20 Billing Solutions For VAs

from Lynette Chandler 

InvoiceBeing a service provider is a lot of hard work, challenging but also fabulously exciting at the same time. This is especially true when working with a good client on a stimulating task. The only thing that kinda sucks is billing. An oxymoron don’t you think? After all, that’s why we are in business right? To earn money.

Over the years, I’ve seen, used and tried many applications / methods. Lately, there seems to be an even larger smorgasbord of options billing systems to choose from. Likely because the Internet has made it so much easier to freelance. This is good news for us freelancers and VA’s.

If you’re one of those looking for a solution that will fit your work style here’s a list for you to start with. These are not recommendations but rather a list of solutions I’ve come across.

Freshbooks – This is more established. Good reviews.

Citrusbill – Looks like a pretty new system, a bunch of features are still in development. UK based.

Invoice Place – Not as pretty but if it works, who cares right? Supports multiple currencies which is handy for clients overseas. Other than invoicing it also helps you manage supplier billing and inventory.

Simply Invoices – What’s nice about this is that it works with time / project tracking tools like Basecamp, More Honey, Tick and Harvest.

Xero – This is not just a billing system it’s a whole web based accounting system. It is built by a company based in New Zealand and supports accounting / banking practices in New Zealand and Australia.

Blinksale – One of the winners of Webware 100 in 2007. Says you can import from Basecamp but how exactly this integration works is not explained.

Zoho Invoice – Ah! One of my favorite web wares other than Google. I’m excited to check this out as I’ve only recently found out about them. Multiple currency support, recurring invoices, freely import and export your own data makes this quite interesting to check out.

BillMyClients – It’s nice that like Freshbooks, you can send physical invoices.

OpenAir – Manage your staff’s billable hours as well as invoicing. One of the people I work with uses this to bill me. As a client I only wish for one thing. That I can click a link to pay the bill instead of having to log in to PayPal, copy and paste the amount, type in the reason for payment etc.

Cashboard – This actually looks promising. You can track time as well. They even have a desktop time tracker so you don’t have to log in to track time. Works with Basecamp and has a quote/estimate feature.

SimplyBill – What it says on the box. Simple, uncluttered, straight forward.

Invoice Journal – Gotta throw in a free solution somewhere :) No fancy eye candy but it looks like it can do the job just as well.

BambooInvoice – Did I ever tell you I love open source software? It’s no wonder that I just have to seek out an open source billing system. BambooInvoice is interesting indeed. Free and you know at all times you are in control – the problem with hosted software is you never know who is really looking at your data. The down side is of course, now it is your responsibility to take care of that data and secure it.

Others that I have not took the time to tour, review their features.

Now the only bad part… you gotta choose one :) Enjoy and hope one of them works out for you.

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