Surprisingly — and despite serious threadjacking attempts — a recent voice-over forum thread on Invoicing had real legs.
I’m going to re-cap the hilites here, and to protect the innocent, I’ll leave out the names…but you know who you are!
Just curious…what program do you use for invoicing? I’ve used my own concoction which has proven woefully inadequate. Lately I’ve been using Simple Start from Quick Books, but I’m frustrated with the lack of ability to reconfigure (I guess that’s what you get for free!) I’m close to purchasing the Quick Books upgrade but I wanted to check to see if there were any other recommendations.
1st Reply: (Word & Quicken)
For invoices……I have a template I use in Word….that looks similar to a “lawyer’s bill”. I print two copies….one gets sent to the client either by email attachment or by snail mail….the other goes in my file of “pending”. When the check comes in I mark the date, amount and check number on my copy of the invoice, and mark it paid. I keep a ledger of expenses/income in Quicken. (Quicken Special Edition of all things!) Someone gave me a copy of Quickbooks….but Quicken is easier and is all I need. It categories expenses and they print out nicely for the tax man. 😉
2nd Reply: (MySoftware)
I have used My Advanced Invoices & Estimates from MySoftware for over a dozen years. However, I bought QuickBooks to reorganize my biz and utilize a program for both my business account & invoicing. So far, I am using it for the accounts and not for invoicing. I wanted to do both of the dirty deeds together, but so far, all my history and organized info in my invoicing program has kept me from the tedious job.
3rd Reply: (Excel)
I use Excel for my invoices; they have a template that you can tailor to your liking; I use Quicken for the banking end of it.
4th Reply: (QuickBooks)
I concur with pretty much what everyone has said so far – and I think XXXX said he was using Quicken. I’ve been using QuickBooks for years – it’s a very powerful bookkeeping and accounting program. But, for most voice over and simple audio production (even video) businesses it may be overkill – I think Quicken may be a better bet as long as you K.I.S.S. the whole business. Most of us don’t really need QuickBooks for our businesses. So, I’d suggest you look closely at Quicken Home-Business 2008 – try the free demo and see how you like it. If you do like it – they have both the software version for your computer – and they have the on-line version – which costs something like $2.99 a month – I think I’d look seriously at the on line version – that will probably be my direction in the future. It has invoicing, all the kinds of reports you could want, electronic bill paying capability – and you can do both your personal and business bookkeeping in the one program and switch between them virtually instantly. I believe, but I’m not sure, that you can create your invoices and then e-mail them or snail mail them – another convenience and cost saving factor. I think another advantage to the on-line version is that all the updates to the program are made automatically – and probably even the upgrades to the latest edition. Those can also be time and cost savers.
5th Reply: (QuickBooks)
I’ve seen discussion of this among VO¹s elsewhere, and the consensus seems to be that if you want clear accounting along with a fair amount of flexibility, Quick Books is the best thing out there at the moment. I have a few clients that have multiple invoices with me each month and it¹s sure nice to instantly create an end-of-month statement to show them where we are and the aging of the invoices. Aging at your fingertips is just nice in general so you can quickly determine who needs what level of “reminding”. If you run a separate checking account just for all of your business income and expenses (not necessary for sole proprietors but helpful) it can make all of the reports you need for your accountant or lenders instantly
6th Reply: (PayPal)
Since I use PayPal almost exclusively, I have created my invoice there. It was very simple and very customizeable.
7th Reply: (MS Word)
I am afraid mine would not be too impressive. I just create them in Word with my logo and instructions for payment and convert to PDF if they are to be emailed or print to snail mail. It has worked just fine for me for years. Of course, it doesn’t sync up with Quicken or anything but it is quick and they look professional enough.
8th Reply: (Who’s Got Time?)
I used to create Invoices in Outlook or Word and used to have a heck of a time keeping track of who paid me because it didn’t sync up with Quicken. Then I got Quickbooks and made a custom invoice, but now I need to take an accounting class! And if you read the earlier thread about website design, I need to take a class in THAT too, but who has the time! I spend far too much time at this computer as it is.
9th Reply: (Mac)
(My invoice is)…re-purposed from a mac iPages template. It doesn’t, of course, sync with any accounting software, but I was able to customize it to match in color, font and style with my website, business cards, CD demos, etc. And like XXX, I also convert to a PDF to send out.
10th Reply: (comment on another’s template)
I like that you include the disclaimer note about “talent error”, because it invariably comes up. You would also hope it would imply that correcting copy errors by the client is NOT on the house…you would hope.
Last Reply (as of 5/26/08) (QuickBooks Pro)
I’ve been using Quickbooks Pro for about 15 years. It works for me and functions well for reports and a client database.
OK, now here’s the name I will use: Art Hadley ([email protected]), who proposed to everyone else posting about invoices, that he would coordinate an “invoice shootout”…asking everyone to send him their template, and he would post them in a central place.
Good stuff all around, people! We all learn something!