As a freelancer, you’re a one-person business.
You’re responsible for everything from accounting and taxes to sales, marketing, and fulfillment.
Any inefficiencies in your business can put your operations underwater. So how do you free up your time and attention?
If you’re spending more than 90 seconds creating an invoice, you’re spending too much time.
If you’re creating your invoices manually and managing them in spreadsheets, you’ll be left with endless paperwork, not just now but in the future. What if your customers have questions or if you need to reference documentation in the future? What happens if the IRS selects your business for an audit?
There’s a better way to manage your freelancer invoicing operations.
90 Seconds to Online Invoices for Freelancers
Don’t build your invoices from scratch every time you need one.
Instead, use a free express invoice template like the one offered by QuickBooks for a simple plug-in format. Important company details and product activity descriptions are included on the template, so all you need to do is input your work and print or email the invoice to your customer.
The benefit of QuickBooks is that the software brings a layer of automation to your business. Every day, many engineers, product managers, user experience designers, and other experts work to make the software better for you. QuickBooks also has a research team that works with freelancers like you, to study common pain points and room for improvement.
The software you use is the outcome of an expansive team effort. Behind the scenes, team members are figuring out exactly how to help you get your invoices done faster, more efficiently, and with fewer errors.
So why are you creating your invoices from scratch?
Here are a few articles that walk through the best practices that the QuickBooks team incorporates when creating its templates and software. It’s important to learn these best practices so that you can incorporate them into your own routines:
- What Is an Invoice? This article provides a walkthrough of the building blocks that form invoices. You’ll learn about key details to include in your invoices, how to make an invoice, and tips to consider when creating your invoices.
- 20 Ways to Get Your Clients to Pay Their Bills Faster. One of the most uncomfortable and awkward conversations to have with your clients is reminding them to pay you. This article walks through helpful tips to help you get paid, faster.
- Choosing and Defining Invoice Payment Terms. This article provides a comprehensive guide to setting up payment terms so that your customers pay you without skipping a beat.
- How to Set up a Contract to Ensure Your Invoices Get Paid on Time. Late payments can wreak havoc on a business. This article provides a detailed analysis of how to set up your contracts so that your invoicing process goes smoothly.
90 Seconds to Mobile Invoices
If you need to create an invoice on the go so your client can get started with the payment process, whip out your smartphone and use an app like QuickBooks Self-Employed to create an invoice anywhere, anytime.
The app lets you save customer information, so you can pull it up easily for invoice creation. You also can pull customer information directly from your contacts. Get a head start on invoice creation and save a draft to be sent later or send one immediately, directly from your mobile device.
Mobile invoices are especially valuable for freelancers that have regular contact with their customers—like photographers, for instance. Rather than waiting to get back to a computer to send your invoices (and then waiting for your customer to pay you), you can offer to process a transaction on the spot. Furthermore, you can use QuickBooks to manage all of your accounting from your smartphone or tablet. You can run your entire finance operations without needing to use a computer.
If you’re looking to learn about the best practices that the QuickBooks software supports, take a browse through the following resources:
- What Mobile Payments Mean for Your Small Business. This article walks through the basics of implementing smooth mobile payment processes: setting up the right technology, making sure that your customers’ payment information is secure, and how to manage transactions.
- 5 Reasons to Invest in Mobile Payment Options. If you’re on the fence about whether to implement a mobile payment program, this article can help provide guidance. Read it to learn: how mobile payments work, how to set up an ongoing, system, methods for saving time, and ways that technology benefits your brand experience.
Additional Freelancer Invoice Administrative Considerations
Do you mail invoices to some of your clients? Want a tool that allows you to print them off and save you from having to manually log client information? QuickBooks Self-Employed enables you to view saved invoices you have printed, duplicate previous invoices if you have a straggling client and create new invoices.
Getting paid quickly and frequently is essential to maintaining a strong cash flow as a freelancer. With invoicing in QuickBooks, you no longer need to spend precious time keeping track of invoices that are unpaid or overdue, since the app does that all for you. Simply select the appropriate invoice status from the drop-down menu and see which clients you need to follow up with regarding late or unpaid payment.
A simple click of the “Resend” button sends a reminder email to past-due clients, so you don’t have to be stressed about chasing them down. Once you’ve received your payment, click the “Paid” button so you can move on to your next assignment or invoice. Clients who need reminding will appreciate the follow-up, and you can easily see patterns of clients who need stricter payment contracts or who are unreliable for your business.
Imagine How Much Time You’ll Save
Freelance work is attractive because it offers freedom; however, it’s also a path that requires diligence and organization to thrive. Use tools that take care of the details for you so you can focus on being creative and garnering new business. These tools are a wise investment that pays off in boosted efficiency and less stress for you.