When you first started freelance, you were likely asking all sorts of questions such as how do I find clients or what is an invoice? Luckily, over time you’ve learned the tricks of the trade and know the ins and outs of being a successful freelancer. But, there’s always room to grow and learn.
One of the most important skills to master as a freelancer is invoicing. Proper invoicing is crucial so that you’re paid the money that you’re owed for the work you’ve completed. But, invoicing is much more than just sending your client a list of assignments and their cost.
Keep reading to learn about the importance of professional invoices and how you can make the process a lot less cumbersome and time-consuming.
Invoices Reflect Your Professionalism
It pays to be a well-rounded freelancer. From your communications to the work you provide, clients like knowing that they can depend on you for prompt responses and top notch work. To make yourself a better-rounded freelancer, it’s important to send clients professional invoices that don’t look as if they were thrown together at the last minute.
While invoices don’t need to be over-the-top intricate, they do need to include certain pieces of information so that clients (and you!) can keep track of the numbers over months and years.
Before sending an invoice, you’ll want to ensure you include this basic information:
- Your name
- Contact information
- Client’s name
- Invoice number
- Issue date
- Due date
Most importantly, you want to provide line item descriptions and the total amount due. The line item descriptions provide a breakdown of the goods and services that you provided during the invoice period.
While it may be easier to bulk goods and services together, it’s best to break them down so that clients can have detailed tracking information. Each line item should have a description, quantity, rate, and subtotal.
For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you may have created several blog posts and social media posts for the client. For each line item, you’ll want to provide the title of the blog post along with the set per-word rate. For social media posts, you can lump them into a bulk assignment and just change the quantity.
Once you’ve completed all of the line item descriptions, the last step to creating an invoice is to provide information as to how and where a client should pay you. Most freelancers prefer to be paid using web-based payments like PayPal or Venmo while others prefer to have checks mailed to their homes.
Tips for Making Invoices More Efficient
Now that you know what information you should provide on professional invoices, you’re likely dreading the idea of having to manually create invoices every few weeks. Luckily there are many ways you can make the invoicing process much more efficient.
First, create a template that you can reuse for each invoice. You can create an invoice template using programs such as Microsoft Word, InDesign, or an invoice creator. This way you don’t have to create an invoice from scratch each time. If you’re billing multiple clients using the same invoice, be sure to change relevant information such as invoice number and the client’s name.
Automation & Invoicing
While using a template cuts down on the time you have to spend on creating professional invoices, there’s still a lot of time spent sending them to clients and filing them appropriately. To make the process even more convenient, consider using an automated invoice generator. This software does all of the hard work for you. You simply input the data, and the generator creates a professional invoice for you.
By using an automated invoice generator, you never have to worry about printing, filing, or mailing invoices. Many invoice generators interact with other types of software, especially accounting software. This means that a good portion of your bookkeeping and accounting is already done for you!
Lastly, automation makes you a more efficient freelancer. You can minimize accounting and bookkeeping mistakes that can be costly come tax season. Using an automated invoicing process also allows you to spend more time writing, editing, or performing any other freelance service that you provide.
As a freelancer, there are all sorts of daily and weekly tasks that you have to complete. But, one of the most important items on your list is to send professional invoices to your clients so that you can get paid! If you’re new to invoicing or want to make your invoicing process more efficient, be sure to keep this information in mind so that you can get paid on time.
About the Author: Gary Wilkinson is a 28-year-old internet builder from England. Learn more by visiting Link-Kings.com.