Recently, I was working with a client helping her set up an invoice system to speed up the invoice process she needed to do each month and dreaded it so much. She would procrastinate for days. This client has about 15 recurring clients that she was necessary to bill random work hours at different rates from the previous month. She would write all her invoices by hand and then write the envelope by hand. It would take her hours, maybe even days to do all the invoices.
We had an initial meeting, and I watched as she did her invoices for the previous month. She wasn’t computer savvy and didn’t want to use QuickBooks for this process. So, I helped her determine another system that would work best for her abilities. Here are simple tips to organize hers and your invoice process.
Simple Tips To Organize Your Invoice System
We first created a spreadsheet list of all her clients and all their individual content information. This process took some time since it never was done before. This process was needed to help with making the labels and setting up email marketing mailing lists for her to use.
Before starting to invoice, she needed to tabulate all the hours for each client and put it on a list. She wrote information about her clients’ name, the total hours, and the overall visits, etc… This step would help the invoicing process go more smoothly.
We set up an electronic version of her invoice on the computer so she could re-use the page over and over for invoicing and did not have to write in any comments specifically for each customer because she had added it the first time for the customers. This invoice was set up in a Word document. We used tables in the file for her to write information. Here is an example of a table format. It worked out nicely because it kept all the content organized.
Then, we set up an invoice log that tracked all the invoices that were sent out to the clients. This log included columns like, Invoice number, description of invoice, amount invoiced, date of invoice, date paid and check number. Tip: Add a formula to the right side of the amount due invoice for the last invoice for a particular month to get monthly invoicing totals. A formula like =sum(b2…b15) (=sum(b#(the first invoice column and row for that specific month)…b#(the last invoice column and row for that particular month.)) This way, she will be able to see how much money is coming in monthly. There are other formulas you can use as well, check out your spreadsheet software under formulas.
We then, generated full sheet labels for recurring clients, so she didn’t need to write on any of the envelopes. We used the client spreadsheet (we had set up initially) and set up a mail merge to sheets of labels and printed them out.
After modifying her invoice system, it now takes her 50% less time to write-up the invoices, tracks paid invoices, and file invoices away. We still have a few refinements to do in the process but all in all, she is pleased with the system.
If you need help with your invoice process, please contact me.
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