I guess this is mostly a calendering/invoicing issue, but I am hoping that those of you running businesses out of home offices will have some suggestions for us. He is agreeing to try GTD in Sept, so I am hoping that we can figure out good ways to do things that will make us both more efficient.
We run two small businesses because it is easier than putting them together. Mine is very simple. I subcontract for my father's company and I don't even have to invoice, just get my checks like clockwork covering dates worked. I log them into our business accounting software, deposit the checks into our business account and I'm done.
My husband's is more complicated. For almost 5 years he subcontracted for 2 middleman type companies who contracted with the actual locations where my husband does the work for them. We invoiced both of companies on the 1st and 15th of each month for all work done up to that date. For example the work he does on the 16th-31st is paid on the first of the next month. He is NOT a records guy, so he had a not great but workable solution involving hardscape calendering the days worked and using that when making out his invoices. Had some trouble when we rearranged the schedule for vacation because he wasn't perfect at keeping the calendar up to date, but since we were typing up an invoice within a week or so, between the two of us we could remember anything he changed. (He works by the job and usually does everything in each city on a particular day, but that can vary as long as the work gets done in that week.)
However, he has scaled back on the work we are doing through the middlemen (they take a decent chunk off the top) and is doing more work on his own. Now we are getting paid directly from the businesses at the locations where he works and getting more money per job--good things except for his calendaring method is not getting it done. A lot of these places have insane pay schedules (Company X pays in person 30 days from each date worked), (Company Y sends out checks every Thursday, so for example all work done between August 25-September 2 is paid in a check supposedly sent out on Sept 7), and we still do work for the original companies which we invoice every 1st and 15th, and so on. My husband is having trouble remembering exactly what the situation was 30 days ago (considering we were rearranging work for 2 weeks prior to leaving for Europe, getting everything covered while we were gone, and then rearranging everything for 2 weeks after we got home because we were both in school.)
This is an extreme situation for us (life is chaotic but not THIS chaotic), but it has really revealed the need for a different logging and invoicing system. He is a techie gadgets guy, but I can't even get him to regularly remember to print out a calendar for me at the end of the month so I can "quality control" all the work done with what we have been paid. I have to record everything in our business account off the invoices and the checks, but the new pay schedules are confusing that method. We spent 15 minutes this morning trying to figure out which dates he was at a local location so that he could pick up his check today.
WE NEED HELP!! Can anyone suggest a records keeping solution that would be low maintenence. The most I can seem to get him to sit down and update everything is when he is making out his invoices twice a month. We work from an "ideal" each month for everything regularly scheduled on each day, but almost no month turns out to be ideal....this company wants to hold off for 2 weeks, that one wants 2 extra things done, etc In addition to playing havoc with our records it also is playing havoc with our household budget because I can never figure out when a check is coming in!