Client Portal in Zoho Invoice
Client Portal allows your clients to track all the transactions that have taken place between them and your business. Bid goodbye to lengthy emails and collaborate efficiently like never.
Understanding Client Portal
Receiving invoices and paying for them has become a cake walk for Peter’s clients after he enabled Client Portal to them. It was easy to pull out transactions as they didn’t have to surf through their emails. Peter’s clients are having a much more hassless free invoicing process.
IN THIS PAGE…
Setting up Client Portal
Sign into your Zoho Invoice organization.
Click the gear icon on the top right corner and go to ‘Preferences’ > Client Portal.
Click the check-box against “Send me email notification for every activity that takes place in the portal” if you wish to receive email notifications for every activity that your client does in the portal.
Click the check-box against “Allow customers to forward documents from portal” if you wish to let your clients forward documents. Please note, the people whom they forward the document to will be added as contact persons in the contact information for that client.
Click the check-box against “Send an email notification to my contacts when I comment on transactions.” if you wish to have an email sent to your customers whenever you add a comment for any transaction.
Click the check-box against “Enable customer review for my services” if you would like your customer to give a feedback to your services.
Click the check-box “Allow customers to view projects and timesheets” if you want to give your clients access to the time logged for each project/task and client approval.
Click the check-box “Allow contacts to edit their information in the portal” to permit your customers to edit their billing/shipping address and contact details.
Click the check box “Allow customers to view subscriptions” to permit your customers allows your customers to view their subscriptions and filter the invoices with respect to subscription.
You can enter a welcome message in the space provided for ‘Banner Message’. This message will be shown to your clients when they log in to the portal.
Once done, click Save.
Invite contacts to your portal
To give access to your clients, you need to enable the portal for each contact individually and if that contact has contact persons, you will need to provide access to the contact person associated with that contact. Once they log in to your portal they can view the estimates, invoices, statement of accounts, projects and time entries you have sent them. You can collaborate and discuss with your clients on estimates and invoices. This will hasten the estimate approval process, client approval process and payments.
The steps to enable the portal for your contact are as follows,
Click on Contacts and select the contact that you want to enable the client portal for.
On the contact detail page, on the right hand side, click More and select Configure Client Portal. You can also scroll down and click enable next to Portal Status under OTHER DETAILS.
Insight: Client portal will be enabled only when you have added a contact person for the contact.
- In the pop-up, select the contact persons for whom you want to give the portal access.
Select the contact person to whom you’d like to provide access for the client portal.
You can click “Set Portal Password” option to set the client portal password by yourself. You can later share this with your clients and they can use it to login into the client portal.
Once you click on ‘Save’, Zoho Invoice will send an email to your clients inviting them to the portal.
On clicking the ‘Accept Invite’ link, Zoho Invoice will open up another page where your clients can create a password to log into the portal.
Your clients will then be able to log into your portal and view the invoices, estimates and also download customer statements.
Working in the Client Portal
The following are the modules available in the Client Portal. Let’s see how your client can use it.
The first thing that your client will see upon logging into your client portal would be Home. The home displays your address details, outstanding transactions, retainer invoices, and the available credits. If you had added a banner message, it would be shown at the top of your screen.
It also displays the number of estimates that are yet to be approved. Clicking on the number will display the details of the said estimates.
Your clients can view the status of all the invoices and estimates they have received as well as the payments made in the past.
Your clients can view a list of the estimates they’ve received from you. If they are satisfied with the price, they can take your business forward by clicking on the Accept button that is visible you open the estimate. Clients can decline an estimate for a better offer by clicking the Decline button in the top.
The client can also filter the list to display a particular type of estimate by clicking the Show drop-down above the list.
The estimate can be forwarded to a different email id from the client portal and can be downloaded as well. Just click the three dotted drop down on the top right corner to perform these actions.
Insight: You can always rework on the declined estimate by clicking on the ‘Edit’ option provided in your Zoho Invoice account to make an offer your clients clients can’t resist and update them.
Your clients can view a list of invoices sent by you in the portal. If the invoice is unpaid, they can choose to pay instantly by clicking on Pay Now. The client can also filter the list to display a particular type of invoice by clicking on the drop-down above the list
Your clients can choose to forward the invoice to an email address and also download the invoice in the form of PDF or print the invoice by clicking the three dotted drop down on the top right corner and selecting the respective options.
If your clients have any remarks and would like to discuss that with you, they can use the comments box to add them as comments. You can also add comments from your end and have an official record of the conversation.
Your clients can make payments by choosing a mode of payment. Various payment gateway options can be given to the client at the time of creating an invoice.
For making payments using Credit/Debit card, clients can enter their card number, CVV, expiry date, billing address and the country to make payment. They can also save the cards and use them while making payments for upcoming invoices.
Making ACH payments.
- In order for customers to make ACH payments, you need to enable Allow this customer to pay via his/her bank account option for your customers under Contacts edit section.
Insight: Customers can also choose to save their account details for future transactions by checking the Use this account for future transactions option.
In the Payments Made module, your clients will be able to view the payments made by them to your invoices.You can also list the payments based on invoice payments and retainer invoice payments and sort it based on the date and amount.
The receipts can be downloaded as PDFs by clicking on the Download PDF button and can be printed by clicking the Print button on the top.
If you had enabled the “Allow customers to view projects and timesheets” option in the portal settings (gear icon > Preferences > Client Portal), an additional module will be made available in your customer’s client portal.
The Projects module in the client portal will list all the projects created for your customer.
When you click on one of the projects, you will see the following tabs:
All the billable tasks created for this project will be listed here. The details such as Logged Hours, Billed Hours and Unbilled Hours will also be displayed.
All the billable timesheet entries created for this project will be listed here. The details such Task, Date, Time and Status will also be displayed.
Your clients can add their comments and remarks in Comments and you will be able to reply to them. This will help in having an official record of the conversation that can be referred in the future.
You can check and reply for the comments made by the client on the specific project from your Zoho Invoice account.
Check the ‘Display in client portal’ box to make your reply visible in the client portal.
If you had enabled Client Approval in your org and in a specific project, a module named Timesheets will be displayed on the left sidebar. This module will display all the client approvals sent to that customer. He can accept/decline client approvals and manage them. They can see the total hours spent on a project, when it was received and it’s status.
The client portal’s dashboard will display the total amount for Outstanding Invoices. Select Pay Now to view the number of invoices for which the amount is due.
To view more details of the outstanding invoices, click on the hyperlink below the Total Amount.
You can then proceed to make the payment for all your outstanding invoices using a Credit Card or through any one of the associated payment gateways.
The ‘Viewed’ Notification
Once your clients have viewed your estimate or invoice, you will be notified about it with a ‘Viewed’ icon on the specific estimate or invoice on your Zoho Invoice account. You will be notified on the bell icon as well.
To get notified, you will have to enable Send me an email notification for every activity that takes place in the portal from Preferences > Client Portal.
Your clients can comment in the client portal about the estimate or invoice they receive. This feature comes handy when clients ask for a better price on your estimate rather than declining it.
You can check and reply to the comments made by the client on the specific estimate or invoice from your Zoho Invoice account. Check the Display in portal box to make your reply visible in the client portal.
Your clients can view your reply in the client portal.
A notification email will be triggered to your email account if your client
- Views estimate/invoice
- Accepts or Declines an estimate
- Adds a comment on an estimate or invoice
- Makes payment for an invoice
- Updates their company details
- Accepts/Declines client approvals
Insight: You should have enabled Send an email notification to my contacts when I comment on transactions from the Preferences > Client Portal.
Your clients can view a detailed ‘Statement of Accounts’ consisting of all the transactions between them and your company. They can also have their statements printed or downloaded as PDFs.
Clients can change the password they use to enter the client portal by selecting this option.
Insight: The password changes only for the specific contact person using the client portal.
Clients can update and edit their details, company details in the client portal.
To do so, your client can click the Home module on the left sidebar and scroll down to My Account Details. Click the Edit option on the right end and make the necessary changes. They can further go down and click the Edit button next to Billing Address and Shipping Address to add/edit them respectively
Sometimes, you would want to know what your clients think about your service. In such cases, you can ask your clients to rate/review your services. Your customers can rate and review your organization’s services through the client portal.
To enable this option for your client, go to Preferences > Client Portal and select Enable customer review for my services. Once you’re done, your client will be able to see a Review button on the Home page. Your clients can write a review and rate your service there.