HVAC, Business Tips, Pro Features, Guides

How to Choose the Right HVAC Invoice App for Your Business

February 1st, 2023
10 Min Read

For HVAC contractors who want to invest in an invoice app, it’s important to understand that there are two basic categories of apps:

  1. HVAC Contractor Software: Holistic software solutions that are designed to incorporate invoicing into the overall process of organizing, managing, and running an HVAC contracting business. Products that fall into this category take a comprehensive approach, linking invoicing to other essential business processes like pricebook management, estimating, and payments, as well as scheduling, dispatching, inventory management, and more. Put simply, holistic HVAC contractor software offers an all-in-one solution for HVAC businesses.

  2. Invoicing-Only Software: Apps specifically designed to manage invoicing, but that do not necessarily integrate with your other core business processes and apps that you use to run your business. We refer to these products as point solutions.     

To help contractors choose the option that’s best for their business, in this post we’ll discuss some of the drawbacks of invoicing-only software, which can come with a number of significant costs and pitfalls.  

And then we’ll explain how holistic HVAC software like our product, ServiceTitan, enables HVAC companies to seamlessly integrate invoicing into the other essential parts of their business to streamline operations, maximize efficiency, and stimulate revenue growth.   

Want to see how ServiceTitan works to streamline your HVAC business operations? Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walkthrough of the features we describe throughout this article.

2 Key Limitations of Invoicing-Only Apps

As a general rule, standalone invoicing apps are disconnected from the other functions of an HVAC service business. One of the areas where the drawbacks of this model are most pronounced is pricebook management. 

1. Pricebook Management Limitations

In some cases, invoicing-only software may integrate with third-party apps, or provide some ability to manually create price list items. But nearly  all lack sophisticated features for managing and updating HVAC pricebooks. And the pricing functionality they do offer tends to replicate the very problems—disorganization, repetitive and error-prone manual data entry—that more advanced HVAC business software products are designed to fix.  

HVAC invoicing point solutions can make it difficult—or impossible—to upload an existing pricebook. And they often lack the capacity to easily update and maintain a price list. 

In addition, the third-party pricebooks that invoicing-only apps commonly integrate with also tend to require users to make updates in exterior spreadsheets, exporting and reimporting price lists for every change they want to make. 

For example, since invoicing-only HVAC software products don’t include bulk editing or advanced automation features, users frequently have to update pricebook items one at a time. This might sound relatively minor, but it creates enormous hassles and inefficiencies that make pricing and pricebook management—the backbone of an HVAC business, foundation for every estimate and invoice—time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone. 

2. Limitations With Integrating Invoicing Into Overall Business Operations

Standalone invoicing apps also tend not to integrate with other HVAC apps that contractors rely on to run their business. 

These include key tools such as:

As a result, HVAC contractors often have to transfer customer information and other data from work orders and estimates manually. This involves pulling information from a variety of software platforms and/or mobile apps, spreadsheets, and paper files, spending precious time entering and reentering the same data into different apps. 

Every transfer creates a fresh opportunity for mistakes: math errors, typos, or simple forgetfulness. 

Even minor errors, entered into an invoice, can produce serious problems. Underpayment and conflict with customers are two common ones; over time, they can add up to a significantly lower bottom line

To complicate matters further, the advanced mobile functionality and API that are often part and parcel of more advanced field service management software (FSM) platforms are almost always absent from invoicing-only products. The latter tend to have somewhat dated interfaces.  

Finally, because standalone HVAC invoicing software requires contractors to use many additional tools to handle their other core business needs, it often ends up effectively being a lot more expensive than it appears. This is important to consider when evaluating the true ROI of invoicing solutions, particularly in light of the potentially costly complications inherent in relying on multiple poorly integrated software products to manage an HVAC business. 

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How ServiceTitan Seamlessly Integrates Invoicing Into the Day-to-Day Operations of an HVAC Business

In this section, we’ll explain how our HVAC invoice app can help contractors seamlessly incorporate their invoicing process with other essential elements of their business. Specifically, we’ll focus on:

  • Pricebook management

  • Estimates and proposal creation

  • Creating invoices and accepting payments

Advanced Functionality and Automation for Seamless Pricebook Management

With ServiceTitan, HVAC contractors can upload a pricebook that’s already working for them; create a new pricebook from scratch; or leverage our Pricebook Pro catalog, an add-on feature that offers pre-built, continuously managed flat-rate pricebooks. 

Whichever route contractors choose, ServiceTitan makes it easy to organize their pricebook into categories. This allows HVAC companies to avoid sifting through lists of materials and equipment—a great way to save time.  

The screenshot above shows a pricebook arranged by business unit and vertical. Many HVAC contractors choose to organize their ServiceTitan pricebook this way—particularly if they offer services beyond HVAC, like electrical and/or plumbing services, for example. 

Users also have the option to set up their pricebook as a function of customer segment, like residential, commercial, or construction.  

ServiceTitan subscribers and their staffers can edit the details and prices of pricebook items and services in two ways.

One at a time, manually, as shown in the screenshot below:

Or in bulk, allowing service business owners and managers to apply edits and markups to groups of equipment, materials, and service packages. This can be done for a subset of pricebook items or across an entire pricebook in a matter of clicks. 

Furthermore, business owners can use our Dynamic Pricing feature to auto-update prices with fluctuations in overhead—materials, labor rates, etc.—or to engage special “after-hours” pricing for work performed on weekends and holidays.  

Streamline, Automate, and Upsell with Pricebook Connect and Pricebook Pro

Pricebook Connect, included with a basic ServiceTitan subscription, gives businesses access to vendor catalogs from the top brands in the HVAC industry. They can link their pricebook directly to those catalogs for automated price updates to materials and equipment.   

This eliminates the need for manual edits to pricebook descriptions, photos—and, of course, prices. With Pricebook Connect, contractors also receive periodic suggestions for upgrades and best-sellers based on the services and products they offer their customers.   

That way, they can be confident they’re offering the latest HVAC equipment and create opportunities to increase average ticket prices and overall profitability.   

Among other things, we designed our Pricebook Pro add-on features to help HVAC companies make the best use of their staff, eliminating time-consuming manual processes to allow employees to dedicate their time to things like improving customer experience and marketing

Pricebook Pro was created based on decades’ worth of experience from industry veterans. It optimizes pricebook management in three ways:

  • Providing an expertly designed HVAC pricebook, developed from  industry averages and best practices to save tons of setup time. (Pre-built ServiceTitan pricebooks are fully customizable, allowing subscribers to make adjustments, additions, and subtractions.)

  • Staying current on updates. The ServiceTitan team tracks supplier pricing and makes necessary changes monthly.

  • Supplying an extensive menu of flat rate services that mirror industry best practices and trends, with auto-updated prices. 

PriceBook Pro also provides a variety of extras—professional item descriptions, high-quality images, upgrades, and recommendations—that owners, managers, and HVAC technicians can use to boost close rates and make higher value sales.  

These are all available as PDFs, and can be shared with commercial customers and homeowners alike to give them all the information they need to make confident, well-informed decisions.  

In a recent survey, we found that PriceBook Pro users were able to increase revenue by an average of 13% year-over-year. 

Multi-Option Estimates and Proposals Designed to Boost Average Ticket Prices

As we’ve written previously, option-based Good Better Best proposals can help service business owners dramatically improve their day-to-day operations—improve customer service and customer management, increase average ticket prices and close rates, and more. 

Accordingly, we designed our HVAC estimating software to provide contractors with a sleek and intuitive template-based proposal workflow. (Significantly, this setup does double duty as a data gathering tool; job information and customer information becomes immediately accessible to all company employees upon entry into the ServiceTitan platform.) 

Having entered basic customer info—name, address, phone number, etc.— all ServiceTitan users need to do to complete an estimate template is drag and drop relevant pricebook packages and items. It’s easy to add photos and videos to estimates, a feature many of our users take advantage of to better educate clients about their options.   

At ServiceTitan, we refer to each option in a Good Better Best presentation as an Estimate. The full menu of options represents the finished Proposal.  

Completing a proposal is easy, too. Again, it’s simply a matter of drag-and-drop, and can be accomplished in just a few minutes.      

HVAC technicians can build proposals with our mobile app—available on Android and iOS mobile devices—while they’re on site and share them with homeowners right away. Proposals can also be printed out and delivered by hand, mailed, or emailed. 

As shown in the screenshot above, ServiceTitan proposals give customers the ability to review specifics about equipment, deal terms, scope of work, and more. They can even e-sign on the spot, in real time, to facilitate speedy scheduling. In the event a proposal isn’t immediately sold, our software follow-up notifications make it easier than ever to close more deals.  

Easily Create and Send Invoices, Collect Payments, and Offer Financing

ServiceTitan’s cloud-based software allows users to draw on data from HVAC quotes to automatically populate invoices with relevant job and customer data. Invoices automatically reflect any tasks, materials, and/or equipment that HVAC techs may have added over the course of a job. 

PDF invoices can be easily generated and emailed with detailed descriptions of the work completed and outstanding customer balance. This allows customers to understand exactly what was accomplished, and makes future questions and disagreements less likely.  

As with proposals, ServiceTitan invoices are deliverable by email, with an option for online credit card payment

Especially for commercial jobs, for which the payor is often not present, many of our subscribers like to attach before-and-after images to invoices. This feature can help HVAC contractors limit denials and get paid promptly.    

We also make it easier for business owners, managers, and field service techs to overcome cost-related objections that might otherwise reduce revenue. In a matter of minutes—just a few clicks—homeowners can get approved for funding by one of our financing partners

And with our seamless QuickBooks accounting software integration, ServiceTitan users can confidently track money as it comes in the door. 

Learn More About How ServiceTitan Can Streamline Your HVAC Business Operations to Improve Profitability

As we emphasized at the beginning of this article, HVAC invoice apps come in two basic forms: invoice-only or “point” solutions, and holistic HVAC contractor software. 

While standalone invoice apps are hobbled by significant limitations— notably those related to pricebook management and integrating the many moving parts of an HVAC service business—comprehensive solutions like ServiceTitan furnish contractors with advanced invoicing software that seamlessly incorporates invoicing with other essential business processes.  

In addition to pricebook management, estimates, and payments, these include:

  • Call booking and CRM

  • Dispatching and scheduling software

  • Inventory

  • Job management

  • And more

Want to see how ServiceTitan works to streamline your HVAC business operations? Schedule a call to get a free, live, one-on-one walkthrough of the features we describe throughout this article.

ServiceTitan HVAC Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive HVAC business software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and achieve growth. Our award-winning, cloud-based platform is trusted by more than 100,000+ contractors across the country.

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