As a freelancer or even as a small business owner, you work hard. In order to provide an exceptional product or service, you work closely with your client using your all resources in the hopes this will yield good returns. However, easier said than done, that rarely ever happens. To get paid and get the RIGHT amount paid as a freelancer is as surreal of a story as any tale out of the books of angels and demons.
Now, of course, freelance work-life has its own share of benefits as well. But what I’m trying to say is; maintaining a proper monetary record system, i.e invoice system, is very crucial when it comes to tracking payments made and received and even for financial tracking of your taxes and such expenditures.
Yes, it’s one of the least fascinating aspects about working as a freelancer. However, It has to be done. So, for a smooth sailing invoicing experience, you’ll need great invoicing softwares that offers you some of the key features that will be crucial for your day-to-day working flow.
Bottom line, there are some key factors and features you need to consider before you go ahead with any one invoicing system. Some of these are listed here that may help you while choosing and investing your time in such software:
1. Monitoring Inventory
With invoicing some new softwares, like Refrens, also provides a tracking of inventory, in case of small businesses. This helps businesses to keep a track of inventory as well as the cost involved in it and money required to purchase additional and optimum levels of inventory.
For projects and tasks, the invoice generator can simply create correct, automatic line items. To keep track of project expenses as well as the amount to bill for each project or individual, you may create invoice templates and define billable and payment rates.
2. Multi Currency (Conversion)
As the world comes closer through the internet and we reap the benefits of globalisation, it has become very common for freelancers to work/collaborate with clients from totally different parts of the world. And in such cases, transactions need to be either on a globally-accepted currency like, US Dollar or in your own currency after factoring in currency conversion rates.
In excitement of working with an overseas client, a lot of freelancers commit the mistake of not taking such factors into consideration. And end up getting paid less. But platforms like refrens, offer great convenience in such cases with their “multi currency transaction” features. This will allow you more flexibility and ease of doing business, as well as maintaining proper financial records.
In a country like ours, where taxation is as complex as “Inception” by Christopher Nolan, it’s very crucial to maintain your tax records in order to not only save a few bucks. But also, to not get into a quarrel with authorities. Some of the best invoicing platforms offer a simple solution to this, by simply incorporating taxation requirements in the invoicing system itself.
So, when your transaction is beyond a certain amount, tax rate would be charged in accordance with the different slabs. In simple words, your headache of adding/deducting TDS/ GST or any other taxes is now systems’ headache. And the system will itself maintain tax records as well. Therefore, at the end of your financial year, you’ll directly get an amount of tax liability you have.
4. Recurring Billing
Though as unstable freelancing might seem to people, there are always some customers with whom we build a strong business relationship. So, to draw-up an invoice every time we do a transaction with them is nothing but duplication of work and wastage of time.
Recurring billing feature is that one tool that allows you to draft an invoice once and “pre-schedule” it on a recurring and a regular time of interval. For example, you are a supplier of another business/firm that requires a certain amount of your products every month. Or you’re a freelance content writer who has a few fixed corporate clients. So, in both the cases, you can pre-schedule the first invoice draft and make changes, if any, before sending them the copy of the final invoice.
5. Design Invoice Templates
Time is money and pre-designed invoice templates can save you a lot of it. As you won’t have to design it from scratch and thanks to the automated invoice management system, you also won’t have to bear the headache of managing all the invoices.
And hence, saving you not only time but a few bucks as well (as you can put that extra time for some more important work). Though a lot of platforms provide templates but what it does not provide is the facility of customising that template. But, new platforms like refrens, provide all sorts of options ranging from basic features like auto-numbering of invoices to advanced features like recurring invoicing and grouping invoices, etc.
6. Customisation Of Niche Details
It should be very easy to create and send well-designed invoices in a well-put together invoicing software. To be able to customize every little detail on your invoice to reflect your brand. You should be able to personalise your invoice to reflect your brand’s style and messaging, and You can also do some customization to make your invoices look more professional. The option to accept credit card payments directly from the invoice adds to its professionalism.
One such platform is Refrens. Automatic reminders, late fees, and the ability to accept deposits for work that has not yet been done make it an excellent choice for small business owners and freelancers. This is a standout option because it comes with invoice tracking, repeated invoicing, discounts, tax calculations, and a boatload of other features.
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7. Multi User Compatibility
When running a small business, you already have a lot on your plate. At least, more often than not. And in those limited resources it can be a little headache to manage all the departments all on your own. So, if your billing work can be shared with one of your team members, you’d be able to focus more on other crucial stuff. Platforms like, referns, even let you limit the access to any number of people in your account to create/handle invoicing.
This way you can distribute your workload, optimise your time and get the work done in time.
8. Client Management
Once you land a client and you’re drawing up an invoice for them, the invoicing software records and saves the details of that client in your clientele list in order to auto-fill the mundane or permanent details next time you draw-up an invoice in their name. This not only saves time but also comes real handy when your clientele list becomes too long, mostly in the case of a small business/solo freelancer.
Client management is a crucial feature that a very few invoicing platforms offer for free. And as your freelancing work\business scales up. It’ll be important to maintain proper records of your clients. You can even use this clientele list in your marketing campaign. And bring in some more sales via optimally using this list.
9. Ongoing Easy Support
While exploring the arena of softwares and technology for advancing in your business can be challenging for people who are not so much into the tech world. Here, Tech support to small business owners and freelancers is almost like a stick to the blind. Without the stick (GOOD Tech Support), it can be excruciatingly frustrating to navigate through any software/application.
Always, check customer care support before you lock on any invoicing software. You would not want to be left to figure out some trivial tech problem that you can’t fathom in the middle of a busy working day.
Invoicing is one of those jobs that isn’t fun. However, invoicing is absolutely necessary when you’re freelancing or running a small business. With the correct invoicing software and a few excellent habits, you can turn an unpleasant task into an automated procedure that runs smoothly.
It only takes a few minutes to improve your invoicing skills, so get started right away.
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