How to issue an invoice using Jira Service Desk


28 January 2019 • 17 min read

    Jira is not only a tool for managing tasks, but it is also a flexible platform that allows us to create our solutions. Companies can use Jira to control the market structure, reflect processes, and report on work time. You can also use it for both team communication, process management or registration of issues that form the foundation of the implemented project.

    Jira is licensed software that consists of several perfectly integrated modules: Jira Core, Jira Software, and Jira Service Desk. Atlassian has recently added a new module: Jira Ops. Apart from that, Jira is surrounded by numerous other applications created by Atlassian.

    These applications integrate and complement their functionalities. They are dedicated to various industries, although IT is obviously the leading field. Still, Jira is a versatile tool that can be used by various employees in any industry, as long as the platform is skillfully adapted and optimized to match their individual needs.

    Jira’s dictionary of basic terms includes the term “issue.” The issue doesn’t always have to be associated with a problem. Every idea and initiative can be logged into the system in the form of an issue.

    At Deviniti, we use Jira Service Desk to accomplish many different tasks – among others, for invoicing orders by our accounting department.

    Invoicing clients on a regular basis

    It may come as a surprise, but companies sometimes forget to generate invoices. Some sales representatives notify their accounting department in a way that makes invoicing more difficult (for example, by being unclear). That is why we have prepared Jira Service Desk to handle requests from the sales department and ensure that we receive new issues regarding invoices on a regular basis.

    Thanks to Jira, we know exactly which tasks are still waiting for implementation or are stuck at some stage, and how much time our teams spend on them. By launching a module for reporting a new invoice, the accounting department gets a systematic and chronologically-arranged list of invoice orders to be generated. That helps to streamline and speed up the process of settlements with clients.

    Another significant advantage of this solution is related to the visibility of the submitted documents. Employees who submit invoice issues retain access to their issue as well as the generated document (the invoice in PDF format is attached to the application).

    In Jira Service Desk, users can customize the notification system that informs about the process of invoice realization. Employees know whether the invoice has been prepared and sent to the customer or needs to be clarified and whether it has been paid.

    Ordering invoices to be issued

    The entire process of ordering invoices at Devinitii is intuitive and straightforward. All you need to do is log into Jira Service Desk (or switch to it from Jira Software without the need to log in) and choose the catalog where you find an issue called “New invoice for a customer.”

    Each element of a Jira Service Desk issue is fully customizable. The individual needs of organizations dictate the final look of the Jira Service Desk interface.

    The following screenshots show what the entire process looks like on the Jira platform adapted to it:

    1. Jira Service Desk menu with the option of ordering an invoice for the customer.

    A step-by-step guide to creating an issue

    After selecting the module we are interested in (“New invoice for a customer”), we move to the window where we need to complete previously defined fields. Some of them are marked with an asterisk – these are obligatory. Thanks to that, we ensure that users include all the information necessary to issue an invoice.

    2. Jira Service Desk screen for requesting a new invoice

    The order of entering data and its scope has been agreed together with the accounting department. In our case, the first field that needs to be completed is “Invoice type.” At your organization, that can be a completely different field. We can choose from two options displayed in the drop-down menu: proforma invoice or VAT invoice.

    We then add the date of the invoice, the net amount, and choose the currency from the cafeteria system.

    In the next fields, we add the document’s title, required contact and financial details of the invoice recipient, as well as the name and surname of the invoice recipient (or their email address).

    At this point, depending on the option chosen previously (email or traditional mail), the invoice will take the form of an electronic document in PDF format (e-invoice), or it will be printed and sent to the given address.

    In the system we created for the invoice issuing process, we have also added the option of entering the order number provided to us by the customer, payment deadline, and any extra information we want to add to the generated document.

    We should keep in mind that Jira is a very flexible tool. That’s why all of the above fields can be adapted to individual requirements. Their configuration, number, and data format are fully customizable.

    Automation of the invoice ordering process

    The process described above can be automated to a considerable extent. How to do it? If we use an external CRM or (as in the case of Deviniti) a CRM platform configured with the help Jira Software, we can configure the system to import the necessary customer data.

    In our case, the following data is automatically imported from the database:

    • currency
    • address and taxpayer number,
    • the person to whom the invoice is addressed,
    • the form of invoice delivery.

    Thanks to this function, the data appears on the invoice form automatically. However, these fields remain editable in case we need to apply changes.

    After adding all the invoice data, we click the “Invoice” button; the issue is generated automatically and assigned to a previously-defined person, depending on the workflow configuration. The person to whom the application has been assigned receives an email notification of a new order together with a link.

    After opening the issue, he or she sees all the data entered and can proceed with issuing an invoice. Of course, if any data is unclear, they can add a comment at the issue level or communicate directly with the person requesting the invoice.

    They can also invite other people who are not directly involved in operational activities to the process, such as department manager or project manager whom the generated document concerns.

    When the invoice is issued successfully in the system dedicated to it (outside of Jira), the person generating the document closes the issue by changing its status in the workflow. After the closure, the invoice issuer will be notified by e-mail that the order has been processed and can see the generated invoice in the form of a PDF document.

    Issue subtasks

    We also have the option of adding subtasks in a given type of issue. In the presented example, it could be such subtasks as:

    • sending an e-invoice,
    • sending an invoice by post.

    Adding subtasks to an issue helps to clarify work related to generating a specific invoice so that the order is fully effective (sometimes the invoice is delivered to the customer in person, other times the accounting department sends it by mail from).

    Using custom development, we can integrate the external system to issue invoices with Jira and speed up the invoicing process. Such a solution is entirely within reach, but it requires a prior analysis of customer needs and integration possibilities.

    Certified Deviniti experts can carry out a full examination of the integration scope between systems and issues related to security to implement the entire process. Thanks to Jira Service Desk, the person issuing invoices can easily verify how many open applications are waiting for them. An interesting solution that ensures smooth order execution is setting of SLA clocks for individual issues. That allows controlling the entire process and time required to generate documents, and prepare relevant reports related to performance.

    In addition to the existing reporting capabilities in the Jira system, you’ll find add-ons that extend these capabilities in Jira Service Desk.

    Jira was created to solve an organization’s problems and improve its processes. We can apply changes to each area of ​​this software because the platform easily adapts to individual preferences. Jira wasn’t designed to handle a specific type of issues; it can be freely adjusted to support all areas of business organizations successfully. In the case of the accounting department, Deviniti streamlines the communication process between teams and allows tracking and reporting on the entire invoicing process.

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