freshbooks invoicing

Exactly what do you include in an invoice?

When I started my business, the most daunting thing was billing clients. The thought of having to figure out what to bill them for and how to do it without looking like a noob was a foreign idea to me. After all, I always did the design work and seldom handled clients, let alone managed billing. I started out with Word and Excel. As quickly as I learned to use Excel, I found out just as quickly that it wasn’t enough for me.

At the beginning, though, it was a simple enough way to get the job done. The biggest mistake I made was not charging for all of my services on the invoice. I would only bill for my time and not take into account stock images, sales tax (on “real” goods) or other expenses that I might incur related to their projects.

Enter Freshbooks. A fellow freelancer turned me on to Freshbooks pretty early on in my career. Thank goodness! Because tracking my expenses and remembering to put them all on my invoices was a literal nightmare once things got rolling. The more projects I had, the more complicated invoicing seemed to become. I suddenly had multiple spreadsheets to track mileage, billable expenses, non-billable expenses and other little things I had to keep track of somewhere. Freshbooks gave me the ability to not only track my time and enter it into invoices with a few clicks, but track my expenses, tax, non-billable hours, etc. It made my life SO much easier. I spent less time fiddling with spreadsheets and more time working … or chilling.

I would love it if no business owner ever had to worry about whether or not they were invoicing effectively. So, here’s a little video to help explain exactly how to create your first invoice whether you’re using Freshbooks, Excel or some other app.

New Freshbooks Retainers make invoicing even easier.

How do Retainers work?

Retainers work a little bit differently than recurring invoices. You collect payment from your client in advance abd bill against your allotted hours. Collecting payment in advance allows you to better anticipate income, avoid scope creep and set hard and fast expectations.

Let’s imagine that your client has you on Retainer for $1,000, working 10 hours per month. In January you tracked 17 hours. Freshbooks will notify you that you’re 7 hours over. You’ll get the option to create a one-time invoice to cover the extra time.

What if you don’t work 10 hours? Maybe you only tracked 8 hours in February. Rather than adding those 2 hours to the March Retainer, Freshbooks will restart your Retainer with 10 hours again.

Find out more about this cool new feature here.

This is an awesome affiliate post. If you click a link or make a purchase I’ll earn a bit of coffee money, which I may even share with you if you schedule a consult. *wink*