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10 Invoice Resources to Bill Your Agency Clients

If you run a small business, then you understand how important it is to get paid on time. In fact, it’s one of the most important aspects of running a business. After all, how can you pay for your expenses if you have a cash flow problem? That’s why invoices are so important.

Despite the importance of invoices, that doesn’t make them everyone’s favorite task. Invoices can be time-consuming and tedious. Based on the Intuit Small Business Survey in November 2011, “25 percent said that they spend as much as three to five hours each week invoicing and chasing down overdue payments.” And, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, clients are paying businesses at a slower rate.

In 2011, USA Today shared the findings from the National Federation of Independent Business, which discovered it is now taking more than 90 days to receive payment. Almost a year later The Wall Street Journal shared similar findings from the National Federation of Independent Business.

So, what can your agency do to be certain a client not only pays for the services rendered, but also pays on time?

We’ve come up with a list of 10 resources to that you should use when it’s time for your agency to bill clients.

Words of Advice Regarding Online Invoices

Before we get to the list of invoice resources, here are some tips to keep in mind prior to sending out invoices.

Use Invoice Software

When you use invoice software you can create invoices, send them out and keep track of when clients have paid you or not. There are some free services, as well as monthly subscriptions. We’ll share some top-notch invoice software options very shortly.

Establish Payment Policies

Before sending out invoices develop guidelines on how and when you want to get paid. For example, determine which payment modes you accept, when due dates are, how much you will charge for your services, and what you will do if a client doesn’t pay on time.

Set-Up Recurring Billing

To ensure that your client will not forget about paying you, set it up so that your client’s bank account or credit card is charged every month. Most invoice software allows you to input this information so that you receive payments automatically.

Send Electronic Invoices

To prevent clients misplacing your invoice or it getting lost in the mail, send them an invoice through email. It is unlikely they will lose it this way, of course paying you is a different matter. Another perk of sending an invoice via email is that it speeds up the payment process.

Don’t Forget to Include Your Contact Information and Invoice Number

There’s a good possibility that your invoice will be reviewed several times by several different people before it’s approved. By including your full name, address, email and phone number, you’ll make it easier for these people to identify who they are paying.

And, make sure you number all of your invoices so that it’s easy to keep track of all the invoices that you’ve sent out.

Keep Track of Payment History

Keep track of your payment history by creating a customer database. Not only will this help you keep track of payments received and those pending, they can also help you discover the payment patterns of your clients.

It also wouldn’t hurt to back these records up just in case. It’s always better safe than sorry.

With that advice in mind, lets look at 10 invoice resources.

2014-06-24 19_42_07-Free Online Invoice Creator & Custom Invoice Template by FreshBooks

Screen Shot of Free Invoice Creator 6/24/14

 

1. FreshBooks

Freshbooks has been around for about a decade and has earned a reputation for having extraordinary customer service. And there’s also the plethora of features that will save you time and headaches when billing your clients.

For starters, Freshbooks can receive payments from PayPal and 13 other gateways, which should help you get paid in no-time. Some of their awesome features include a customization feature to add a logo to your invoice, set-up of recurring invoices and auto payment, invoice views tracking, switch to different currencies, a client portal, late payment reminders, the ability to send invoices via email or snail mail, and a great blog with educational posts. And those are only some of the awesome features FreshBooks has to offer.

Albert Costill
Albert Costill is a co-founder of evolvor.com and a freelance writer who has written for brands like ForRent.com and Search Engine Journal. When he’s not writing and brainstorming content ideas, this New Jersey native spends his time traveling, blasting music, and keeping his chocolate lab at bay.

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8 thoughts on “10 Invoice Resources to Bill Your Agency Clients

  1. Motivapp dot com is another great invoice tool that also includes proposals, quotes, contracts and a timer. Forever free for a single user and great value for an agency. I use it daily. Saves me so much time!

  2. Hi Albert,
    All the reviewed applications above are great tools for freelancers but I have a soft spot for Nutcache not just because it’s completely free to use, but mostly because it’s simple and intuitive to use. Thank you Albert for your article.

    Todd Dunphys

    1. Thank you for the comment Todd. Nutcache is a great option for freelancers for the reasons you mentioned. Personally, I like how lighthearted it is. How many other sites share fun facts about squirrels?

  3. I’m glad you mentioned Freshbooks…. I use it day in and day out – I couldn’t be happier with the product and customer service. Initially, I had been accepting payments via PayPal then later switched to Stripe (after a Freshbooks rep suggested it) – if you’re a small to mid sized digital marketing service I highly suggest Freshbooks!

  4. I think some of the software mentioned above are a bit too complicated for agencies. What I mean is that some features that those invoicing software are offering are not particularly needed for agencies.

    We tried a few invoicing software but it was really difficult to find something that fits our needs. We were looking for a simple invoicing software where we could create invoices & quotes, choose invoice template, customize invoices and company information. And luckily we found Invoiceberry. So far Invoiceberry helped us to save loads of time.

  5. I’ve been considering this one PaySimple for my startup, but am going to check out some of the others you’ve posted about to see if they are any better. Thanks for the links!

  6. InvoiceOcean is a fantastic tool if you are dealing with international clients. It lets you issue bilingual invoices with two currencies. It automatically translates the template and converts the money.