Amazingly, one-third of the American workforce is freelance—that’s 42 million people who have to wrestle with not just doing the work, but finding the work, then getting paid for the work, plus health care, taxes, setting up an office, marketing, and so on. Of all the tasks you need to handle, billing and invoicing is probably the one that's likely to give you a headache. But we're here to help.
There are many great and not so great online tools and apps on the market. This checklist includes several of the most important features offered by billing companies, so you can go into the searching process armed with the information you need to make the best decision for you.
While aesthetics and design are important. How well a product works is as important as how how well it looks. You do not want to spend time asking yourself the same questions:
- Where do I click next?
- Which page needs to be navigated?
- Which Icon or Jargon represents what?
- Error messages are not consistent or effectively displayed
- Session time not sufficient.
When searching for a billing software, look for support and help pages, training videos, online tutorials... Many companies offer training webinars (on demand) or live training sessions and demos.
Most billing software apps offer subscription payment options that allow their users to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee instead of a one-time, up-front payment to purchase the software outright. A subscription model is good for the company but also for the user: You don't have to stay married to a solution that's not working for you anymore. It is also ofter a guarantee that improvements are constantly added to the software.
You are probably already using a scheduling tool, a CRM, a content management app and a time tracking app. These do not have to be sophisticated tools:
- Google Drive can be your content management app
- Outlook 365 can be your calendar and scheduling app
- A simple Excel spreadsheet can be a CRM
so whether you use one of these or Asana, Salesforce and Documate, it's important to write things once and share them across your existing accounts to avoid double entries, errors and tedious tasks. Most apps have an API to connect to the most popular tools and keep your list of clients, projects, calendar events and invoices in sync.
In addition to time tracking, Chrometa offers various integration options that provide you with features like billing, invoicing, practice management.. Consider your needs in advance so you can identify the best billing software options for you.
Truly authentic testimonials you can relate to are a good indicator of a great software option. The author was once in your shoes, debating what product to choose, comparing prices, reading marketing message after marketing message.
These testimonials can be paid, so be sure to look at review sites such as Capterra, G2 Crowd, FinancesOnline...
During the trial period, take full advantage of support, demos, training sessions and all the features to test whether the product meets your needs. Chrometa offers a 30-day free trial for all its features: time tracking, billing, integrations and reporting. During this time, you can explore all that the company offers without any costs or obligations to buy.
Most legitimate software vendors offer some form of demo or free trial nowadays. If your vendor of choice doesn’t offer anything, you may want to think twice about choosing them as your service provider.
To get a clear picture of your business' financial health, you need accounting reports. Tracking the financial health of a business and its evolution over time is essential: to organize important business transactions, keep track of invoices, but also for legal purposes.
Chrometa provides the capability to run more than 30 detailed reports, which include data about billing practices, individual timekeeper statistics, and weekly and monthly billable tracked time totals. You can also run reports pertaining to accounts receivable and project management. With adequate reporting capabilities, you can:
- Identify the billable time that is not being invoiced
- Track overdue invoices
- Stay within matter and project budgets
- Manage trust account balances
- Identify profitable and nonprofitable practice areas
Once the tool has been implemented, it’s helpful to take a look back at the process. Were there areas that you’d have worked differently? Things about the implementation that didn’t go smoothly? As you think through this, give direct feedback to the sales and customer success teams about your experience — who knows, maybe there are parts of the tool that they can tell you about to help solve for any issues. And remember, you don't have to stick to a product that not working for you.
To learn more about Chrometa variety of innovative features, click here for a 30 day free trial.
The modern freelancer has a lot of plates to spin on a daily basis in order to succeed – and there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Those that use their limited time most efficiently will blow past the competition and make an impact in their chosen market. . Read More