Basic invoicing is pretty simple. An invoice should look professional—if you take an amateurish approach it’s unlikely that you’ll be treated and paid like a professional—and detailed. A prominent logo and business name should be followed by contact information for both parties, the date of service, and clear itemization of hourly fees, materials, travel time, sub-contractor fees etc., as applicable. Clients are far more inclined to question and delay payment on lump-sum invoices, so line items are essential; don’t forget that you’ll often be required to include your tax ID or VAT number.
Sometimes it’s necessary to include legal language. For instance, freelance writers and photographers should always confirm the rights being sold.
Tip: Send out invoices right away: never give your clients time to forget why they hired you.
Set up an efficient system to file paid invoices and track unpaid invoices. Tax-time accounting will be easier and you must be able to systematically follow up on slow payers. Most importantly, don’t let your accounts fall behind. The longer invoices go unpaid, the harder it will be to collect.
FastDue.com’s free and intuitive suite of essential online business tools goes way beyond basic invoicing. There’s no steep learning curve or expensive accounting software package to buy, but FastDue gives you an unparalleled opportunity to increase your brand recognition, interact with your clients and decrease the time you spend on accounting. Oh, and get paid faster.
Start by uploading your own logo to our invoicing template.
Tip: A bold, bright logo can increase recognition of your business’s name and personality by up to 80 percent; invoices can also be designed to alert clients to other services or products.
Then begin sending out and tracking invoices from anywhere you have internet access. Set up a free, password-protected account for anytime, anywhere access to your records. They’ll be organized so that you can swiftly check your accounts payable, received and delinquent. Got a smartphone? Okay, with FastDue.com, you can buzz through invoicing chores even at the airport—or on the beach.
Crisp, clear fields make it easy to follow the invoice and you can easily attach purchase orders or agreements. FastDue’s interactive messaging option allows clients to instantly query a line item instead of delaying payment until they have time to call. Copy the invoice to several parties at once so that a business owner, manager or spouse can approve payment instantly from a remote location or smartphone. (One of our users, the founder of a small but fast-growing business, reported that he approved payment on seven vendor invoices during the ten minutes he was waiting to meet a new client. Nice use of downtime, Dan.)
Offer your clients the choice of paying either by snail-mailed check, or instantly and conveniently via PayPal. FastDue.com’s credit card option with a minimal fee and no monthly commitment will be up and running soon.
Speed up collection from forgetful or disorganized clients and minimize back-office time by setting the system to automatically send out repeat invoices; you say when. In most cases you’ll be able to avoid costly collection services and, better still, maintain good relationships with your clients.
Invoicing with FastDue.com is a simple and effective process. It promotes your business, cuts down on accounting chores—and gets you paid. Fast.