Contents of the BILL.DOC file
Copyright 1988, 1989, 1990 -- Brad Strausbaugh
All Rights Reserved
PCBilling is an easy-to-use invoicing system designed
for the small business person who relies on billing
clients to collect revenue. It runs on any IBM/PC, XT,
or AT with at least one floppy disk drive and a
printer that uses standard 9-1/2 by 11 continuous feed
computer paper. The only other supply you will need
are #10 window envelopes commonly found in most
THE SHAREWARE CONCEPT
If you find PCBilling a helpful tool in managing your
business, please fill out the registration form at the
end of this document and send it, along with $25 to the
author. You will receive all major PCBilling upgrades
as they are published.
WHAT PCBilling DOES
PCBilling has three primary functions that free you
from some of the clerical tasks in running a small
Invoicing: Using a simple data entry screen
PCBilling lets you enter billing
information -- who your clients
are and what they are being billed
for -- and prints off their
Monitoring: Once an invoice is sent PCBilling
remembers it. If payment is not
received within 30 days, it prints
off a past-due notice automatically,
and if there is no payment after 60
days a delinquent notice is printed.
Reporting: You can instruct PCBilling to report
on outstanding bills or to summarize
receipts or receivables or bad debts.
It's just a matter of selecting the
report you want from the Report
HOW PCBilling FILES YOUR INVOICES
PCBilling maintains three data files, the invoice file
where information on outstanding invoices is monitored,
the receipts file where receipt and bad debt
information is kept for historical reporting, and the
header file where PCBilling keeps system information.
The important thing to remember is that PCBilling puts
each new invoice in the invoice file, then moves it to
the receipts file only when payment is received or when
you flag it as a bad debt.
Key In Invoices
| Invoice File |
Flagged as Bad Debt
| Receipts File |
In the receipts file bad debts are distinguished from
received invoices by having no Date Received. The
various reports will select only the invoices relevant
to that report.
After you've extracted BILL21.ARC you should have the
BILL.EXE The PCBilling program
BILL.DOC This documentation file
BRUN30.EXE Run-time module used by BILL.EXE
HEADER.DAT PCBilling system information
INVOICE.DAT The invoice file
RECEIPTS.DAT The receipts file
Put the BILL20.ARC diskett in a safe place and use only
these extracted files from now on.
THE SYSTEM DATE
PCBilling relies on your PC's system date to assign
invoice dates. You may have a PC that maintains a
current system date even when it is turned off. If you
do not, please set the system date with the DOS DATE
command before you run PCBilling.
GETTING AROUND IN PCBilling
To use PCBilling just put the diskett with the
extracted files on it in dive A, and enter the
The PCBilling banner will appear. Just press any key
to continue. The banner will disappear and the first
item on the menu bar at the top of the screen will be
highlighted in reverse video. Notice too that a brief
help line appears at the bottom of the screen. A help
line will always be present there and it will change
automatically as needed.
You can change the highlighted menu bar item by
pressing the left or right arrow key on the numeric
keypad (with the Num-Lock key off) or by pressing the
first letter of the item you want. When the desired
menu item is highlighted press the Enter key and that
item will be invoked.
Selecting the Report, PrintBills or Setup menu bar
option results in the appearance of a pull-down menu.
Like the menu bar, the current item on the pull-down.
menu is highlighted in reverse video. You can change
it with the up and down arrow keys on the numeric
keypad or by pressing the first letter of the item you
want. When the desired item is highlighted press
Enter to select it. To exit from a pull-down menu and
"stepback" to the menu bar press the Escape key.
THE DEMO DATA
For the purpose of illustration, your PCBilling system
disk comes with the invoices and receipts of a
ficticious computer system consultant. This example
will be helpful when you first go through these
instructions. You can run reports, update invoices,
etc, without fear of losing important data. Remember,
you can always create a new copy from your original
Later, when you are ready to enter your own invoices,
you can invoke the Setup option from the menu bar to
clear the demo data from the PCBilling database. Just
how to do that will be explained in the Setup section.
PCBilling comes complete with six standard reports. To
create a report just invoke the Report option from the
menu bar and select the report you want from the
The year-to-date reports will prompt you for an "As of"
date. Enter the date in mm/dd/yy format. PCBilling
will generate the report and display it on the screen.
You can send the report to your printer by pressing the
P key, or return to the Reports pull-down menu by
pressing the Escape key -- remember the help line at
the bottom of the screen. All other reports are sent
directly to your printer.
Go ahead and run these reports with the demo data.
You can use the Update option to key in a new invoice,
or to move and invoice from the invoice file to the
receipts file. You can also modify or delete invoices.
The invoice file can contain up to 200 outstanding
invoices. Each invoice is uniquely identified by its
Invoice Number. When an invoice is moved to the
receipts file or deleted, that number is opened up for
a new invoice.
When you select the Update option from the menu bar,
the invoice update screen is pulled down and it prompts
you for an Invoice Number, If you want to create a new
invoice, just press the Enter key and the next
available Invoice Number will be assigned.
Notice also that PCBilling automatically fills in the
Date of Bill with today's date, the Date Due with the
date 30 days hence, and the Date Delinquent with the
date 60 days hence. The column of dates just to the
right labeled Date Logged will contain blank dates.
These are filled in later by PCBilling to log when
invoices and notices are printed off in the PrintBills
menu bar option. So all you have to do is enter your
client's name and address and the items he or she is
being billed for.
If you want to call up and existing invoice, enter its
Invoice Number. If it exists it will be called up and
PCBilling will ask whether you want to mark it Payment
Received or Bad Debt and move it the the receipts file,
or whether you want to modify or delete it. If it does
not exist PCBilling will accept data entry just as
though it had assigned the Invoice Number itself.
With the PrintBills menu bar option you can align the
paper in your printer, printoff invoices, past-due
notices, and delinquent notices, and log the invoices
and notices sent so they won't be repeated.
To print invoices and notices PCBilling scans the
invoice file and checks each invoice's Date of Bill,
Date Due, and Date Delinqent to determine if an invoice
or past-due notice or delinquent notice should be sent.
Then it prints the appropriate document. The client's
name and address is always positioned on the invoice or
notice to be visible throught the window of a #10
envelope when folded in three sections.
If your printer jams, or fails for any reason to print
ALL appropriate invoices and notices, just re-run the
print option. Only after printing is successful, go to
the Log Invoices/Notices Option.
THE LOG INVOICES/NOTICES OPTION IS VERY IMPORTANT. It
scans the invoice file just like the print option did,
but instead of printing, it logs today's activity on
the selected invoice records, so that, in the future,
PCBilling will not print duplicate bills and notices.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS RUN THIS OPTION IMMEDIATLY AFTER
SUCCESSFULLY PRINTING INVOICES AND NOTICES.
You can use the Setup menu bar option to do three
things; (1) set the header that appears at the top of
printed invoices and notices; (2) clear the entire
PCBilling database; and (3) set the system date.
When you select the Set Header option, a window will
prompt you for the name, address and phone number you
what to appear at the top of invoices and notices. If
you are using printer paper with your letterhead
pre-printed at the top, just fill in this window with
The Clear Entire Database option will clear all
invoice, receipt, and header information from the
entire PCBilling database. Its main purpose is to
clear the demo data when you are ready to start
entering your own invoices, If you use it for any other
reason, please exercise caution.
The Set System Date option lets you change the system
calendar clock to the current date. This is the date
PCBilling uses to assign the invoice dates. Your
system may have an internal clock that maintains the
current date even when your machine is turned off. If
it does not, use this option to set the current date,
or use the DOS DATE command before you run PCBilling.
The Quit menu bar option simply terminates your
PCBilling interactive session and returns you to DOS.
If you find PCBilling helpful in managing your
business and would like to receive all major program
upgrades as they are published, please fill out this
registration form and send it, along with $25 to...
350 E. Del Mar Blvd #311
Pasadena, Ca 91101
Where did you get your copy of PCBilling?
I have taken great care to insure that PCBilling
performs as described above. Be advised, however,
that by using PCBilling, you agree the author shall
not be held legally liable for the program's behavior.
Please use the rest of this page (and the back if
needed) to jot down any comments you have about
PCBilling. Your feedback is most welcome.