FreeAgent

Running your small business takes a lot of hard work and countless hours working with customers, managing billing, and delivering a rock solid product.  You don’t have time to time to waste and you need an accounting system like FreeAgent to take some of the stress away.

With FreeAgent, you can track all of your customers, estimates, invoices, and more from a single interface. Gone are the days when you track your business using spreadsheets and sticky notes!

A great way to improve your business is through automation.  With FreeAgent you can setup invoices to automatically be emailed to customers, schedule reminders, and more.  One other way that you can automate your business is to use Formstack Documents.

With Formstack Documents you can automatically populate customized documents (think letters, quotes, invoices, and more) with data from FreeAgent.  In this example, we’re going to show you how you can automatically send welcome letters (via real mail) to new customers that you add to FreeAgent.

To get started, we’re going to setup the template for our letter using a Word document.  In our template we’re going to add our logo, information about our business, and specific information for our customer.  Where we want our customer info to go, we’re going to add merge fields like {$FirstName}, {$LastName}, etc.

Here’s what our letter template looks like:
 


Once we have our template finished up, we’re going to upload it to Documents.  From the Documents page, click the New Document button then enter a name.  On the next step, pick I have a document I would like to use and then select the letter file from your computer.
 

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After you upload your template, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab.  Here, you can update settings like the type of document that is generated and even the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to generate a PDF and include the name of the customer in the file name.
 

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To mail our letter using real US Postal mail, we’re going to use a service called Lob which will automatically print your letters, put them in an envelope, and mail them.  To setup the delivery to Lob, we’re going to head over to the Deliver tab.

On the Deliver tab, click the New Delivery button then pick Lob from the list.  Enter your Lob API Key and then pick the merge fields for the address of your customer.  If you don’t have them in your template, you can choose << Other >> from the dropdown then type in the merge field like {$City}.
 

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After we setup the Lob delivery, we’re all done with the Documents setup and now it is time to setup the integration with FreeAgent.  To help with the integration, we’re going to use our friends over at Zapier, which provides an easy way to automatically send data from FreeAgent to Documents.

From inside Zapier, we’re going to create a New Zap.  For the Trigger, we’re going to pick FreeAgent as the app and then New Contact as the trigger.
 

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On the next step, Zapier is going to have you authenticate your FreeAgent account and then load a test contact.  Follow those steps and make sure all the information is pulling in correctly.

Next, we’re going to setup the Action.  We’re going to pick Formstack Documents for the app and then Create Document Merge as the action.
 

Zapier will have you authenticate your Documents account to make sure they can grab information about your templates.  Follow those steps.

On the next step Zapier is going to load a list of your documents that you have setup in your Documents account.  Go ahead and pick the welcome letter template that you just setup.  Once you pick the document, Zapier will load a list of the merge fields that you have in your template.

For each of the merge fields in your template, you’re going to match them up with the corresponding FreeAgent fields.  To add the FreeAgent fields, click the little icon on the right of the box.
 

Once you have all of the fields mapped, you’re ready to save your Zap and turn it on.  Now, when you add a new contact to FreeAgent, Zapier is going to automatically send that information over to Documents and your letter will be generated.  Go ahead and give it a try!

Here’s what our letter looked like:
 


Congrats, you’re all done!  You can now automatically generate all kinds of documents from your FreeAgent account.  You can even do contracts, proposals, and more.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use Formstack Documents to simplify your paperwork process?
 

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