The other week I wrote about my use of Freshbooks in business to handle all of my invoicing needs. Today I thought it only fair to spend a little time talking about how I handle invoices for stuff I do outside of my main business.
For this work I don’t send a huge amount of invoices and Freshbooks is a little over kill. So I use the popular Mac application Billings Pro. I have been using this for my personal freelancing for over 6 years and it was the application I first settled with for invoicing my clients.
The first thing you need to know about Billings is it works and invoices around time and while fixed price projects can be handled it is not the best at this. For my freelancing jobs this is brilliant as I don’t do any website development, SEO or anything that competes with my main line of work in The Web Specialists. Everything I do as an independent freelancer is all time based jobs billed at an hourly rate in 15 minute increments and Billings Pro handles this beautifully.
The timer sits in my menu bar and counts away with a quick and easy play pause button allowing me to work with very little management overhead. Something that is very important when working independently as I don’t have the back office and resources of The Web Specialists behind me. There is no dedicated accounts and admin girl to take the load off.
Now at what point does Billings Pro no longer work for a large company or team. That point is when you are sending over 100 invoices a month, keeping track of this amount of open accounts without automated emails and invoices getting sent automatically is to time consuming with Billings Pro.
That is where the application falls short. Invoices can automatically be generated on recurring profiles but they are not sent to the customer. In fact every invoice is not automatically sent to the user you have to click the send button for each one which will then load your mail app with the clients email and a PDF invoice attached. This is not a problem for a small freelancing business that might only send 2 –3 invoices a month like I do through my personal freelancing but this is a huge headache for any larger organisation sending hundreds of invoices every month and many of them recurring bills.
So should you use Billings Pro for Mac, if you are a small 1 man band then yes, at $10 a month it is completely unlimited and for $5 a month you can send up to 5 invoices a month. They even allow 1 invoice a month with zero Billings branding for free. All planes allow for unlimited clients and projects which is perfect for a small outlet who is likely to have a lot more clients on the books then monthly invoices.