LaCuenta Por Favor!

LaCuenta is a powerful, new invoicing and business management application from Luxembourgian company BeeWee. The first time I read the name I didn’t put two and two together, but after a couple of minutes I realised that the name is Spanish for ‘the bill’. I think the name is rather fitting and well thought out.

You will be able to see from the screenshots that the design of the app is very slick. Often design for invoicing or financial apps suffer as they are primarily seen as function over form. LaCuenta shows that they are not mutually exclusive, there’s no reason why you can’t have function and form in the same application.

General Application Use

Generally, action is taken in the large middle pane, and then the confirmation or choices are chosen from the smaller right hand pane. For example, clicking on an item in the settings menu in the main pane brings up the options in the right hand pane where you can then choose and save your choice.

Home

Home is where you are sent to once you register, or when you subsequently log in

There is a main navigation menu to the left of the screen, which affords easy access to the main features of the app. the items included in this menu are Home, New Doc, Search, Activity and More. Each has a shortcut key (alt + 1-5) so you can jump to each at will. Keyboard shortcuts are a great time saver so it’s great to have them included in this app.

The new document section is the next item on the main menu. Here you can add items to the page which is then turned into a quote automatically. Creating an invoice is super fast, it’s as simple as adding a client and some items to the list and clicking save. You can then email out the invoice, or send to PDF to save or email separately. Once you have done this you can then see the quote in the activity list.

There is a powerful search option in the menu to the left. This searches all facets of the application, and everything you have put into it. You can filter the search by documents, customer, supplier items or your own products. The search is fast and very easy to use to find what you are after. Filtering by ‘invoices’ and ‘unpaid’ shows you the unpaid invoices for example.

The Activity menu item takes you to a list of all activity on the account. You can very quickly filter or group this by deselecting items so that they don’t show at all, or by choosing the type of document that is shown, (or none), the status of the payment that is shown or the employee that is involved

More

A lot of the management tools are under the ‘More’ menu item

The ‘More’ menu item holds a lot of the back end management of the application, things such as analytics, stock control, employee management and settings. This keeps a lot of the management side of the application away from the everyday running, which is a good and bad thing. it keeps it uncluttered, but it also means that useful places such as Stock Management and Manage Customers aren’t easily accessible on the main menu.

Management Tools

When you start you are prompted to enter your company name. following this you can enter your own name and contact details. Each person that you add (referred to as employees) then has a password and PIN that they use to access the system. There is an audit trail attached to most of the actions that you can take, so you can trace what your employees have been doing, who made that sale, who sent that quote etc.

There are a number of tools aimed at a managerial level to allow the user to monitor the state of everything from the company itself in terms of turnover, costs and profits, to the employees and stock levels.

Edit Employee

You can set permissions on a per employee basis to control access

Employees can be granted certain permissions to allow them to access different parts of the application and to make certain changes. The employee also has an email address attached to their account as well as a postal address, country and language, nice touches in this age of remote and international working.

The analytics tool shows actual incoming and outgoing transactions, indicators grouped by employee, sales grouped by customer and stock movement.The key areas of stock management, customer management and so on are also under the More tab.

Stock management

One of the most important features is a comprehensive stock management tool

Stock management can be found within the ‘More’ menu and is how you manage all aspects of your products and services. You can add products here, detailing their value, quantity, stock code, whether they are physical or not (a useful attribute these days) and so on. You can add products to categories to allow easy allocation on invoices and quotes as well as grouping by category when you look at the performance metrics.

There are loads of options to allow you to customise your experience with LaCuenta; from charging VAT by default to allowing you to set your opening hours, your trading country and company details such as a logo.

What I would like to see

At the moment you can add products to your inventory, and you can stipulate the quantity, but thereafter you can’t add new stock to your products. It goes without saying that this is rather important in terms of stock management! There is a placeholder for this, so it is obviously in the works, but has not yet been implemented.

I would like to see the side menu made customisable so that you can drag and drop tiles from the more page on and off the menu at will. There is plenty of room on the interface for more options so it seems silly not to be able to utilise it. This would create a really cool individual user experience for each person who uses the system.

Somewhere to manage the people you buy from would be pretty useful. Often companies use a great number of suppliers and not being able to keep track of them is a bit of an oversight.

Customisation for the way that the invoices are presented would be good, not to the point of themes, but being able to upload a template or similar would be useful. It might be that this is in the pipeline for a new release.

People

It’s all very well having products and a snazzy application, but without people to sell to and work with, you don’t have a business. Under the ‘More’ menu item you will find two places that you can add people to your system.

Add customer

You can keep track of your customers from directly within the application

If you want to add customers to your database then you need to head over to Manage Customers. in here you will see a list of the customers that you already have in the system. it is very straightforward to add new customers along with all of their details so that you can contact them and arrange deliveries etc.

Manage Employees lets you do the obvious. As previously mentioned it is where you allocate permissions and manage your staff.

Conclusions

A very powerful app, it certainly is more than just an invoicing app as one might assume. As a business management application it covers all of the bases except adding new stock and a little customisation. Other than that, a very competent all in one tool for management of a business. I would recommend you try it out, and do give it a little while, it’s quite complex in its abilities so it will take a little time to get used to. Overall, a good application that has a few things to add to make it exceptional. The inability to add stock yet is a bit of a deal breaker if it something that you use.


Summary

An invoicing and business management suite all rolled into one. A very capable application, and polished to boot. Easy to use, powerful and aesthetically pleasing; a great combination. A couple of missing or incomplete features need to be addressed, but a solid application nonetheless.

7

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