This is Day 17 of the Freelance in 40 Days series where youâ€™ll learn to freelance just by taking it one day and one task at a time. Today will be a quick crash course on invoicing clients.
So you just completed your first project (or you will soon). Now its time for the fun part, collecting payment. Since you are a business, though, you have to adopt the business practice of invoicing so you (and the client) can officially record the transaction for bookkeeping purposes.
Also you give your client the options for payment and a due date so you don’t have to keep sending “Hey, where’s my money?” emails.
Invoicing is simple, too. There are invoicing services specifically catered to freelancer that can automate this for you or you make your own template. If you decide on the do-it-yourself route, an invoice should contain the following elements:
- A unique invoice number
- A date for the invoice
- Your business address and contact information (a logo here would make it look nice and pretty too)
- The client address and contact information
- An itemized list of costs being billed
- Tax, if applicable
- The amount due, or total of itemized costs plus tax
- Methods of payment (including instructions if necessary)
- Payment terms (can be “Due on Receipt” or “NET X” where X is the number of days from the date of the invoice, the business standard is NET 30)
You can create an invoice easily in Word, but it is best practice to convert the Word document into a PDF format so it cannot be edited further. If you use Adobe Acrobat, you can use the print function in Word to generate the PDF or you can use a free online Word to PDF converter.
There are online services, though, that can make the invoicing process much easier while generating professional invoices. Plus they are free or have a low monthly cost. A few are:
- Paymo Timetracker: In addition to time tracking, this can be used to manage clients and send customized invoices. Free to use.
- FreshBooks: Generates professional invoices and even sends automated late payment reminders. Free to use for up to 3 clients and 19 USD – 149 USD per month for advanced features.
- SimplyBill: Handles time tracking and customizable invoices. 5 USD per month for up to 25 invoices (monthly) and max 10 clients. 15 USD – 25 USD for advanced features.
Your Homework For Today
Create you own invoice template or sign up for one of the recommended online invoicing services.