
Store :

And we have a copy of ProfitTrain for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet the message "Read, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of @ProfitTrain from #clickableBliss"
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