[Note: I'm continuing a series on Saturdays called "The Toolbox." My intent is to highlight some of the software, products, and services that have become invaluable to me in my work. I think they will be helpful to you, too. I'd welcome your suggestions on what to review. You should know that these are not sponsored posts, and I'm not acting as an affiliate or receiving any funds for this series.]
One of the many differences between being self-employed and being an employee, is the fact that you must generate invoices if you want to get paid. It is the universal vehicle that prompts accounting departments of all shapes and sizes to generate a check for your services.
For anyone who has tried to keep pace with running a business (which would include invoicing) and fulfilling client needs, you understand there is a great deal of tension between the two. The end result is that something usually gets pushed to the quiet hours of the morning or very late at night.
I discovered a tool I’ve been using for almost a year that has saved me the most precious thing that I have to give…my time. It has greatly shortened the amount of time I spend each month invoicing clients.
Here are eight ways that Freshbooks saves me time:
- Freshbooks is located in “the cloud.” Yep. That means I can access wherever and whenever I want or need to. There is also a great deal of integration with other popular cloud-based services.
- Freshbooks is mobile. I can interact with it on my iPhone or iPad.
- Freshbooks allows me to create auto-recuring invoicing for my retainer clients. I set them up once per our agreement and Freshbooks creates and sends each invoice automatically based on the frequency schedule I establish.
- Freshbooks allows me to choose to send the invoice via e-mail or snail mail. In fact, for a small fee, they’ll even take care of printing, stuffing, and mailing the invoices if I have a client who refuses to accept e-mail invoices.
- Freshbooks automatically creates late notices based on the intervals I set and using the language I craft.
- Freshboooks offers me many customization options so it fits my business rather than my business fitting Freshbooks.
- Freshbooks automatically alerts clients when I’ve received their payment.
- Freshbooks allows me to track time and convert that to an invoice line item. I can also have any sub-contractors I hire bill me through Freshbooks for a streamlined process and for ease of attaching their costs to my clients by project. In turn, I can invoice accordingly.
Have you tried or are you currently using Freshbooks? Thoughts?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.