Invoicing Options for Freelancers: What’s Best for You?
When you are operating your own business as a freelancer, a steady paycheck doesn’t fall into your lap. On top of working hard and delivering top-notch services for your clients, it is also your job to ensure that you are getting paid. Invoicing options for freelancers can be overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out.
Luckily, you don’t need to rely on archaic billing methods. There are numerous services out there that will make invoicing less stressful, and much smoother. This is not just to your advantage, it is also to the advantage of your clients. If you make payment straightforward and uncomplicated, you’re much less likely to receive owed funds on time. On top of that, using an invoicing system makes it much easier to prepare your taxes and keep track of your finances.
Here are some excellent options for your business to make invoicing as easy as possible.
Invoicely is on the very top of this list for one reason: it’s free. Though they do offer premium services, you get an incredible set of tools at no cost. With Invoicely, you can send an unlimited amount of invoices to any and all clients. On top of that, the platform generates real-time reports that give you insight on how your freelance business is faring.
Further features on this option for invoicing for freelancers include the ability to offer your clients online payment, making it very easy on their end to pay you on time. Invoicing is made incredibly easy on this platform, and even allows you to manage multiple businesses. A must-try before jumping into pricier subscription services.
FreshBooks offers several tools to make invoicing effortless. Most notably, this platform allows you to accept online credit card payments, online ACH bank transfers, as well as automated transfers into your bank account.
You are also able to create unlimited invoices and customize them in accordance to the look and feel of your brand. Having this option is important to some freelancers, as they find it important to keep a consistent visual identity.
However, FreshBooks is not free. If you decide you want to keep using the platform once your free trial runs out, you have three options: Lite (5 billable clients) for $15 a month, Plus (50 billable clients) for $25 a month, and Premium (500 billable clients) for $50 a month.
The Plus option also comes with a few extra features, such as automated recurring invoices, scheduled late fees, and automated late payment reminders.
Freelance writers might wanna pay attention to Bonsai. This software not only provides you with a clean and simple invoicing system, but it’s complete with time tracking and a proposal and contract system. Instead of writing for clients without a formal agreement, you can ask a client to e-sign a contract or to approve an estimate before you begin working on the project.
Further features included recurring auto-payment invoices, recurring, or one-time invoices. Better yet, you can even add in specific additions or deductions such as discounts and taxes.
The only downside of Bonsai is that it costs $16 a month. But this does get you a host of tools that you may find worth the price tag.
Dubsado is an extraordinarily comprehensive customer relationship management software. Invoicing is just one component of the set of tools this platform offers.
It offers automation for not just invoicing, but also for emails, forms, and payment reminders. You are also able to create contracts and proposals, as well as scheduling appointments (which can be embedded into your website!).
They even offer a client portal, allowing your clients to access the contract, proposal, and other administrative documents. Of course, you can control what they are able to access. This offers transparency on both ends, and could be beneficial if you work with clients who want to be frequently updated on the progress of your project.
All of these features do come with a hefty price tag. Dubsado costs $35 a month, though they offer a 12-month plan for $350.
Luckily you can sample Dubsado for free, which is a great way to see if the platform is worth the money to you. Dubsado is definitely at the premium end of invoicing options for freelancers, but if you’re running an agency, it might make sense to have everything located in one place in a premium program.
Zoho Invoice is worth mentioning because they offer mobile invoicing, ideal for the traveling freelancer. If you’re a user of Zoho’s other tools (HR, email, marketing, etc.), their Invoice software integrates seamlessly.
Their software platform is ultra clean and user-friendly, allowing you to create invoices quickly, offering online payment options, and even makes sure that your transactions are tax compliant. The software also calculates your tax liabilities, making it much easier to get an overview for how much you owe once tax season comes around.
They offer three subscription options, Basic for $9 a month, Standard for $19 a month, and Professional for $29.
This is a program that was really popular a few years ago but seems to have faded back recently. The thing about this software is that it’s not just an invoicing program. However, it does cost $45 a month so it’s at the higher end of the many invoicing options out there for freelancers.
From contracts to payments and invoicing and workflows, 17Hats is an allover program that might be more appropriate to agencies and freelancers with multiple people on their team.
No matter the software you choose to implement in your day-to-day workflow, one thing is guaranteed: you will save time by handing off many accounting responsibilities to automated software. Why not take advantage of these digital tools?
I’m a big supporter of not investing into paid options until you really need it. As an 8-year freelance veteran, I still don’t pay for an invoicing software as I use PayPal and Invoicely. If you only have a handful of clients, if you’re not billing thousands of dollars for each of them, it really doesn’t make sense to pay for a monthly service. That just eats into your overall revenue for a very minor payoff of a more professional-looking invoice program.