Easy Invoice Creation, Time Tracking, and Painless Billing for Freelancers

A Fantastic Service for Freelancers and Web Designers

A Fantastic Service for Freelancers and Web Designers

I recently started using an extremely useful service called Freshbooks (it is free to start out with as well).

What I’ve used this for personally is for creating invoices for freelance services I deliver. I was amazed at how easy it is to use and how professional.

Basically one can create a profile for each client (which you can reuse in case you do services for the same client again) and then create an invoice and assign it to that profile. You simply enter each product or service delivered, description, cost, and any taxes and discounts. Freshbooks creates a very professional invoice for you. With a few clicks you can have Freshbooks send the invoice to your client via email or snailmail. Your client can receive a PDF of the invoice or can even use his own logon to view his invoice online.

Of course you can also include a signature for your invoice (with your web address, etc) and any additional notes. When the client receives the notification email, your address and email address is included as well.

What’s even better is that Freshbooks has a Time Tracking system for your projects or your virtual employee’s projects – complete with a “start and stop” timer. So if you are doing some freelance work at your computer and need to keep track of your hours, you can just start and stop the timer as you work and the information will all be there for you when you are ready to write your final invoice!

You can also add expenses lists if that applies. You can create estimates for future projects and then carry that data over into an invoice later.

If you have a particular item or type of service which you provide often, you simply enter in the details of that “item” and any time you want to add it to a future invoice, simply select it from a drop-down.

You can also set Freshbooks up to accept payments from credit cards or other online payment processors such as PayPal, 2Checkout, or several others.

Freshbooks will also manage your recurring billing, in case you are delivering a service which requires repeat payments and recurring invoices. They can even charge credit cards at monthly intervals where this is applicable.

Branding is possible, with customized emails, and you can also upload your logo so that it will appear on every invoice you create. Freshbooks also generates all sorts of reports (outstanding invoices et al) in case you need this.

Overall I’ve been very impressed with the service and it saved me a lot of time – even though I’ve only needed to use it to create one invoice so far. Its free to use when you start out and after that, it might be well worth the fee (particularly if you do a lot of web design or other freelance work).

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One Response to “Easy Invoice Creation, Time Tracking, and Painless Billing for Freelancers”

  1. Taylor@Adobe Flex Training
    November 19, 2008 at 7:26 pm #

    That stop and start time keeping feature is a good one. I still prefer quickbooks, but this looks at least worth checking out.

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