The invoice is admittedly one of the most important documents your voice-over business will generate. Not just because you want to be paid, but because it’s an extension of your brand, your business savvy, and your bookkeeping practices…and ultimately customer relations.
This blog is NOT about the best invoice software on the market, ’cause invoicing is kinda like choosing a mic. Ya gotta find the one that’s best for you and the way you run your business.
Having said that, almost all the major bookkeeping and online accounting programs offer invoicing. Ostensibly you want an invoicing set-up that:
1) Is at least partially automated
2) Allows for customization (including your logo)
3) Integrates with your bookkeeping and accounting system
4) Timely schedules itself
5) Can be manually altered if need be
6) Includes a follow-up or “Thank You” feature.
I’ve tried a number of invoicing approaches, which I’ll list here, but I hope you’ll tell us what you’re using if you’re happy with it.
My bookkeeping software is QuickBooks, but I’m not a fan, and will probably be switching to a FreshBooks/Batchbook combination based on the recommendation of another freelancer (outside voiceovers) who raves about it.
PayPal does a pretty good job of generating invoices. This is especially good if you’re fond of using PayPal for buying, selling, and receiving payments for your VO business.
Zoho‘s broad suite of online cloud-based programs is pretty impressive. I actively use Zoho mail to handle email@example.com (my main email aaccount), andI keep adding other elements of their integrated offerings as I go along. Amazingly, many of them are free, and the entire family of apps is very intuitive. I’m not yet using Zoho Invoice, but it’s beguiling me.
It’s been a while since I tried Invoice.com. The site appears to be tailor-made for small and medium-sized businesses, but I seem to remember the price point was a little high.
Here’s one I haven’t tried, but their site looks pretty inviting: Invoicera.com
The Invoice Machine touts it’s service as being designed for freelancers and businesses who want an easy way to manage, create and send their invoices (uh, that’d be pretty much everybody!).
But don’t take my word for it. Here are the links to two great articles that have lists of invoicing software.
The other: Best Online Invoicing Tools for Freelancers from Design-Modo is more recent (2011).
Let us know what you’re using, if you’re happy with it.