Saturday, March 11, 2006

Get Started Freelancing: Invoice

In my previous post, I wrote about service pricing and payment gateways. In this post, I am writing about invoicing, what is an invoice, why you should send invoice to your client and online invoicing services.

What is an Invoice
An invoice is a detailed list of goods shipped or services rendered, with an account of all costs. It is commonly known as an itemized bill. As a service vendor you can send the service purchaser a written account that indicates the quantity and value of the items purchased. When you give someone an invoice, you are therefore billing him.

Why give an Invoice
The invoice will give your client the clear idea of what he will be getting from you. The invoice will help eliminate confusion as to the extent of your service. The invoice is also a sort of a contract binds you and your client. Paper based invoices can be taken to court if not honored by either parties. In a way, your invoice will protect you but can put you in trouble if you don't honor what was agreed.

But the best reason of giving out invoices is for accounting purposes. It is easy to track and manage your finances when everything is documented. It is very important when you are settling you taxes.

Paper and Online Invoices
When it comes to legality of the transaction, paper invoices will always win, hands down but with the advent of the internet and the subsequent boom of eCommerce, electronic invoices has gained popularity especially when companies are not located near each other. For paper invoices, your local printing presses can help you facilitate in getting a license from your internal revenue service before they will print the invoice. But most of the time, internal revenue service issued invoice is not enforced like Official Receipts since they are merely a detailed lists of items/service you and your client has agreed upon.

One good online invoicing service I found is BlinkSale. It offers free account for beginner freelancers who needs to send invoice not more than 3 times a month. It is already appropriate to most newbie freelancers.

Freelance Pro - Be the Boss, Be Free.


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