When I first started working as a freelance videographer (summer 2015) I struggled to find any half decent online invoicing software. There were a few products on the market but most were very expensive and required users to also sign up to related expensive accounting software.
I found this to be quite frustrating when all I needed was a means to collect money electronically! In the end I decided to build my own invoicing solution using Stripe to process the actual payments. I created a simple template in Google docs that I could clone and edit to customise for each new customer. I’d then embed a payment link and save as a PDF before sending to the customer via email.
This worked very well in the early days but as business started to grow so too did the volume of invoices I had to deal with and eventually I needed to find a more scalable solution. In or about August 2016 I started searching again to see had anything exciting appeared on the market since I’d last gone searching. Thankfully, by then, a number of much lower cost, standalone, invoicing tools had been launched.
I tried a number of these before ultimately settling on ‘Invoice2go’, built a New Zealand based startup. Available for both macOS and iOs, it seems to work just as well when accessed via either platform. I gather that it’s also available for Android users but I haven’t tried that version yet. The best thing about this product is it’s simplicity.
Create an invoice, add a few details, set the tax rate, enter the amount that the item costs and add any expenses where applicable. The app can then calculate the total amount owed. I love that you can also store client and ‘item’ details for easy recall when dealing with recurring customers. These pre-populated elements really speed up the preparation of invoices.
Payment options range from simply including bank details, to attaching bank details as a detachable ‘remittance’ slip, to including a link to accept payment by credit / debit card or via PayPal. The app also allows one to set payment terms (i.e. pay by x date) that can be then linked to a reminder system that can automatically email out payment late payment reminder notifications should they be required.
I’ve found that the trick to getting paid quickest is to ask to be paid via a credit or debit card. Choosing this option within ‘Invocie2go’ will create a payment link in the body of the invoice. A copy of this link will also appear as a large button in the body of the email that the app generates when you are ready to send the invoice. This makes it very easy your customer to pay you as all they have to do is click on one of these links and then enter their card details.
There are always going to be cases where whatever you do you’ll still have to wait ages to be paid or, unfortunately worse still, sometimes not get paid at all. However, I’ve found that the majority of time when dealing with decent customers that this system has most definitely helped me to get paid quicker.
What tips or tricks have you figured out to help you reduce administrative burdens or increase your productivity? Would love to learn from your experiences here too so please do share any tips or tricks that you might have in the comments!