Learning Personal Responsibility (or more life as a Freelancer)

As it approaches the end of the month and I have to do billing again, I think back to the days before I became a freelancer, and I didn’t have to worry about making sure that I billed jobs on time, or wrote contracts, or kept track of my hours. I remember just getting my paycheck every two weeks, and paying my bills with the money and that was that.

But as a freelancer you have to remember to bill your clients. It isn’t enough to let them know how much they will owe you, but also to do the actual invoice so that you can get paid. Very few clients will volunteer the money (though I have had a few call to find out why they hadn’t gotten the invoice, though that was usually just because they had to bill their client). So, you have to learn personal responsibility, or you won’t get paid.

And, not all clients pay on time, so you also have to learn how to follow up on your billing. It helps if you have a program to help you do this. Everyone has their favorite I’m sure. I use Quickbooks, which is very poorly supported on the Mac. I would recommend using just about anything else. I know some people use “Clients and Profits“. I have also heard good things about MYOB.

No matter what program you use, you still have to enter the information, and you still have to process the forms, and add up the fees or hours. The worst part of using a new program, or So far, there is no program that i know of that will do it all automatically, but I’m sure they are working on it, other than hiring someone to do it. And then you have to worry about keeping track of their hours, and payments and…

But the really important thing to remember is that even if you record your information on bits of clay with a pointy stick, it will do not good if you don’t get your invoices out on time, so that is what I’m going to go do right now.

A tag to this, I received an email from Intuit saying it was interested in brining the Mac version more in line with the PC. Time will tell.

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