Ten months ago, I started my freelance career. In the beginning, I was going to do everything myself. Invoicing would not be any more complicated than making an InDesign template, at least that was my idea. I searched very long for a good accountant. In Belgium, invoices and receipts have to be handed to the government and are strictly checked in order to discourage fraude and financial inaccuracy. I’d recommend anyone to hire an accountant anyway, because you simply need someone who knows the rules and how to get the most out of them. But above all, as a creative entrepreneur chances are you’re equally bad with numbers as you are creative.
Hiring a professional accountant makes you already win half the battle. The other half depends on how efficient your invoicing process is. If you started or want to start like me using a manual invoicing flow in order to save software costs, it’s very likely you’ll make mistakes and turn out crazy after a while. I wanted to write my invoices manually especially because I’m a designer and wanted them to look fancy. I thought my clients would judge me as a designer if I didn’t send them pretty invoices. But after all, prettiness isn’t a good advisor when it comes to automation. I had to calculate, look up the client data in some file and put it in manually, write the mails manually. I bet I spent half an hour getting just one invoice out. And that was only the beginning, because I had to check if the invoices got paid on time. This might be even more exhausting than setting up and sending out the invoice.
So anyway, it was obvious that I needed a good SaaS package. But I only knew software packages that were way too expensive and complicated for a starting freelancer like me. It was like a simple tool for freelancers was just too much to ask. But then, someone told me about Harpoon. It’s a tool where you can put in your projects, clients, invoices,… EVERYTHING! Well everything, except estimates. But since an estimate is more important than an invoice (invoices get you money but the offers make that you have the project in the first place), I still make an effort to make those very stunning in InDesign anyway.
Harpoon even has a time tracker, different hour rates for different clients, but my favourite option is the automated late payment reminder. Not unimportant either is that it looks stunning and elegant. I don’t like looking at an ugly tool if I use it almost everyday. During my trial, I also experienced a top-notch customer service from Andy and Ryan. They use Intercom support and answer almost every time within 24 hours. Those guys really care about their customers and take their time to see if you’re satisfied and have every option you need. I am now done spending half an hour on every invoice. Go ahead and discover Harpoon yourself with a free trial, you’ll never want to do without! Afterwards, you can purchase a monthly and a yearly subscription. The yearly subscription comes at $15/month and saves you 21%. Really fair pricing for a really awesome tool.