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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!


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Old October 30th, 2008, 08:07 AM   #1
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How do YOU keep track of clients, invoices, etc?

I was curious on what ways worked best for you. I'm struggling between different thoughts on how to handle my contacts and billing stuff, and stay sane.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 09:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Mayberry View Post
I was curious on what ways worked best for you. I'm struggling between different thoughts on how to handle my contacts and billing stuff, and stay sane.
A good idea would be to make a new excel spreadsheet for every new client you have. In that spreadsheet, describe what services you did and the costs of those services and the dates they took place. That way you have a record. If you sign-up for Google checkout you can also send out invoices that the client can pay through too. :)
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Old October 30th, 2008, 11:39 AM   #3
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Depends on how much and how complex the work is that you do for each client.
I have a spreadsheet with headings for job name, date, time spent, doing what, cost, mileage, etc. I enter the job when it comes in, and use extra columns for client details - phone & email especially, that I enter only once. Using the data filter, I can find everything to do with that job (or that client, month or whatever).
If you start with something simple and flexible, you can evolve it to fit what you want and ultimately keep an eye out for a contact/job/time/management program that does what you want. If you get the program first, chances are it won't do what you want it to. I tried using Outlook, but though it was supposed to be customisable to what I wanted, I never quite managed to make it work that way.
And don't forget to keep an up to date backup.
Simple things can throw you. The other week I noted that something hadn't been marked as paid in the spreadsheet, even though I was certain the client had paid. It wasn't marked in the diary as paid either. Yet there was the piece of paper that came with the check. Then I looked at the bank account and found I must have paid it in, as the amount on the statement was enough to cover the checks I had marked as paid, plus the one I hadn't - phew - saved me from chasing a payment that had been made! Looks like the check must have arrived as I was about to go to town, so I paid it into the bank and forgot I hadn't marked it elsewhere.
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Old October 30th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #4
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Take a look at QuickBooks. Great software for invoicing, job costing, etc.

Have fun!

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Old October 30th, 2008, 01:17 PM   #5
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For tracking and invoicing time and expenses I've been using Fanurio for the last year.
This is all it does and it does it very well. It's flexible enough to handle such things as pre-payments and flat rate jobs too.
I very pleased with it:
Fanurio - Time tracking software for freelancers
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Old October 31st, 2008, 05:33 AM   #6
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Here is the great advantage of being able to download the software for a trial period.

I looked at Fanurio this morning, and it looks great for what it does. I can see some situations where I could use it. And there are some things that it does more efficiently than I do them now. But it doesn't do all the things I need and so I'd still have to have my spreadsheet running alongside it.

This emphasises my earlier point - work out exactly what you need - and then try a program before you buy if you possibly can.
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:34 AM   #7
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Try out freshbooks.com ... I havenít used it personally but I found out about it thru a banner ad and when I checked the site out I was impressed.

It really looks like something that could be valuable to me and it's only $15 a month ... prices go up from there depending on how many people you want to have accessing the system.

I just signed up for it so I havenít run it thru its paces just yet.

FreshBooks - Online Invoicing, Time Tracking and Expense Service
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Old October 31st, 2008, 09:46 AM   #8
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I just called up Fresh Books and asked them about any sort of proposal management and milestone tracking functionality ....

They told me that they donít have it as part of their service but they work with another company who handles their "time tracking" system and that company does have a whole setup for proposal and milestone management.

Project management, collaboration, and task software: Basecamp
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Old November 20th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #9
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Timeslips is really great time and billing software. Lots of features, not only to make invoices but to keep track of everything. I used it when I was the office manager for an internet host that had about 80 clients. It's really customizable, too.
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