неделя, 24 февруари 2008 г.

Tools: Invoicing

I work as a registered freelancer according to Bulgarian law (свободна професия/ελεύθερος επαγγελματίας) and I make my own invoices - I need to use the services of an accountant only for boring procedures and year closing. The invoicing as a freelancer is quite an interesting subject and it deserves its own posting. Here I'll discuss only the "technical" part.

First I tried using a free software for invoicing but every single one that I tried produced either really ugly invoices, or needed so much fine tuning to its "ready-to-go" functionality that I decided not to bother and to start making my invoices in Word in the form that I liked best (and needed to) . So the procedure was like that: I was listing the translation jobs in an Excel sheet - volume, rate, total amount, delivery date. Two or three times a month I had to make an invoice as per an agreement with the customers. I needed at least one hour for each invoice because I had to find the jobs that the customer was ready to pay, to sum them up, check the sum and then transfer it to a new Word document. Plus - just to make sure I had to stop and check what was the previous invoice number. And then when I had to send the list of invoices to my accountant I had to make the list again manually. Nightmare. I was really hating it and then I found the solution.

Translation Office 3000 was a love at first sight. Within one day I migrated all the year's invoices there. And suddenly I was able to see what amounts were outstanding, how much I had earned for the last three months and so on... But this was not even the beginning. This tool has a very efficient and stable system for entering the translation projects and jobs. It even has integrated tools for counting so now this is only a matter of a couple of clicks. It has a lot of ready-to-print reports, so now when clients ask me for estimates or reports I don't lose half a day but only 5 to 10 minutes.

And last but not least: the program creates automatically folders for the new projects and in this way I can save the files as "Incoming", "Outgoing", "Work". Needless to say before TO3000 my folders were a mess and I could remember which was a "working" and which was a "final" file only on the day of delivery.