By James Adams
If you are a freelancer – whether a designer, writer, or programmer – then it is important to accurately bill your clients for all the work that you’ve done. Nothing can hurt your income faster than failing to collect the money for the work you have done. Here are a few tools to help you get this part of your business handled.
- Paypal: This is probably the most-used service for invoicing clients. It’s not hard to understand why. It’s free to use, it gives your clients a wide variety of payment options, and you can transfer the money directly to your bank account. You can have Paypal send your client an invoice via email when the work is completed. The downside of Paypal’s email invoice is that it lacks professionalism – if that is a concern to you.
- Billing Manager: This is a notable service because it is delivered by Intuit – the same folks who make TurboTax, Quicken, and Quickbooks. The best part about this high quality service is that it is absolutely free. They only charge a small fee when your client pays with a credit card – but that is true with any service.
- AcceptPay: AcceptPay is another high quality service brought to you by American Express. Their AcceptPay Lite service is free, and it allows you to manage invoices for an unlimited number of clients and send out 10 invoices per month. If you’d like to accept payment through AcceptPay and integrate your data with Quickbooks, then you’ll need to pay $20 per month for the premium service.
- LessAccounting: This tool is not only an invoice manager, it is a full blown accounting platform for your freelance business. This is a great solution if you’re looking for a service that provides a bit more value. The service is $19.99 per month, but you can try their 30 day free trial.
- Time59: This tool does one thing, and it does it well. Time59 will track the exact number of minutes that you work, so you’ll never need to worry about under billing a client ever again. The logged time can be instantly transferred to an invoice and sent out to your client. This service costs $49.95 per year.
- BambooInvoice: BambooInvoice is a great solution if you want to really get under the hood of your invoice software. BambooInvoice is not only free, but it’s completely open source.
- WORKetc: WORKetc is another service that offers much more than simply invoicing. You can also manage all your projects and contacts, schedule your calendar, and launch email marketing campaigns. This is a tremendous package, so it starts at $44.95 per month.
- Invotrak: Invotrak is a free service for managing invoices. You can manage as many projects and invoices as you want in a clean, attractive interface; but that’s all it does. You’ll need to find another option for collecting payments.
- Invoice2Go: Invoice2Go is another service to send invoices and track payments, but it is unique because it provides more than 300 professionally designed invoice templates to choose from. This is a great option if you want your operation to look well put together. This service costs $129 per year.
- FreshBooks: Last but certainly not least is FreshBooks, one of the easiest ways to invoice clients available to freelancers. You can also use this web-based app to track time spent per project.
Managing clients and sending out invoices can seem like a daunting task. However, there are tools available to make the job much easier. Most of these tools are either free or offer a free trial, so there’s no reason not to try some of them out and see which one you like best.
What’s your favorite way to invoice?
Image from http://www.sxc.hu