Freelancing comes with its own set of pros and cons. On the plus side, you are your own boss, can work from anywhere in the world, and get to decide on the volume of work you want to take on.
However, being a freelancer also means you have to take care of administrative tasks, like generating accurate invoices. There’s no accounting department to double-check that the payments you receive will be deposited into your bank account at the end of the month. Instead, you have to keep track of your billable hours, create a freelancer invoice for each client, and request that payments from your clients be made in a timely manner.
Although this is an additional task on your plate, it doesn’t have to be a source of stress or consume an inordinate amount of time. A freelance invoice generator is a simple solution that can streamline this task for you.
What Is a Freelance Invoice Generator?
A freelance invoice generator is a tool that you can use to easily create professional invoices and send them to clients. It eliminates the need for manually drafting an invoice, which saves time and reduces the chances of error.
The purpose of this tool is to automate the process, not just digitize it. This means an invoice generated with Microsoft Excel is not the same as an invoice generated with a freelancer invoice generator. That’s because when you create an invoice with Microsoft Excel, you set up the format, insert values, download the Excel sheet on your computer, and email it to the client–this requires a lot of work from your end.
In contrast, an invoice generator can minimize the input needed while still delivering complete and accurate invoices. The goal is to help you create and share your freelance invoices in only a few clicks and make sure you don’t have to recreate invoices from scratch every single time.
There are several types of freelancer invoice generators, including:
- Web-based tools
- Cloud-based tools
- Desktop software
- Mobile apps
How to Choose the Best Invoice Generator?
When choosing an invoice generator for your freelance business, we recommend considering the following factors:
Ease of Use
Look for an invoice generator that you can learn to navigate in minutes. If you have to watch tutorials, read guides, or connect with other users to understand how to create an invoice or use its features, you might want to look for another option.
It’s also advisable to opt for an invoice generator with a clean and intuitive interface. Too many fancy tabs and features (and a non-modular workflow) can be frustrating if you want to speed up your invoicing process.
You don’t want to select an invoice generator that takes 10% to 15% of your income. Evaluate the pricing and do your math. Calculate the total amount you earn and determine how much you can set aside for a tool that’s meant for convenience. Ideally, you should dedicate no more than 0.2% to 2% of your income to a freelance invoice generator.
You can also try free invoice generators. There are a few reputable tools that offer free plans for solo freelancers (check out the free plan from Invoice Ninja, for example).
It’s also important to consider the features offered by an invoice generator and determine if it’s really worth the price. A good freelance invoice generator should offer the following features:
- Customizable templates for a freelance invoice
- Integration with payment platforms like Stripe and PayPal
- The ability to automatically number freelance invoices
- Ability to create and send an invoice with a mobile phone
- Detailed reports and analytics to track outstanding payments, revenue, and payment history
These are the basic features you should look for. Of course, if an invoice generator offers more advanced features (such as automatic reminders and time tracking), it’s even better.
Lastly, remember to look into the reputation of the invoice generator before you entrust it with your time, money, and sensitive data. Browse customer reviews on its website and social platforms. Also, be sure to do a Google search and check out the rating of the tool you plan to use.
We also recommend assessing their customer service. If the representatives do not respond—or evade your questions—it’s best not to trust the platform. You don’t want your payments to get stuck somewhere with no one there to help you figure out the problem.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some of the questions about invoice generators that we hear from customers:
Can I Set Up Recurring Invoices With an Invoice Generator?
Yes–several invoice generators offer a feature to set up recurring invoices. This can save time for freelancers who work with the same clients regularly or on a retainer basis.
Is It Safe to Store Data in an Invoice Generator?
It’s generally safe to store data in an invoice generator. Most invoice generators use standard security encryption protocols to protect your financial data. Even so, we recommend evaluating the reputation of the tool before entrusting it with sensitive data.
Invoice generators are a great tool for freelancers—they can help busy, self-employed professionals stay on top of billing clients for the work they’ve done for them with a much more streamlined and efficient process!