Sign up
  • Home
  • Automation with Zapier

Customer stories

3 min read

One Zap Saves a Web Designer 5+ Hours Every Week on Invoices

By Joey Blanco · July 2, 2018
create-invoices-automatically primary img

Our stories explore how Zapier's users build unique solutions to common problems. From marketers to CEOs, educators to real estate agents, millions use Zapier to automate their most tedious tasks. If you haven't yet, try Zapier for free to see what we're all about.

I knew right away Zapier was the solution.

Andrew MacDonald, Chief Spud & web designer, Metal Potato

Stop us if this feels familiar: A client pays for a service, but the payment processor doesn't have a robust invoicing system. So you copy over all the important details—amount paid, date, name, email, service purchased—to create a contact and invoice. Now repeat for every new payment.

Andrew MacDonald, Chief Spud and web designer at Metal Potato, didn't want to waste anymore time on invoices. He had a simple goal: Focus more on designing sites and less on repetitive administrative duties.

Spoiler alert: Andrew achieved his goal and took payments and invoices off his plate. With a straight-forward workflow in app automator Zapier, Andrew gave himself over half a day back every week.

About Metal Potato

Are you stuck in 1999 with Geocities or Angelfire, or are you cutting edge with a responsive site that looks great on every device? Your website says everything about your business. Metal Potato works with a diverse range of clients—from celebrities to online shops and International governments—to craft gorgeous websites that convert. In the last year, websites by Metal Potato brought in over $75 million.

Andrew MacDonald, Chief Spud at Metal Potato

With an ethos rooted in customized work and problem-solving, Zapier was the natural solution for the woes Andrew faced. Endlessly customizable workflows and problems solved in an instant meant Andrew and the rest of the Metal Potato team didn't need to worry about tedious invoicing.

Instantly Create Invoices from Payments

Have you ever stopped and tracked the amount of time you spend on a manual task? It might only be 10 minutes here, another 20 there, but over the course of a week, that's hours. For Andrew, the volume of payments Metal Potato received meant he spent over half a day every week creating invoices.

With Zapier, Andrew realized his manual work to process payments and invoices could be automated—no more human intervention required. Here's how he does it with a single Zap—our term for automatic workflows.

Metal Potato's Tools



Used For:



Payment processor



Client invoicing

The Workflows

In order to track clients and their payment status, Metal Potato creates contacts and invoices in Freshbooks whenever a new payment comes in through Stripe. Andrew used to keep an eye on Stripe for new payments, building contacts and invoices once they came in. They can then mark the invoice as paid once the client pays in full. In Freshbooks, the invoice reflects how much the client has paid and, once paid in full, they can mark the invoice as such

With one Zap, Andrew built a workflow to search for an existing contact or create one, invoice, and then update that invoice. Zapier instantly does all of this when new payments arrive from Stripe, freeing Andrew to get back to the work he's passionate about.

Andrew utilizes a multi-step Zap for this, but we'll break it down into its components so you can use whichever pieces fit into your processes.

First, the Zap creates a contact in Freshbooks. Next, Zapier creates an invoice under that client. In its final step, the Zap adds the client's payment to the invoice.

Easy, right? Give them a try yourself:

Check out a few more of our favorite Stripe and Freshbooks Zaps:

Now that Zapier automates payments and invoices, Andrew focuses his attention where it matters most: designing sites that bring in more clients, generating more payments and invoices for his Zap to handle.

The key for Andrew was experimenting and persistence: "Find every way possible to automate anything that isn't currently automated," he says.

Want to see how much time you can save with a Zap or four? Give Zapier a try for free.

What's your story? Tell us how you use Zapier to do more. You can also read even more customer stories and find new ways to improve your workflow and productivity.

All images courtesy of Metal Potato.

Get productivity tips delivered straight to your inbox

We’ll email you 1/wk, and never share your information.

Joey Blanco picture

Joey Blanco

Joey Blanco is the founder of Zapier's video team. When he's not working (and even when he is, let's be honest), he's listening to pop-punk, dreaming of dinosaurs, and snuggling his dogs.

mentioned apps

Related articles

Improve your productivity automatically. Use Zapier to get your apps working together.

Sign upSee how it works