Review: Billing Boss

Jun 23rd, 2010 | By Allison | Category: Freelance Writing, Tools and Reviews

Paperwork is the bane of my existence. There are days when I just want to shout “I’m a writer, not a freakin’ secretary!!!” on the top of my lungs because I’m so frustrated with the amount of paperwork and record-keeping on my plate. Several months ago, I hate the chance to check out Billing Boss, a new online program that could help cut down on some of that frustration.

Billing Boss is a pretty simple concept, but one that I’ve not seen available other places. Basically, the website is a place to aggregate all of your invoices. It took me about five minutes to sign up, and once I was registered, I was immediately able to send out invoices. Well, almost immediately. Before you do that, you have to add your customers, but once they’re in the system, you don’t have to add them ever again. You can then create invoices and either save them for later or send them.

Your homepage screen of Billing Boss shows all the invoices you’ve sent or created, separated into four categories – past due, outstanding, draft, and paid.

Whenever someone pays you, you can click on “record payment,” which includes a section for notes. That way, you can note things about your clients that you wouldn’t otherwise remember. You can also enter partial payments. Billing Boss links to a number of payment options, like PayPal and Beanstream. The makers of Billing Boss, Sage Spark, also has credit card and electronic check options you can use for a fee.

Billing Boss Pros:

  • The Professional Look: PayPal has invoicing options, but they’ve always struck me as rather unprofessional. These invoices are certainly sharp, and you can add your company logo to really personalize them.
  • Ease of Calculating: The program does all the work for you. Just enter the number of articles (or whatever) and the price per. You can even choose to automatically add sales tax, should you need that for your business.
  • Streamlined Accounting: Ahh…look at all my pretty invoices all in one place, categorized and ready to go. *Insert happy dance here.* My favorite part of this program is being able to see who hasn’t paid, so I can remind them. You can also invite your accountant to join, so he can see all you information too. Hello, easy April 15th.
  • Cost: These is none! Woot!
  • Choices for payment. They have PayPal and Beanstream, so that should work for most freelancers. You can also get a quote from the company about their credit card and electronic check services, which could actually save you money, depending on how many invoices you send out every month and what kind of PayPal/Beanstream account you have.
  • Time: The program itself saves you time, and on top of that, there is absolutely no lag between you hitting send and the email showing up in your client’s inbox, at least according to my tests.
  • Personalization: You can add a default message to every invoice or a personalized message to an individual invoice. It comes in handy when you have something to say to clients.
  • Invoicing on the Go: If you aren’t near your computer, you can also send invoices using their mobile interface.
  • Languages: You can send invoices not just in English, but also in French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and a number of other languages.
  • Safety: According to the website: “Your data and your customer information is encrypted and stored in a state of the art facility with regular backup. We never use or share your data.”

Billing Boss Cons:

  • The Email Your Clients Get: In my opinion, the biggest con is that your clients don’t automatically get an email containing your invoice. You can attach it as a pdf to the email, but to pay it or otherwise see it, they have to follow a link, which looks a little shady to people who aren’t used to the system. I wish the email contained an html version of the invoice, and a link to pay it. It would look more legitimate.
  • “From”: The invoice comes from info@billingboss.com, not you. So, for some people who have aggressive filters, you may have to ask them to manually add this address to their “ok” list.

As long as you email your clients first and tell them about your new system, the two cons shouldn’t be a problem…so as you can see, the benefits REALLY outweigh any disadvantages their may be. I’m actually super happy I started using this system for invoicing. It has already saved me time, and in freelancing, time is definitely money.

A version of this post, written by me, was first published on b5media’s Bizzia website. It is reposted here with permission.

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