How to automatically share invoices with customers

Thierry Maout • Published on June 16, 2023 • 12 min read

How to automatically share invoices with customers using Airtable, Google Docs and Softr

Finally, using Airtable, Google Docs, and Softr, you can easily share invoices automatically by leveraging Airtable Automation

The entire process takes around 20 minutes and will cost you from $20/month, using Softr’s free plan and Airtable’s Pro plan, as this automation requires to use integration with Google Docs which is only available on the Pro plan. 

Further down the steps, we will share an advanced version of this automation, with a video from Gareth Pronovost at GAP Consulting, that describes the process. 

For now, follow the steps, starting with creating your Airtable base:

Create a new base on Airtable

Go to Airtable, log in, and create a new base.

Fill up your Airtable base with invoice values

Enter each value from your invoice as a column. Make sure to include all relevant values you will need.

Important: For the sake of this automation, you need to add two extra fields. A checkbox field that you can call “Create invoice”, and a Link field that you can call “Invoice link”. The checkbox field will trigger the automation, and the invoice link field will be where the Invoice URL goes once created.

In our example, here are the fields we create:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice amount
  • Description
  • Date

Click on the “Automations” tab

Let’s create automation to make sure details are properly picked up.

Select the “Record matches conditions” trigger

You can either select it from the list of suggested triggers, or find it from the list after clicking “Add trigger”.

Configure the trigger 

In the “Properties” tab of your trigger, select the appropriate table, and in “Conditions”, pick your checkbox column, and configure the automation to trigger when the checkbox is ticked. 

You can add other conditions for more granular control, but for the sake of this example, let’s keep it simple.

Click on “Add advanced logic or action” and select “Create Google Doc”

The automation will create a new Google Docs every time you select the checkbox on your Airtable base. Note: The connection with Google Docs is only available using Airtable’s Pro Plan, which you can try for 14 days upon creating a new Airtable account.

Configure your Google Doc invoice in Airtable

It’s now time to set up the properties for this action.

First, connect your Google Account to Airtable and select the destination folder for your invoice.

Second, fill the “Title” and “Content” fields with what will be the content of your invoices. To make sure the invoices are populated with the appropriate values, you must include Airtable smart fields by clicking the blue “+” button in each field. This will allow Airtable to automatically replace each field with the value that is in the corresponding row. For example, replacing [name] with “John Doe” automatically.

In this example, we can use a text like as follows (the text between “[ ]” corresponds to Airtable smart fields you should insert using the blue “+” button):

From: Softr


To: Name: [Name]

Address: [Address]

Email: [Email]

Invoice Number: [Invoice number]

Date of Issue: [Date]

Description: [Description]

Total: [Invoice Amount]

Thank you very much!

Bank details:



Test your automation

Time to test it out! Fill up a row of your Airtable table with test data, click the checkbox, and press the test button. Now go to your Google Drive folder to see the Google Doc that was created. 

If it’s not perfect, go back to the previous steps and edit accordingly. Otherwise, let’s add one last touch to the automation.

Click on “Add advanced logic or action” and select “Update Record”

We’re now going to configure the automation so that every time a new invoice is created, its link is added to your Airtable base.

Configure the properties of your automation

We need to configure the “Update record” action so that once a Google Doc invoice is created, the link becomes available in the “Invoice Link” field of your base. 

To do so, fill each property field accordingly using the blue “+” button when required:

  • Table: Your Airtable table
  • Record ID: Airtable Record ID
  • Fields: 
  • Link to invoice
  • Google Docs: Create Doc -> File URL

Test and turn on your automation

From now on, every time you click on a checkbox in your Airtable base, the info from that row will be used to generate an invoice in your selected Google Drive folder, and the link to that file will be updated in your Airtable record. 

Turn on the automation and run a few tests to make sure it is working. If the invoice creation isn’t accurate or the link does not appear in your base, go back to the previous steps. For an advanced version of this automation, check out this video from Gareth Pronovost at GAP Consulting that describes the process. 

Now, let’s head to Softr to automatically share these invoices with clients.

Login to Softr

Login to your Softr account using your credentials or with Google, or create a free account.

Create a new application or go to an existing one

You can either start a new application or go to an existing app. For the sake of this example, let’s create a new one with the Airtable base we created.

Create a new application

You can either build your dashboard from scratch or use a template.

Enter your Airtable API key

Enter your Airtable API key to link your Airtable data. The steps are explained on the screen. Go to your Airtable Account, click on “Go to Developer Documentation”, copy your API key, and paste it into the field on Softr.

Click on “Create application”

After following the on-screen instructions, create your application on Softr.

In your app, click on “Add block” 

We are going to create a list where the invoice created can be displayed. Here, we’ve created a new page for it, but it’s entirely up to you whether you want to do so or not.

Select “List with horizontal cards”

I picked this specific choice for the sake of this example, but you can pick any type of list you want.

Configure the list to pull data from your Airtable base

In the “Source” sub-menu, select your Airtable base and table with all invoice records. They will now be displayed in your Softr app.

Click on “Preview” and see your new invoice page

Going forward, every time a new record is added to your Airtable, it will pop up on your Airtable app. If things are not displayed as you would like, tinker with the “Content”, “Actions”, “Styles” and settings of the list to adjust.

Note: Ideally, each invoice should only be displayed to the person it is intended for. This is something we can configure using the visibility and permission settings in Softr.

Your automation is now ready!

Once you’re ready, hit “Publish,” and your automation is now active.

To sum it up, every time you enter new invoice details in your Airtable base and click the “Create invoice” checkbox, the automation will:

  • Automatically create a Google Docs invoice with the details from that new record
  • Update the Airtable record with the link to the generated invoice
  • Add a new line in your Softr app showcasing the invoice, including a link for your client to click on

This is a great foundation for a complex invoicing process that could feature setting up permissions to view each invoice, converting the invoices to a PDF, including a link to pay the invoices, etc. 

We’re excited to hear about your implementation, feel free to share in the Softr community, where hundreds of no-code and automation enthusiasts share their projects.

How to automatically share invoices with customers using accounting software 

One of the easiest ways to create and share invoices with customers is to do it using the accounting software implemented at your company. Depending on the solution you’re using, you might already have access to automation features, making the process fast and easy. 

In this example, we use Quickbooks in order to automatically share invoices with customers. This can be set up in under 5 minutes, for as low as $27/month using Quickbooks’ “Essentials” plan.

To learn how to follow the steps.

Sign in to your Quickbook account

Head to your Quickbooks account and sign in to access your dashboard.

Click on the gear icon

Select the settings in order to access options.

Select “Recurring transactions”

In the list of options, click on “Recurring transactions”.

Click on “New”

Let’s create a new recurring transaction.

Select “Invoice” as your transaction type

There are many transaction types to choose from. For this example, let’s go with an invoice, then press “OK”.

Enter all the invoice details and press “Save template”

On top of the normal invoice details (client name, address, amount), you are able to configure which data every month the invoice will go out, and how long the automation should go on. Once you’re done, click on the “Save template” button at the bottom right corner of the screen.

Your recurring invoice has been created!

Congratulations, now the invoice will go out as configured, automatically.

How to automatically share invoices with customers using automation tools

The second option is to use an automation platform, which will help you connect various tools you’re already using and configure automated processes that will run in the background.

There are a lot of tools and ways to achieve something like this out there. For this example, we chose to use Make, for its ease of use, advanced features, and attractive visual interface. 

Using Make, setting up a scenario to automatically share invoices with your customers will take you around 20 minutes, and can be done entirely for free using the platform’s free plan (within the limits of its operation). 

Depending on the tools you want to use, the scenario will be very different. In this example, we will show you how to automatically generate and share invoices using Google Sheets, Google Docs, and your email client. Feel free to use the scenario as is, or to leverage it as a baseline to create your own.

Create a new Google Form

First, let’s head to Google Forms and create a new form. Alternatively, you can use one of the templates available.

Build your form 

The form will gather all the information about invoices you need, and that data will be forwarded to a stylized template. Make sure to include a separate question for each field. In this example, we used:

  • Name
  • Address 
  • Email
  • Invoice number
  • Invoice amount
  • Description
  • Date

In the “Responses” tab, click on “Link to Sheets”

Every answer you receive will be forwarded to Google Sheets, which we will use to build the automation.

Click “Create”

Create the file, and let’s head to Google Docs.

In Google Docs, create a new document

Let’s create your invoice template.

Create your invoice template

This is the document that will be automatically duplicated with the data received from your Google Form. Make sure to create placeholders matching the values from the Google Form, using “{{“ and “}}” as markers around them. In this example, we’ve included:

  • {{NAME}}
  • {{ADDRESS}}
  • {{EMAIL}}
  • {{NUMBER}}
  • {{DATE}}
  • {{AMOUNT}}

Login to your Make account

Let’s go to Make to create the automation. Log in using your credentials or create a new account.

Create a new scenario

Depending on the tools you want to use, the scenario will be very different. In this example, we are using Google Sheets, Google Docs, and your email client. Feel free to use the scenario as is, or to leverage it as a baseline to create your own.

Click the “+” button and select Google Sheets

Pick Google Sheets from the list of apps available in Make.

Select “Watch New Rows” as the trigger

Your scenario will be triggered every time a new row will be added to your Google Sheets.

Connect your Google Sheets to Make

Connect your Google account and select the spreadsheet we created earlier in the “Spreadsheet ID” field. Select the Sheet name, and click “OK”.

Click on “Add another module” and select Google Docs.

Now, we will add Google Docs into the mix.

Select “Create a Document from a Template”

In the list of actions, select “Create a Document from a Template", so we can create a new document every time a new answer comes in from the Google Form.

Select your Invoice template and match the values 

In “Document ID”, select your document, and match each value that comes up with the corresponding value from the Google Form. In our example:

  • {{NAME}} ->Name
  • {{ADDRESS}}  -> Address
  • {{EMAIL}}  -> Email
  • {{NUMBER}}  -> Invoice number
  • {{DATE}}  -> date
  • {{DESCRIPTION}}  -> Description
  • {{AMOUNT}}  -> Invoice amount

Give the document a title and select the drive location

Ideally, try to use the smart tags to give the document a cohesive name, for example “{{Name}} - {{Invoice Number}}” like in our example. Then, select where the file should go on your Google Drive. Then, press “OK”.

Test your automation

Make sure the automation works by replying to your Google Form, clicking “Run once” and verifying that a new file was created in your destination folder.

Share your new invoice automatically

Now that your automation is running, you have different options to share it automatically with clients and partners:

  • Sharing the Google Doc link to the email in the invoice
  • Sending an email with the newly created invoice attached
  • Sharing the Google Drive with your client so they can receive every new invoice

The choice is up to you.

To automatically send invoices through Make, you need to add another module connected to your email account. Click on “Add another module” and select an email service such as Gmail. Next, select the “Send an email” action.”

Then, you need to connect the module to your Gmail account if it’s not connected yet. Under To, add the Email field from the invoice. You can use Name as Invoice Number as an email Subject. Lastly, add a link to the invoice under Content (it’s Web View Link in our example).

Click OK, and you’re done. As soon as you launch the automation, all the newly generated invoices will be automatically sent to the invoice recipient via email.

Click to turn your scenario on

That's it, your scenario is now running, and invoices will be created automatically going forward! For more information on how to automatically create and share invoices with customers, check out this great article and video by Marvin Aziz.

Client Portal | Internal Tools | Web App Builder | Free Website Builder Made with Softr