Earlier this month, one of my vendors sent me an invoice that I was uploading to Zoho Books (our accounting software) before paying. I filled in the details and it spat out an error message that said, “duplicate invoice number”. I informed the vendor, corrected the invoice number and paid.
“Hawk eye, you have,” she said. Nope, just a system that reduces errors.
This is just one of the many many problems that come with invoicing manually — using excel, word, photoshop etc. Most often, we copy-paste from one invoice to the other and things get messed up. Or we use Google sheets / Excel that the client doesn’t have software to view. Or they’ll need e-sign, which is far easier in PDF.
If you’re thinking these are minor problems, imagine this: You have two invoices of the same number > client didn’t notice and paid > CA didn’t notice and filed taxes > then 5 years later, the IT departments sends you a query asking for an explanation for duplicate invoice and you have no idea what happened!
To avoid that, automate as much as possible. Get an invoicing tool.
I now use Zoho books because the GST integration is better than most software I’ve tried. It is also now accepting payments, so clients can pay directly using a credit card. It’s a couple of thousand rupees a year. Worth it.
I’ve used WaveApps in the past. It’s free. I recently had to login for retrieving an old invoice and their new UX is tempting.
I’ve tried QuickBooks and FreshBooks, both of which do just fine. There is also invoicely that some of my vendors use, which works just fine.
If you send invoices, get a tool. I know spreadsheet savvy folks manage this excellently with Excel. It has never worked for me. I started using WaveApps within 3 months of beginning to freelance. I wouldn’t do it any other way.