In order to get paid for their products and services, freelancers need access to simpler, smarter,more capable invoicing systems that are able to stay true to their brand while also effectively representing complex financial cost breakdowns.
By creating their invoices in Google Sheets, users are given the tools necessary to create living, shareable documents using powerful spreadsheet software that offers the functionality necessary to build an invoice that’s clear, to-the-point, and always insightful—all while maintaining a high level of transparency throughout the editing process, should the nature of your payment workflow require it.
With Google Sheets, users gain access to a modest selection of pre-designed templates, allowing freelancers to consider all aspects of their business before choosing the guide that will best complement their payment workflow. To view the invoice templates currently available for use with Google Sheets, create a new sheet using the “From template” function and filter for “invoice” using the search bar—from there, select the template you feel would best suit the nature of your freelancing business and the needs of your existing clients.
Alternatively, you can also opt to build your invoice design from scratch. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the range of formulas available in the platform in order to choose the functions that will be most helpful to the overall functionality of your invoice spreadsheet.
Once you’ve decided how you will compose your document, begin updating the page with all relevant business details to reflect your personal brand. Keep the following branding and payment information in mind as you begin the process of updating your template or building out your own original template design:
After you’ve updated the basic branding elements of your invoice template, you can begin exploring the various formula options supported by Google Sheets. Depending on the nature of the products and/or services offered by your freelancing business, the formulas you use in your invoice will vary according to those needs. One of the most basic functions that can be applied to most all invoice templates is the SUM function, which allows users to quickly calculate the sum of figures within the spreadsheet. Using the SUM function, freelancers quickly calculate the total cost of invoice services that appear in an itemized list, for example.
For each payment, you’ll need to update your invoice document with all invoicing details relevant to the transaction, including the following key elements:
Once you’ve reached this final stage of the invoicing process, you can then begin the formal process of billing your clients for payment by sharing the final document with them either as an Excel spreadsheet file or as a living document shared via Google Drive.
Depending on the needs of your freelancing business and existing clients, you may need to reconsider options for creating an invoice that is capable of more effectively streamlining your payment process.
Fortunately, there are several options available for freelancers to choose from for their invoicing needs, all which take into account a variety of important factors that contribute to freelance business development.
At Indy, we understand the importance of accurately representing the work you do, especially when it comes to getting paid. By utilizing professional invoicing software by Indy, freelancers gain access to a powerful tool that simplifies the payment process while providing the greatest flexibility to clients as possible through integrated online payments, direct deposit or mailing options, and hour tracking.
For freelancers who are already familiar with the Google suite of creator tools, Google Docs may serve as a suitable alternative for those who desire a simple, clean style for conventional itemizations. Google Docs, like Microsoft Word and other word processing softwares, offers users the fundamental features necessary to build basic invoices without complex financial cost breakdown and list itemizations, including placements for elements such as unique invoice details, contact information, and subtotals/totals. Despite its limited template selection, Google Docs serves a useful, free tool for drafting invoices without the added layer of calculations to consider.
Outside of the Google suite of tools, another creative tool to consider for your invoicing workflow is Microsoft Word. With Word, users benefit from the utilization of a widely-available program that serves as a one-stop solution for all essential invoice development requirements and client specifications. Page elements are easily updated for branding and readability, and the final document is easily shared via email using a PDF formatted export file. With easy access to over 175 pre-designed templates, making an invoice with Microsoft Word allows freelancers the flexibility they need to build necessary business materials more efficiently and productively.
For users that seek the formulaic functionality of a spreadsheet software alternative, Microsoft Excel provides freelancers with powerful calculation tools without sacrificing the ease-of-use granted by word processors. As with Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel transforms the complicated task of performing complex cost calculations for you, leaving you with more time to consider the overall design of your branded invoice or to update the document with other invoice-specific information related to your transactions.
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