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Angela Wills

How Do You Do Your Invoicing?

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You can e-mail your invoice directly from QuickBooks. You set-up your email address as the from address then enter the to address and it will send it as a pdf attachment. At the top of your invoice form it should have an option to send it that way. If you go to preferences you can customize the message that will go with your invoice.

 

Wow that's great! :)

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Guest Ink Think
most of my clients pay by faxed check

 

 

How do you accept a faxed check?

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Guest

Hopefully I'm not off topic, but this is a timely subject for me since I've just finished my business plan :D and I am starting to write my office procedures.

 

I'll be using Accounting Express and/or Quicken Small Business to start, with future upgrade to Quick Books Contractor version. I want to keep invoicing simple, but I'm not sure if tracking the details, such as service categories, would have a significant benefit for future sales analysis. Do I list each service separately such as desktop publishing, project management services, etc? Or even very specific tasks such as typing a letter (I think that's probably too much micro-management)? Or just have a line item for the hourly services or retainer plan. I'm assuming there would also be an incidentals line item (well that could even be broken down also ... postage, direct mail, etc.) and/or a value-added service line item. Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill? Any further insight in to the further details of how you invoice would be greatly appreciated!

 

Take care,

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Guest Ink Think
I want to keep invoicing simple, but I'm not sure if tracking the details, such as service categories, would have a significant benefit for future sales analysis. Do I list each service separately such as desktop publishing, project management services, etc? Or even very specific tasks such as typing a letter (I think that's probably too much micro-management)? Or just have a line item for the hourly services or retainer plan. I'm assuming there would also be an incidentals line item (well that could even be broken down also ... postage, direct mail, etc.) and/or a value-added service line item.

 

I can't speak to the automated aspect of it since I currently do all my bookkeeping on a spreadsheet and hand type invoices and convert to pdf to send (no more! I bought a pdf editor - woohoo!).

 

What I can speak to is categorization. Personally, I absolutely keep track of what I do - both in Trax Time notes & on my client list (also a spreadsheet). I'm probably not going to sell a website re-write to someone whose site I did last year, but follow up in about 12-18 months when they've had time to grow and change? Yea. So I log WHAT I do for each client and when, separate from invoicing or time tracking.\

 

hth - Dy

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Guest SNB
I use my timing software to keep track of time and what was done, then I put it into an excel spreadsheet template that I made that looks like an invoice, but all branded and stuff, then I print to PDF and email that to the client.

 

I don't use quickbooks, so no matter how impressive the timer/invoice sounds...I'm still in excel/PDF land with invoicing.

 

 

What kind of timing software do you use?

Sharon in Atlanta!

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What awesome suggestions. I never thought to customize my QB invoices, but now I am motivated to do so :-)

 

Do any of you include a time tracking statement with your invoice (for retainer clients), or only if they ask? My retainers are non transferable from month to month, so in my opinion this would only be a gauge for the client to see if he/she needed to change their retainer plan...

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Another resource I found recently is www.freshbooks.com - they send e-invoices and customized paper invoices if you need them.

 

Nice site, great concept, and they'll even send you a sample invoice free so you can see what your client will be receiving.

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Guest Limelightva

Thought I'd share here.

 

I use an excel sheet that I developed. I enter in date, time start/end and developed a formula that converts the minutes into a good number (excel doesn't like bad numbers) and calculates the tasks amount.

 

For those that bill their hourly clients for the previous month, do you list the tasks that you do with a time the task took next to it? Not sure how this looks in QB. I am familiar with QB in a construction setting.

 

I have a paralegal background so listing a task comes naturally to me and putting my hours!

 

Great thread.

 

 

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Hi Angela W.,

 

Angela S. here! It's always strange to address a post to someone with my own name! :)

 

I also use a custom invoice that I designed in QuickBooks, which I email to clients in PDF format.

 

Even if you don't use QuickBooks, you can place PayPal buttons in your emails if you use Outlook or Outlook Express. You'll need to install the PayPal Payment Request Wizard in order to do this. You can customize the payment buttons with the appropriate number of hours and correct dollar amount for each invoice you send. The client just has to click the button, and all the payment information is already there (with the exception of credit card info). Most of my clients pay me using this method rather than using the button on my website.

 

The best part is that clients can pay via credit card using PayPal without having a PayPal account. The worst part is the fees PayPal takes out of every invoice, but I guess that's just the cost of doing business. It's my understanding that the fees are comparable to using a merchant account to process credit cards.

 

Hope this helps! :)

 

Angela

 

Do you know if PayPal gives you the option to create reports for the client. Take year end for example, can you easily create a report with all the transactions throughout the year?

 

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I invoice the first day of the month for the previous month for my hourly clients and on the first day of the month for the month of service for my monthly clients. I use QuickBooks Billing Solutions, so they can pay me directly from that invoice by clicking the button and entering their credit card info :-) Works great!

 

 

How do you do EFT? Is this the same as a wire transfer?

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I'm not sure I understand the question, Rebecka. EFT is "electronic funds transfer" and a wire is a wire. Generally speaking, EFT takes 3 days and a wire takes 1-24 hours.

 

The clients I am speaking of in your quoted portion pay me by credit card, I have a merchant account and the funds are sent via EFT, I generally see the funds in 2-4 days. It works like any other merchant account.

 

If you can clarify if that's not what you are asking, I'll try :)

 

I do have 2 clients that pay me via direct EFT with their online banking or one uses a payroll service that allows 1099 payments.

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Do you know if PayPal gives you the option to create reports for the client. Take year end for example, can you easily create a report with all the transactions throughout the year?

 

Frances, Paypal lets you export your transactions in a number of different formats. You can use the export data to create any number of reports.

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I use my timing software to keep track of time and what was done, then I put it into an excel spreadsheet template that I made that looks like an invoice, but all branded and stuff, then I print to PDF and email that to the client.

 

I don't use quickbooks, so no matter how impressive the timer/invoice sounds...I'm still in excel/PDF land with invoicing.

 

 

What kind of timing software do you use?

Sharon in Atlanta!

 

Hi, Sharon,

 

Michele here. I didn't see a response to your question above, so I wanted to give you my response and let you know what timing software I am using. It is called TimeSlips. I have a multi-assistant office, so I love this program because each assistant can have their own Remote version of the Main Database. There is a Timer that appears on their desktop, so they are able to open a Timer for each client they are working on for the day. When they are diverted from one client project to another, they simply turn off one Timer and turn on another Timer.

 

I bill twice a month. Each assistant emails me their respective Remote databases and I synchronize it with the Main Database (which is kept on my computer). With the click of a button, I can review the invoices on screen and edit them in real time. When I'm ready to finalize the invoices, I select 'Finalize' and it emails the invoices to my clients through Outlook. The invoices are professional looking due to my previously customizing a template with my color logo, payment stub, etc.

 

I was spending a great deal of time entering in the individual line items by date and assistant into the QuickBooks invoicing system. I calculated at one time that I was spending 6-8 hours a month on billing. Now, I'm only spending 1-2 hours. That frees up time for me to promote my business and work on the sales.

 

Thanks,

Michele Guarino

 

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Do you know if PayPal gives you the option to create reports for the client. Take year end for example, can you easily create a report with all the transactions throughout the year?

 

Frances, Paypal lets you export your transactions in a number of different formats. You can use the export data to create any number of reports.

 

 

PayPal also has a feature that you can download your transactions into QuickBooks. This is very similar to downloading your bank or credit card transactions into QuickBooks. In doing so, the system creates a PayPal Account register in QuickBooks. You can categorize each transaction as you would normally and use the QuickBooks reports supplied, or create a customized report for your client.

 

Michele Guarino

 

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