Being a freelancer often means acting as an accountant, head of Human Resources, an account manager and more – all alongside your actual work.
You’re basically a one man band.
Luckily, there are ways to streamline your freelance working life. When it comes to invoicing, you want it to be fast and accurate, so you can get back to making money.
Here’s how to make invoicing easier.
1. Use Cloud Accounting Software to Send and Track Invoices Online
Moving your invoicing to an online platform can shave hours from your billing time and see your invoices paid faster. Services such as Invoicely, FreshBooks and Wave offer features such as creating estimates, invoicing, expense recording, time tracking and reporting.
Benefits of using cloud accounting software include automated late-payment reminders, so you don’t have to do the chasing, and invoice templates for fast and accurate invoices. Plus everything is stored in the cloud, so you don’t need to worry about a harddrive failure.
2. Find How Invoicing Best Fits Into Your Workflow
If you usually sit down and spend hours on invoicing, try sending invoices immediately after the work is delivered. For example, photographers can send invoices after sending the final images to the client, rather than dedicating an afternoon to invoicing.
If you work in a creative field, don’t force invoicing when you’re feeling ready to work. Save invoicing for those low effort, low impact work stints, since it takes less creativity.
3. Store Frequently Typed Text for Invoices
When invoicing, you likely type the same thing over and over. It’s useful to store these chunks of text somewhere so you can quickly insert them into invoices. It’ll save you time by requiring less typing – and you won’t accidentally mistype your payment terms.
Invoice Introduction and Details
”Please find attached my invoice for [your wedding photography]. It’s due on [8/8/2019]. Thank you for your business! If you have any questions or queries, just let me know.”
This is a great template for letting clients know when an invoice is due and politely thanking them for their business. You can customize as needed, or add additional details.
Store a copy of your payment terms so you don’t have to type them out each time. Decide the time frame in which you want your invoices paid and include any information about late charges. By storing it as a template, you’ll never misquote a due date or forget details on the large charges.
Your Hourly Rates
Jack of all trades? Whether you’re half photographer, half photo-editor, if you do more than one type of work, store your hourly rates somewhere so you never quote the wrong rate.
A Helping Hand
Apps such as TextExpander can hold templates that can be used in any invoicing system and has built in flexibility so you can customize as you go.
For example, you could use fill in the blank style fields to type your project in an invoice and use time and date math to automatically insert a date that’s 30 days from today – or however many days until payment is due.
Example Invoicing Workflow
Every freelancer is as different as their business, but here’s an example workflow you can adopt and adapt to suit you.
- Begin work. Use FreshBooks’ time-tracking feature to log hours.
- Finish the project for the client.
- Head to FreshBooks to generate invoice from hours tracked.
- Expand hourly rate and project description using templates stored in TextExpander.
- Hit send – option to send a personalized message appears. Expand a template from TextExpander thanking the client for their business and explaining the nature of the invoice.
- Track when client has viewed and paid the invoice on FreshBooks.
Easier Invoicing, FasterPayments
Getting paid shouldn’t be a pain. Use these tips to spend less time invoicing – and get paid faster.