I realized how 20th century (plus boring and error-prone) it is to write one’s invoices by hand. So I went looking for an invoicing application. My expectations were quite low: I wanted one which can be used from my MacBook, has some basic functions that cut down on typing (e.g a client “database”), has a decent design and UI, can make out invoices in different currencies and did not cost more than ~$100.
It seemed like I have found one, which, though it had several minor bugs, seemed acceptable, so I purchased the Basic version. Everything went reasonably well until I had to make out my first invoice in euros. It turned out that the Basic version can only make invoices in Hungarian forints in spite of having a couple of other functionalities (e.g set the VAT rate to 0% automatically on invoices made out to EU companies) which made me think it could make it in euros, too.
Ok, so accounting hell got me again. I sighed and asked the company how much it would cost to have this funcionality. I was informed I had to buy the upgrade to the Business version which costs ~$120 more, roughly the double of the original price I paid! That was too much to take, so I went looking for another invoicing application. After all, it should not be an insurmountable task to write such an app, I murmured to myself.
I did find a couple of very good applications which even overdo what I want them to accomplish. However, the Hungarian homologue of the IRS basically shuts out any foreign competitors by regulating very heavily which conditions must be fulfilled by an invoicing application for a Hungarian company to be able to use it. Bummer.
“There is still a glimmer of hope.” - I thought. I checked the Hungarian scene still thinking it could not be that difficult to meet my expectations. Well, apparently I was wrong. The ones I found are either overcomplicated to use, look like home pages in the 80s or are way too expensive. Sometimes all of these. So I put off the challenge of finding an acceptable piece of software and got back of writing invoices manually.
Now you might wonder where the dog food is in the story. Well, today I received the invoice from the company of my purchase of the Basic version of the application. It was written manually on an invoice sheet :) That’s tantamount of Steve Jobs using a PC with Windows Vista.