Duped for your payment by a client again? Or are you struggling to get your invoices reimbursed on time? Treading on the hilly terrains of billing is nothing new for a freelancer. But following some invoicing best practices while billing your clients would help you come out of this rut forever.
Invoicing Best Practices for Freelancers
1. Invoicing Software
Using software for invoicing is so much relief. You just need to enter every client’s and your business details only once. Set up a format for invoices and set recurrent invoicing for long-term clients. Automatic reminders can be set based on due dates for clients in the software.
You can do so much more than you usually can with manually-created invoices in a document. Try Welance for free, the right place for invoicing and other business-related tasks for freelancers. You can execute all possible invoicing best practices with Welance.
Add complete details to your invoice to make it professional and comprehensive.
- Contact Details – Include full contact details of your client and your business in the invoices. Include name, email address, phone number, location, pin code, PAN/TAN number, and GST number. Including your logo would make you look pro.
- Invoice Number – An invoice number identifies a particular invoice. It’s crucial to answer client’s questions and trace the payment status.
- Dates – Add issue date and due date. Because these dates depend on the payment terms, you had finalized with your client. And these dates also set a process for reminders.
- Line Items – Divide your services into smaller line items and mention pricing for each of them. This information is essential for your client to crosscheck the deliverables. Adding a short description and quantity about each item gives clarity.
- Payment Method – You might accept your payments through wire transfer, cheque, PayPal, and UPI. But your client might not be comfortable with all options. So, you should mention the agreed-upon methods and related details.
For instance, if you accept payment through PayPal, you should mention your PayPal information.
Set clear guidelines about your charges to convince a new lead. Provide a clear breakup of all the expenses like taxes, GST, or any add-ons. Clearly mention extra charges for deliverables in the invoice. If you offer a particular discount or a freebie, don’t forget to inform about it.
Do you know advance payments can save you from a scammer?
Whether you take an advance or not, convey clear guidelines to your clients while signing the contract. If you take an advance, you should mention the same in your agreement. Also, send an invoice for the same and say the advance payment deduction from the final invoice.
4. Billing Cycles
Whether you charge per project, per month, or per week, include these clauses to your clients in advance. If you want payments to be remitted within 5 days of your invoicing, mention the policy.
5. Delayed or Missed Payment
If you got duped with no payment for your work, don’t get depressed. Make your payment terms and conditions strong and follow these billing tactics:
Know When to Stop
If you are waiting for your last month’s payment, stop taking new projects from the client unless paid. Stall any project that is ongoing in case of late payment. Make sure to convey that you are making a living as a freelancer. And any delay would disrupt your bread and butter.
Send Reminders and Communicate
Send gentle reminders in case of late payment in a text or a formal email. Sending a note on the due date or the next day is quite right. If your reminder is not addressed, you should send them another polite reminder.
Discussing what is stopping your client from paying can solve your problem. Don’t assume unless you are sure because clients can have some genuine blocker. Listen to them and talk over to find a midway.
When you don’t get your payment on time, worrying is natural. So…
Learn to Gauge the Warning Cues
Fraudsters don’t usually sign a contract or pay in advance. They don’t share complete details about their company, TAN number, or location. They might not have a website or social media presence. Additionally, check with industry people about a suspicious client.
Are you Ready to Invoice the Right Way?
You can never have an exhausting list of best practices for billing your clients. You might add more to what we have explained. And that’s only true because your personal experience would teach you in different ways no one else can.
So, don’t hesitate and dive into defining your own billing and invoicing best practices the right way. And make sure you enroll yourself in a great e-invoicing SaaS product like Welance.