The A-Z of Freelancing: Invoicing

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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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  • Dave Aronson

    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.

  • Tracey

    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

  • http://www.invoicera.com veronikatondon

    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