Issuing an invoice as a freelancer is no longer such a big deal as most businesses now outsource some of their task to freelancers to help with. Freelancing has become a huge deal now.
But just like the normal established businesses, freelancing also faces the challenges of not getting early payments by clients after tasks have been executed.
In this article, you will be walked through on the essence of invoicing, and whether a freelancer should bother issuing it to clients.
The roles of an invoice in a business cannot be overemphasized. But as a freelancer, does having and sending invoices to your clients an important action to take? What does it really matter if or not I have to send invoices to my clients after executing my jobs?
It’s important to note that you are in a business even as a freelancer. Hence, part of what affects a business such as invoicing issues, can as well affect you as a freelancer.
But let’s first explain what an invoice is, and how it can be applied in a business.
What Is An Invoice?
An invoice in simple terms is a piece of document that clearly shows a complete breakdown of products/services sold to a client.
For a freelancer, it shows your complete breakdown of work done for a particular client, and tells the client how to make your payment.
Some freelancers (especially the newbie’s) think that creating an invoice is usually a daunting procedure, and so prefer not to make one.
In most cases, they do not understand what difference an invoice can make for them, and that is where we will kick off this article from.
HOW IMPORTANT IS HAVING AN INVOICE?
It is true that creating an invoice from scratch can be very daunting. However, an online invoicing service like ProInvoice provides you with a template so you don’t have to go through the difficulty of making one yourself.
But before walking you through these steps, here are few reasons why you should adapt an invoicing system as a freelancer:
1. Invoice Helps You Avoid Late/No Payments From Clients:
The invoice does not just carry your itemized list of jobs executed, but also includes features such as your clients’ information and the dates when invoice was issued and when the payment is due.
This serves as a good evidence of transaction between you and your clients and usually they are compelled to respond without any delay or denial.
2. Invoice Helps You Track Payment Status:
Some clients may need to be reminded about the due dates of payment. In a situation as such, invoice gives you the leverage to send them reminders about payment deadlines.
It’s also a good way to avoid payment delays from your clients through follow up reminders.
3. Invoice Helps You Maintain Good Relationships With Your Clients:
When you prepare an invoice for your client but he or she is not satisfied with your entries, this has a way of affecting the business relationship.
Your invoice shows your transparency as someone who is in a business, and is also a good way to strengthen your relationships with your clients.
So you must be sure to enter the correct items and cost, and also your clients’ correct information.
4. Your Invoice is Your Transaction Evidence & Your Legal Protection:
In a situation of dispute between you and your clients, your invoice is your good evidence to show you have a transaction deal with the clients.
It then means that if you do not have an invoice to show at such moment, you have no evidence and cannot claim the payment.
These and many more are what you can benefit from adopting an invoicing system as a business and a freelancer.
NOW TO ANSWER THE QUESTION “CAN I ISSUE AN INVOICE AS A FREELANCER?”
By now you probably would answer the question better.
If issuing an invoice to my clients can help save me from being denied my payment or having my payment delayed after my hard earned work, then why not, right?
But here is even a better way to look at it, you only get to create or design your invoice once. Then you can save it as a template which you can always use after completing jobs for your clients.
Alternatively, an online invoice system like ProInvoice is your best bet. You do not have to do the daunting designs yourself which has been the main issue for other freelancers.
ProInvoice provides you with templates. All you need to do is to choose and adapt a particular template to your taste, and then enter the necessary information as required.
A Few More Reasons Why Invoice is Important to You as Freelancer:
Your Professionalism: As a freelancer, one of the first things you want to achieve is to give your clients a perception that you’re a professional.
Professionalism is also very true for someone who is running a business, and as a freelancer what you are doing is business. Invoice is one of those things that help to portray your professionalism and as someone who takes his jobs seriously.
Your Tax Purpose: Tracking of incomes is one of the things invoicing does for you, just as it is for a business.
You want to be able to keep track of all your earnings and expenses incurred for the purpose of tax payments.
With your invoice, you will be able to extract this information easily and comfortably when you need it.
Now that you know why it is important to issue invoices to your clients, –
Next, you will be walked through the right information you will need in your invoice so you can get started immediately:
QUICK TIPS ON WHAT YOU NEED IN YOUR INVOICE:
- Your Personal/Business Information: This includes your name or business name, email and phone contacts, logo, address and so on.
- The Client’s Personal/Company’s Information: This also includes the same type of information as represented above – name of client or company, email, phone contact, address and so on. But you don’t need to represent the client’s logo here.
- The Invoice ID: You should note that every invoice comes with a unique invoice number. This uniqueness of the invoice can help you track any invoice at all. But when two invoices share the same number, it becomes difficult to track which one of them during a dispute or in any other situation.
- The Invoice Date: The dates appearing in an invoice include; invoice creation date, dates of the services rendered, payment due dates and so on. This shows the client that there is a deadline to payment, and so helps to hasten payments.
- The Detailed List of the Finished Tasks: This is where you make a list of all the tasks,showing quantities and their costs (both unit and total costs).
- Description: You may need to describe your list of tasks just to make sure your client has the complete grasp of the whole work.
- Total Amount: The total cost of all the tasks that to be paid by the client.
- Tax & Discount: It is also very important that you show this in your invoice if it applies.That way, your clients will not be confused where an additional cost is coming from after agreeing with you on a particular cost.
Issuing invoices is very important for the freelancer to help keep track their earnings and expenses, determine tax, improve and strengthen client relationships.
More so, it is a sure way to avoid unnecessary issues such as payment delays or client’s refusal to make payment to the freelancer after the execution of tasks.
An invoice shows that you are a professional taking your business very seriously. Get started today with invoicing by checking out ProInvoice software here.