If you are a small business owner who wants to learn how to send an invoice using Freshbooks online, then this article is for you. We will walk you through each step of the process, providing visual examples to make sure there is not any confusion. After reading, you will be sending invoices and receiving payment in no time.
The Benefits of Using Freshbooks’ Invoicing
Using Freshbooks’ Invoicing has a variety of benefits. Here are a few of those:
1. Your invoicing process will be much more professional and consistent
Freshbooks’ invoicing system will help you keep on top of your invoicing needs in a much more professional and consistent way, while at the same time freeing you up to spend time on other areas of your business. Instead of trying to remember to send invoices every month, you can just set up recurring invoices to do it automatically for you. Also, with saved clients, services, and items, you can just plug-and-play invoices much quicker than you could otherwise.
2. Your overall accounting process with be much more streamlined
If you use Freshbooks for both your accounting and invoicing needs, information your whole accounting process will be much smoother. When you receive an invoice payment through Freshbooks’ payment portal, it will automatically be inputted into your Freshbooks’ accounting reports. This means you no longer have to input each payment manually and separately, saving you both time and effort.
3. Your business will be prepared in case of future invoice factoring needs
Most invoice factoring companies, like Fundbox, our recommended service provider, refuse to consider businesses for their services unless they use a professional invoicing software like Freshbooks to send their invoices out. Using Freshbooks invoicing assures that any future invoice factoring needs you may have are more likely to get approved.
Check out our Invoice factoring article to learn more.
Now that you understand the benefits it’s time to send your first invoice. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Go to the Freshbooks Homepage and Click on the “Invoices” Tab
If you do not already have an account with Freshbooks, you can join for free and have a 30-day free trial to see how things work for you. Once you are on the Freshbooks homepage, click on the “invoices” tab at the top of the page.
Step 2: The Invoicing Screen will Pop up, Click on the “Create an Invoice” Tab which is in the middle of the screen.
Step 3: Add Your Business Address into the Screen that Pops Up
Once you have added your business address here, it shows up on all of your invoices. This ensures that customers know where to send payment, should they choose to do so by mail.
Step 4: Select how you bill your clients, by Time, Items, or Both and then click the “Continue on to your invoice!” button.
Step 5: Input your client’s info and then hit the “Save Client” button at the bottom right of the box
It is important to keep in mind that the email you input here is where the invoice is going to be sent. So, if you have a customer who receives their invoices at a different email than their own business email, be sure to edit the email address accordingly.
Step 6: Input invoice number, date of issue, PO number, discount percentage, and then click if you want to accept Credit Card payments
When you add a discount, it is going to discount the total amount of the invoice by that amount automatically at the bottom of the invoice. For more concerning credit card and payment options, look under “After Your Invoice is Sent“ at the end of this article.
Step 7: If you are providing a service, click on the first box under the “Task” heading and then click “New Task” (unless one of the other three options apply)
The same general process applies for adding an item.
Step 8: Input a task title, time entry notes, and rate into the form. Then, click the “Save Task” button.
Saving a task allows you to reuse this task for future invoices by simply selecting it from the drop-down task menu. This same general process applies to adding a new item. Simply replace “task” with “item”, “time entry notes with “description,” and “rate” with “unit cost.”
Freshbooks also offers a time-tracking feature on their premium version. This time-tracking tool allows you to log yourself and/or employees in and out using a timer on Freshbooks’ site. You can add this time to a client’s account and then drag that info right into your invoice at the end of the month.
Step 9: Input your hours worked/quantity of items being sold
Step 10: Click on tax column in the appropriate row and click the “edit” button
Step 11: Input Tax “name” (abbreviation), Rate, your taxpayer ID number, and click “Save.” Then re-click the tax column and select your tax from the drop-down list.
Step 12: Add or remove rows (if needed)
If you need add or remove rows, you can put your cursor on the row and click either the green + sign to the left of the row (add) or the red X to the right of the row (remove). You can also add rows by clicking on the “add line” button.
Step 13: Add payment terms and any additional notes you would like your client to see on the invoice.
Step 13: Select to either “Save Draft,” “Send by Email,” or “Send by Snail Mail”
If you select the “Send by Snail Mail” option, Freshbooks will actually mail a physical copy of the invoice to your client.
Like how easy it is to send invoices with FreshBooks? Sign Up For A Free 30 Day Trial
After Your Freshbooks Invoice is Sent
After you have sent your invoice, your customer will either receive it immediately through email or within 2-5 business days through the mail, depending on which option you selected. Freshbooks actually has a tracking feature, if you select the email option, that allows you to even see when your invoice has been viewed.
Customers have the option of paying via paypal, or by cash/check in the mail. Also, Freshbooks provides their own payment portal, which is what you are paid through if you check the “accept credit cards” button on the invoice. This allows your customers to pay their invoices immediately, just by clicking a “pay now” tab on their invoice. Freshbooks charges a 2.9% + $.30 transaction fee per payment on most major credit cards. The exception is American express, which is 3.5% +$.30 per transaction.
If you use Freshbooks’ payment system, you can automatically have your paid invoices deposited into your bank account, which is a handy feature. To find out more ways to get paid online, check out our Online Payment Processing article.
If you have certain clients that you invoice consistently every month, you can set up recurring invoices in the “recurring” tab section of Freshbooks. Freshbooks then automatically sends the invoices out every month.
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