Here’s what works for me.
Personally, I think there are only two sensible ways to invoice.
The first one is to invoice from whatever accounting or book keeping software you use, as it’s a good idea to keep all your financial information together.
If you're not doing your own accounts I would suggest you use an online service.
There’s a bunch of them out there with different feature sets and pricing.
What they all have in common is your invoicing records can be downloaded and forwarded to your accountant or bookkeeper.
In my case I went with Zoho Invoice an outfit based I think in India but with close links to Google who suppy a whole raft of online business software.
The feature set is pretty huge so I won’t list all the stuff it can do. But I can tell you about the features that sold me.
- The first is the free account which allows for one user and 5 invoices a month. For a lot of people that’s all they need. Let’s face it, not much beats free!
- Fast. (Once you have set it up)
- Accept online payments. You can add a Paypal button to your email invoice.
- Automate repeat invoices. This is particularly useful for regular web hosting charges.
- Lots of different reports and views. With Zoho you can view unpaid, late or by customer invoices. You can also look at totals for any period so it gives you a snapshot of how the business is going.
- Create estimates. This is a neat feature which allows you to create estimates which if accepted by the client can be turned into invoices.
- Automatic late fees. I haven’t been game to use this for fear of losing a client but I can see it being useful down the track.
- Automatic reminders. I haven’t set this up yet for the same reason (as above) but I’m definitely thinking about it.