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As a freelance business owner, you know the importance of getting paid. It’s a key aspect of increasing cash flow and ensuring you keep food on the table for your family.
But managing invoices can be a pain. I mean, who wants to spend time on admin tasks like creating and sending invoices?
Not me! And then there’s the time-sucking task of following with clients to ensure those invoices actually get paid. #notfun
Some clients want to pay via PayPal, while others want to pay via credit card. Some organizations have a strict check-only policy.
So, how can you accommodate all of these clients, while keeping your sanity? Luckily, there’s FreshBooks cloud accounting and invoicing.
I’ve been using FreshBooks for nearly 3 years and am actually a Certified User. I love how easy it makes sending and tracking invoicing, as well as managing the cash flow from my business.
Careful Cents member Melanie, started using FreshBooks a few months ago and is “kicking myself for not doing so sooner“.
She told me that she used to toggle back and forth between PayPal and Microsoft Word to send all her invoices, and at one point, she realized she was spending 2-3 hours at the end of the month on just invoicing. Eeeek!
Now that her and I both use FreshBooks, we’re in and out and done with invoices in less than an hour. Basically, FreshBooks allowed Melanie to her invoicing time in half.
Aside from this, there are some other cool things that FreshBooks can do for you, that are not-so-obvious. Pretty much FreshBooks is a small business owner’s best friend.
Here’s how you can use FreshBooks to get paid faster and streamline your invoicing process.
1. Set up recurring invoices
If you work for clients on retainer or for a flat fee each month, FreshBooks has a recurring invoice option that can save you hours of time each month. Simply go to the Invoice tab, and choose Recurring underneath. You can schedule your recurring invoices on your terms — weekly, monthly, yearly, etc.
Instead of spending your time creating new invoices, or wasting energy on sending copies, you can focus on doing what you do best.
2. Follow up on late payments
You know that feeling when your client hasn’t paid yet and you’re wondering how you can go about asking for your rightful payment, tactfully?
With FreshBooks, you don’t have to wait or sit at your computer staring at the screen, looking for the right words to say each and every time your payments are delayed.
They have a freelance-friendly late payment follow-up, that you can configure to automatically send notices to clients when you haven’t received payment.
You can customize it so you can have the emails triggered after 15 days or 30 days — whatever you like! Not only that, but you can personalize the message and gently remind clients of your terms of service. Simply go to Settings and then Emails, and then edit Late Payment Reminders.
3. Calculate expenses for tax deductions
As a business owner, you can deduct a variety of things from your taxes. Whatever purchases that help you run your business can be deducted as business expenses. New computer? You bet. A professional conference? Definitely.
Being able to deduct business expenses from our taxes is one of the few perks we get, so make sure you utilize it.
FreshBooks makes it easy to calculate your business expenses for tax deductions. You can even deduct the cost of FreshBooks from your taxes!
4. Share info with your accountant
If you’re looking for ONE place to keep all your client invoices and ONE place to track expenses, FreshBooks allows you to do this. You can create a Profit and Loss statement, which is super helpful come tax time when you want to start recording your deductions.
FreshBooks also makes it easier during tax time by allowing you to share your financial report and journal entries with your accountant. They get read-only access to your information, so they can do their job, without you having to run around and compile everything.
5. Create an estimate
You just landed a new client and are ready to dive into the project, but your new client would like an estimate first. What do you do?!
With FreshBooks, you can easily create an estimate, send it to your client, get approval and turn it into an invoice. It’s a streamlined process that gives your client what they want, and helps you get paid faster.
6. Effortlessly track your time
Have you ever wondered exactly how much time you are spending on a certain client? Or how much of your time is actually getting eaten away by routine tasks like invoicing? FreshBooks makes it easy to track your time, based on project and tasks.
For example, the project might be your own business and the task would be invoicing. Use their nifty timer to track your time and stop once you’re finished.
It automatically goes on your client’s project calendar so you can quickly see how much time you’re spending, and then bill out that time at the end of the month.
7. Brand your invoices
While sending out an invoice may seem like a rudimentary administrative task, it’s still part of your business. Every time you are doing something related to your business, you are acting as your business and brand.
FreshBooks makes it easy to upload your logo and create invoices that have customized brand colors. This makes you and your business instantly recognizable.
I never thought I’d be so happy to have attractive invoices, but I realized I was embarrassed about sending my invoices through Microsoft Word. Now I feel confident and professional when I send out invoices for my services.
8. Accept partial payments
You already know my policy for getting paid faster is by invoicing your clients on a more frequent basis. This allows you to get paid more often which helps increase cash flow.
One way you can start implementing this strategy is by accepting partial payments from clients using the new FreshBooks Partial Payment feature. You could even incentivize your client with a small discount if they pay a portion within 10 days.
A partial payment is better than no payment, and you’ll be more confident that the rest of the money is headed your way as you complete the project.
Ready to try FreshBooks for free?
If you’re ready to start testing out their service, you can test out their service free for 30 days to see if it’s a good fit for your freelance business.
I currently bill out about $5,200 a month in client work and FreshBooks allows me to save over $150+ in invoicing processing fees. Plus, I can spend less time on admin tasks from finding/creating invoice templates, following up on late payments, and managing the time my team spends on certain projects.
You want to be spend less time on admin tasks like invoicing and get your invoices paid faster, right? Then try FreshBooks for free! Just click the button below to get started.
Do you use FreshBooks? What’s your favorite feature?