Hi there, I am a naval architect.
My job is to design yachts for clients. I then ask yards to build these yachts.
I define several budgets early on in the project that make 100% of the budget.
During the project, builders send invoices.
Invoices are checked by me, I then assign them to a budget and ask the client to pay by sending the invoice to him.
I then need to know when the client has paid the invoice.
The client and I need to know how the sum of invoices add up compared to the budget at any time.
We also need to see the sum of things paid over time.
Some invoices are split between several budgets (say 30% to materials, 70% to man hours). When applicable, VAT is split in its own budget.
The process at the moment is via an Excel spreadsheet and dropbox. Builders uplaod their invoices in dropbox. I check them and move them in a "to pay" folder. Invoices are then assigned budgets and entered into a spreadsheet. I then must enquire when an invoice is paid.
I would like to improve the process by using a browser based app. I noticed that Caspio or Zoho are perhaps a way to go. The idea would be for the yards to upload invoices, I could then assign the budget, an email would be sent automatically to the client. Client could check the invoice once paid, and we could all review the budget on a nice website based chart.
A version of the spreadsheet we use is attached to this.