AZoffreelancing

Sending out an invoice is pretty satisfying. Seeing on paper what you’ve achieved can make a tricky month worthwhile.

But waiting for a payment (and chasing it) is less fun.

However, there are plenty of tools at your disposal to make invoicing and chasing so much easier.

Here are just a few options:

  • Manual – many of my more organised friends favour a manual system, of creating their own invoices and logging it in a spreadsheet. The bonus is that it’s free to do! If you’re disorganised like me though, you’re possibly better to use an organised system, as this won’t send you alerts when someone is overdue.
  • Freshbooks (which, in the interests of being transparent, is my choice and I have a referral link if you’d like to try it).  It’s an online tool and app that allows me to set up invoices quickly and send them automatically at the same time each month if I choose to. It also adds on late fees for me if they pass the 30 day payment period without paying. The benefits are that it takes a lot of legwork out of the process. The downside is that you do have to pay for it (I currently pay $19.95 a month)
  • Crunch – I’ve heard a lot of good things about Crunch recently, partly because they also give you access to a number of accountants too.
  • Google Docs – Google Docs/Drive have a number of apps you can use with their docs, which can be used to create invoices

A couple of hints before you invoice:

  • Let the client know, before you start working with them, what your terms are. This includes payment periods, late fees and early payment discounts
  • Add your terms to your invoice, particularly if the invoice goes to the company finance team rather than the contact you initially agreed the terms with
  • Stick to your guns. If you state when a late fee applies, and they repeatedly ignore it, make sure you add the late fee to the invoice.

How do you invoice?

 

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9 comments on “The A-Z of Freelancing: Invoicing”

  1. Normally I invoice by plain-text email, with the numbers put in from my time-tracking spreadsheets, which I maintain in Google Docs. My current client wants them as .doc attachments, though, so it’s almost the same just a bit more cumbersome.

  2. I signed up for Crunch this year and it’s proved a great investment – the service is only for Limited companies though not sole traders

  3. Just like freshbooks, Invoicera is also an online invoicing & billing software where you can easily create & send invoice online with many other features like invoice estimate, time tracking, recurring & scheduling of invoices and a lot more

  4. For years, I just used Word for my invoices. Recently, a colleague told me about SideShark and now I couldn’t do without it. It is just for freelancers (I think) and does invoicing plus everything else I need to stay on top of my business. It took no time to learn and is a real timesaver.

  5. Hi Emma,

    I’d like to suggest Fanurio (http://www.fanuriotimetracking.com) which is a time tracking and billing software application, highly appreciated by freelancers for its intuitive interface, flexible timer and ability to produce detailed invoices.

    Fanurio is not free but it has a free trial. It costs 59 USD (which means about $5/month for the first year) and you can use it for life.

    I know that there are many freelancers who prefer to use a desktop application in order to keep their data on their own computers. Since Fanurio is a desktop application, it integrates very well with the platforms it runs on. On OS X, you can easily access timers from the the menu bar and from the dock icon menu. On Windows, you can start a new timer or control the active timer from the thumbnail toolbar or from the tray icon. You can also use global hotkeys to control the timers from within any running application.

    Fanurio is used by many freelancers not just to track time but to bill their clients as well. Fanurio can export invoices to HTML, PDF, Microsoft Word 2007, OpenOffice OpenDocument and other formats so they can be printed or e-mailed. Invoice templates can be created manually, with a visual editor (Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Word or OpenOffice) or with the built-in template editor.

    I hope this helps.

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  7. One of the coolest user interface I experienced and their invoicing formats are very flexible, try

    https://topnotepad.com/

    It’s not just invoicing with them, they have all of it packed in one: manage clients, manage vendors, expenses tracking, estimates, accounting, CRM, reporting ….

  8. Hi Emma,
    MoneyPenny is great invoicing software designed for freelancers. You can easilly track time and expenses, assign them to clients and projects and issue invoices. The idea of moneypenny is to allow its users to keep an eye and deal with all of the paperwork with one tool. It costs 11 GBP/month. They also have referral program so you can end up using it for free
    https://moneypenny.me/en

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