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Introducing Billings 3 – the best is even better now.

September 18, 2008 on 7:31 am | AJ

Billings 2.5 has been a tremendous success. We’ve been lucky enough to win a Macworld Eddy, MacUser’s Best Business Software of the Year, and many other accolades.

It was a hard act to follow, but I think that with Billings 3, we’ve done an even better job. We have a new streamlined and fresh interface that looks and works great on both Tiger and Leopard.

We’ve added many new features such as client groups, statements, consolidated invoices, recurring invoices, worker names and much, much more.

We’ve also included a whole bunch of new reports, invoice & estimate templates – and we made matching templates for the new statements feature.

You get all of these great new features for the exact same price as before – US $59. Existing Billings 2.x can upgrade for US $35. Pricing varies by region. The trial period is reset, so existing users can try it out for 21 days.

If you purchased Billings 2.x after August 1st, 2008, you get a free upgrade to 3. Just email us (info [at] marketcircle.com) your receipt and we’ll send you a new 3.0 license.

Check out the intro movie and screenshots on the new website www.billings3.com and try out the free 21 day trial.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give a big thanks to everyone that participated in making this release a reality – from vocal customers to beta testers, and the entire internal team here.

Enjoy the release.

Until next time…
AJ

40 Responses to “Introducing Billings 3 – the best is even better now.”

  1. olivier says:

    Thank you for this great update. I wait the iPhone version with impatience! What will be its price?

    I’m just disappointed about the period of free update to the new version. I bought Billings at the end of June and I feel spoiled. Can you do anything for me at this level?

  2. Troy says:

    In the process of downloading the upgrade so haven’t used the new version yet. I do however agree with Olivier, I think anyone who bought the software either within the last 6 months or last quarter should be eligible for the free upgrade. But it is by far the best package in it’s class, by far. Looking forward to using the new version. Just one question, multiple currencies? Keep up the brilliant work!!!

  3. Zullo says:

    Great software update but I was hoping that the basic missing things were fixed but this is not the case. By support on febraury 2008: “I’ve forwarded the issue to engineers for future reference. Thank you for letting us know about this. Probably in next release it’ll get fixed.”

    I’m surely not upgrading to version 3.

  4. HD Schellnack says:

    Argh – bought my Version on 31st of July. Oh well, byebye 27 Euro ;-) .

    Nice look so far – would have loved to see Billings able to work within a network. Statements and recurring are great additions, and the new interface feels great – if only you’d have updated the rather clumsy interface of the slip-details as well. Plus, it still would be great if I could do with iCal what one can do with daylite, sending an event to billings. But I can see why you wouldn’t like that :-D

  5. lorem says:

    Great update! I just checked some new features and it looks great but why there is no possibility to manually sort the slips and insert amount bigger than 999 pcs? Would it be possible to have it in next update? Thanx

  6. Lon says:

    Absolutely lovely. Statements are a long awaited feature. Option to include precious balance is unexpected, but welcome. Account view is a great first step. I’m guessing simultaneous roll out of Daylight Touch and Billings iPhone Companion.

    I had a slight hitch in my upgrade process, while converting one of my custom invoices, it froze. I got around this by removing the invoice from the template folder, running the updater, and then converting the invoice once once Billings was updated.

  7. Pieter says:

    AJ,

    Impressed with your products. Noticed a typo on the billings 3 site.

    nother useful feature in Billings 3 is the ability to print Pro Forma invoices. Before sending our a real invoice, a biller can print a pro forma, have the senior person responsible for the account review the invoice before sending it. Edits can be made if necessary and another pro forma (or the real invoice) can be printed.

    our should be out….

    Hope this helps..how about a discount..lol

  8. Jen says:

    Looks good so far. You need to make sure that the company name is included in the client detail area, only email, phone and address are there.

  9. AJ says:

    @Troy – 6 months is too much. Most software companies give 30 days grace, we’ve gone with a little over 45. There are some one-person shops that go beyond that, but economically, for a company of 25, it’s hard to swallow. We’ll consider special cases, but I think 45 days is a good number.

    @Zullo – We weren’t able to do everything. Maybe we’ll get you in a future release.

    @Pieter – on which page is this? Embarrassingly, I can’t find it.

  10. Winter says:

    Great Job!
    Recurring and Statements are really welcome here … :o ) I agree with lorem, sorting slips would be a nice feature. And further more: what about german localization. Is it planned, do you need some help with?

  11. Mart Finney says:

    A brilliant update, We’ve been using billings for years… There is one issue and one issue alone that I was so so hoping would be available in 3 which is the abilty to sync between different macs.

    We have a team of 5 people who all create estimates and one who does the accounts… Please can this be considered as an update?????

    On a side note, I’ve noted a spelling mistake when deleting a client (The warning ends with a . This)

  12. erwin says:

    I hope this upgrade will make up for things, seen the quantity of bugs in the previous version.

    * I’ve lost almost a full year of administration as a result of changing the date of my mac while running Billings 2.5.6.

    * It took me months to create my own customized templates for – pretty advanced – invoices and estimates (lack of documentation and failing forums). After spending all this time, It’s seemed like a waste trying other software.

    I do like the software – it has a lot of good, well thougt features – but it’s far from mature.

    This also seems like a good oppertunity for you guys to give better support. Start by answering emails …

    PS, the upgrade assistent is hanging for half an hour now, at the ‘converting templates’ part …

  13. AJ says:

    @erwin – contact support, we can help you with this. We make a full backup before we update, so we can recover everything and we can help fix up that template.

    @Mart – we will have a solution in the future. Simply turning the current Billings into multi-user is not the right answer. Also, sending .bex files to update a master biller is much much easier now. We’ve outlined the steps in the docs and on the forums.

    @Winter – you can sort slips in the slips tab in the “Send invoice” window and you’ll hear about German localization soon. I’ve put a status post on the forums.

  14. Andy Polaine says:

    I still can’t see support for multiple currencies anywhere, which makes Billings as useful as a chocolate fireguard for me.

    Setting it via the International Preferences is the lamest solution possible. Is it so hard to allow people to change a currency symbol?

  15. AJ says:

    @Andy – Multi-currency isn’t as simple as changing the symbol. Think of the implications on the balance, retainers, payments and statements.

    If you just want to change the symbol, you can do so by modify a template and hard coding the currency symbol. A few of our customers have done this.

  16. Stefaan Lesage says:

    Well, I’ve just installed the upgrade, bought an upgrade licence through the store, but I guess I’ll have to wait a bit before the code comes in. Meanwhile I have 21 days to check it out :-)

    I was really impressed by the new Invoice templates and reports. Very well done.

    Regards,

    Stefaan

  17. Lon says:

    @erwin – I had this problem as well when updating. Specifically it hung on my custom templates. Solution was to remove the custom templates to the desktop, run the updater, and then converting the templates placed on my desktop using the “convert template” menu command.

    Incidentally, they’ve already released v. 3.0.1, one of the stated fixes being improved template conversion.

  18. Andy Polaine says:

    @AJ – I know, but having it tied to the system settings is a terrible idea because it builds in inflexibility. I can see why it’s attractive from an integration standpoint (as with the Me card in the address book, which I also don’t like much), but I think it’s a bad idea for the reason I just mentioned and because it means application preferences is actually hidden elsewhere, outside of the application.

    Changing the currency symbol in the template works, of course, but then the actual numbers become meaningless, so, as you say, that throws off everything else. It’s obviously a kludge and means the rest of Billings’ reporting system isn’t much use – so I may as well stay with doing my invoicing by hand.

    I don’t know what the underlying code structure and database of Billings is, but just I can’t see it being too onerous to include a currency conversion in the calculations. If the currency is the home currency then you’re just multiplying by 1 (or not at all), otherwise you might have options for users to set their exchange rate or pull the latest down from an online source.

    The extra UI could be minimal too, especially if you allow users to checkbox (like the international keyboard settings) which currencies they might want to work in – most people would probably have two or three at the most. All the other permutations of reporting, expenses, etc. flow on from that addition to the calculation. In the end it’s all just numbers, but it’s just that those numbers need to be aware of their currency status so that you could report in a single or multiple currencies and everything would still add up.

    I probably don’t need to tell you that Clickable Bliss’s Billable handles multiple currencies just fine. It’s just that their app and templates are way more ugly than in Billings.

    If I could find a way to use Billings in a way that didn’t create more work for me, I would, because it looks to be the best app out there. But otherwise it seems to defeat the point of it if I have to kludge the currencies. I really don’t mean to undermine your efforts here, just to say that for me it’s still a no goer.

  19. Arild Bekkelund says:

    Hi
    Great upgrade!
    When can we expect to see support for multi currency?
    I solved the “hang on converting templates” problem with downloaded a new version from “download” and then start a new installation. It seems that there is a bug in the version that came from the autoupdate in Billings 2.5

  20. AJ says:

    @Stefaan – Make sure you check your spam box. The email could be stuck in there.

    @Andy – I’ve started a topic on this in our forums http://forums.marketcircle.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5781056583/m/8461046165

    @Arild – Version 3.0.1 handles this more gracefully.

  21. Sally Nemeth says:

    I love Billings, it’s made life much easier as a freelancer. I’ve encouraged many friends to buy. So I bought the latest upgrade (3.0) without a blink. I don’t like it. Whose idea was it to add the cutesy graphics. Is there anyway to get rid of the “receipt”? I find it terribly distracting and I don’t want to see every invoice everytime I look at my accounts. I checked the index, there’s no subject heading for “removing annoying graphics.” Is there anyway to go back to a simple accounts format? I have a limited amount of desktop space and the receipt window makes it impossible to keep things small enough. I’m ready to reload my old Billings and just chalk this up to a bad business expense.

  22. AJ says:

    @Sally – Yikes. So far the feedback has not been quite positive. We took a gamble with the receipt – just to add a little bit of whimsy/fun. For the invoice previews, you can just resize the window to the smallest size it will go to and extend the other views. That preview pane will shrink the invoice to a pretty small size.

  23. Sally Nemeth says:

    I appreciate the thought, however, this is my business, when I want fun, I get away from the computer. At least give me an option to have it or not as you do with other preferences. I can resize the window, but the invoice/receipt window is always as large as the actual account window.

    I do still like the program, it does make life a lot easier.

  24. Sam Hinks says:

    Hi. Quick comment. All looking good in Billings 3. Still to navigate all areas but seems great. However, I have more than one company (musician as well as a designer) and would love to operate Billings for my music/band invoices as well as my design business (main business). Maybe I’ve missed it in the set up or support blogs etc. but can I set up more than one ‘identity’ an switch on the fly or something to invoice for my different companies? Ciao

  25. AJ says:

    @Sam – We don’t have multiple identities per se, but many of our customers use different templates with hard coded identities within.

  26. r. says:

    Has the performance when a timer is left running improved? I filed a bug months ago regarding 50%+ CPU usage while Billings 2.5.6 was running, and heard nothing back from Marketcircle. I’ve stopped using Billings on a daily basis because of this, and have stopped recommending it to my friends looking for an invoicing solution. Marketcircle customer support has really soured my opinion of this software.

    “Improved performance in many areas (although Billings was fast already so you may not notice)”

    Riiiight.

  27. Andy Polaine says:

    @AJ – Thanks for putting that up. I’ve added my thoughts.

  28. AJ says:

    @r – A couple of people (I think 4 in total) have reported this problem, but we have not been able to reproduce it. I just tried it again – 5 timers going at the same time and the CPU meter didn’t go over 1%.

    We did communicate with a couple folks on this – but no luck in getting it reproduced.

    The only thing I can say is to try v3 (the trial period is reset so you have 21 days) and if the problem persists, we’ll gladly give you a refund.

  29. Atac says:

    Billings2 was the best, Billings3 is even better. Hands up for the great graphics and the new user interface. However, I am quite sure that every Billings user expected some more. There are some questions confuses me.

    1) If you buy Billings from Germany, the upgrade fee is €35, so $50. This is quite unfair, because every user from the USA pays $35. Why?

    2) Where has the German language support gone? I’ve read a review about BIllings in a German mac magazine called “MacLife”, they said that you promise to release a German language support and you truely released it in 2.5.6, I am sure every user from Germany was quite happy with that. But it has just gone. It is just no more there any more.

    I think you did a great job, however apparently there were things you weren’t sure about. There are many new features, but also features which have just gone.

  30. AJ says:

    @Atac – Could you email us and tell us where you are seeing €35, because it is supposed to be €27 (we took an exchange rate of .7 when we set it and rounded up a bit for account for fluctuations) so it should be fairly close to the $35.

    Also, please check the forums. I’ve posted an update on the situation of the German localization. In short, we’ll have a new beta before the end of October. We are already working on it.

  31. Atac says:

    @AJ, thanks for your reply.
    I’m sorry, actually my last check was on the day when it was released. I also paid the same rate when I bought Billings2 and it was a few months ago. Thanks for the update, I’ll upgrade shortly.

  32. Tom says:

    Congratz on the new release, but i must say i’m quite disappointed because the only feature that i wanted is an option for rounding/not rounding prices.
    Don’t get me wrong i love billings and will still continue to use it (i have web development firm, so i don’t need prices with more than two decimal places), but there are a lot of companies here that make stuff. Buttons, for example, a button costs 0.0123EUR. There is no way that billings will calculate the exact price for say 50000 buttons. It will round up cost per button to 0.01EUR which is useless to many people here.

    I don’t think it’s a big problem to enable users to have as many decimal places as they want, but then again, that’s only my opinion. And your loss.

  33. CJ says:

    I am deciding whether to purchase. Is there an option to manually number invoices? I am using it on a project basis, however, accounting has their own invoice numbering system that I have to integrate. If this is not an option, then there is no point in using this program.

  34. AJ says:

    @Tom – We’ll look at that in the future. Having localized fields working in various regions is unfortunately more difficult than it should be.

    @CJ – You can set the next invoice/estimate/statement number in the Preferences (in Numbering).

  35. Davide says:

    I was JUST about to buy your software, which is awesome by a UI point of view. Then I realised it has no support for multiple currencies, and this makes it almost useless for me. Most international users bill at least in their own currency and dollar. The proposed solution (change the symbol in the template) is ridiculous, I mean, it’s a fast hack but how can I then track my bills and invoices if the number are meaningless?
    For someone who bills in tow currencies Billings 3, at this stage, is just a collection of templates, for the inner logic of reports etc is useless.
    This is not meant to debase your work, which I still find very good; it’s probably the best Mac invoicing system around for the users who don’t need multiple currencies. Still, consider that there are many fishes in the sea with different requirements, and in this case they are probably 50% of your potential market.
    Cheers,
    Davide

  36. AJ says:

    @Davide – We are asking for feedback on multi-currency usage on our forums. You can add your thoughts here:
    http://forums.marketcircle.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/5781056583/m/8461046165

  37. Xavier says:

    I had the same problem with the high CPU usage when the timer was running. I found that when you close the timer window, CPU usage goes through the roof. When you show it again, CPU usage drops! Probably has something to do with a runaway background process… Hope it helps!

    Cheers

  38. Nouman says:

    Just downloaded the trial version and loved it, except came to the point of entering price and then realised that it takes only up to 2 decimal places. Unfortunately I require up to 4 decimal places otherwise my invoicing is all going to go wrong.
    Any idea when that would be available?

    Cheers

  39. AJ says:

    @Nouman – 4 decimal places?? What industry and country are you in?

    Thanks.

  40. DA says:

    My company also requires 5 decimal points for its prices. We are a packaging manufacturer and sell very low-priced goods in high quantities. A typical order is for hundreds of thousands or millions of units that cost, say, 0.01234 or USD 12.34 per 1000 units.

    In its current state, we are unable to use Billings. REALLY wish Marketcircle would come up with a solution to this issue…