What happens after you’ve successfully completed a project? You send the invoice, of course.
But for most agencies, this can be a dreadful endeavor.
So what do you do? Create an invoice on Excel or on some software. Email it to your client. Then send follow-up emails to respectfully remind them that the invoice is overdue—yeah, we’ve all had those clients.
Or suppose you’re doing multiple projects with the same clients. Then you might have to send multiple invoices and follow-up on those.
That’ll leave you with emails on emails, no organization, and a lot of chaos.
Do you see where we’re going with this?
For most agencies, sending invoices, keeping track of paid and unpaid ones, and relating every invoice to a project is a messy process.
But for you to scale your business, you need to streamline your invoicing system. Since you’re here, we trust you already know that.
In this article, we’ll share tips, software, and excel templates that you can use to efficiently keep track of invoices and payments for your agency.
So without further ado, let’s jump straight into the solutions.
Tips and ideas to keep track of payments
You can streamline your invoicing system by following best practices. These allow you to outperform your competitors and save yourself a lot of time each month.
Here are some tips that can help:
- Find invoicing software that is easy to use and offers many integrations. Having all your invoices and related messages in one place can be a huge time saver and a headache repellent.
- Create or download spreadsheet templates that you can fill out to speed up the process of creating invoices.
- Keep your invoices and related documents in the cloud. You should have this data easily accessible from any device in case you need to look at it and you can’t get to your company device.
- Audit regularly. Check your spreadsheet formulas to ensure that all the information is accurate. A small mistake can lead to major problems.
- Don’t forget to follow up with the clients and send overdue reminders.
Software to help you manage client invoices
There are dozens of software and automation tools that you can use to keep track of invoices. Here are the top three ones that are sure to give you great results:
ManyRequests provides a clear overview of your finances, incoming payments, and overdue invoices.
You can add all the information you need to your invoices.
This can include your and your client’s name, address, billing information, project name, and the details of the invoices broken up for a clear overview, any relevant tax ID, location, deposits received, and shipping information.
Here, you can create invoices within minutes using the built-in tools and templates. Then send them via email or add them to the client portal.
You can also send automated reminders and message your clients on the portal.
Best feature: you can create customized client portals where your clients can log in to see invoices, manage payments, and more all in one place. This saves you from going back and forth in emails.
Price: starting from $99/mo
FreshBooks is an invoicing and expense tracking software. Here, you can track when your clients receive and view the invoice you sent them.
It works great on all devices—desktop, tablet, and mobile. But the functionalities are limited on mobile phones.
Also, you can’t customize the invoice templates too much so it’s not necessarily the best choice for all agencies.
FreshBooks has reporting tools that offer you insights about your payments and clients. And it comes with great customer service.
It’s scalable. So if you start with the lite plan and later on need to add more than five clients, then you can upgrade to the plus plan.
Best feature: automate recurring invoices
Price: starting from $15/mo
With Scoro, you can create invoices using their templates, send them to clients and automate reminders and recurrent monthly invoices.
Scheduling invoices is also a great feature. This helps business owners prepare the invoice ahead of time. You can then link the invoices to specific projects or clients.
Your dashboard shows you the revenue from each client, their billing information, upcoming invoices, and an overview of each client’s profitability.
But this software is costly even with the features it offers. That’s because you can find the same features in other software that are much cheaper.
Best feature: real-time dashboards to track invoice updates, payments, and messages.
Price: starting from $26/user/mo
Excel templates to improve your invoicing system
You can use third-party invoicing templates in Excel to track payments. Or better yet, use the ones created by Microsoft Excel itself. These are free to download and work perfectly with the latest version of Excel.
Here are three of our favorite excel templates for keeping track of invoices. You can modify them to fit your requirements if you need to:
1. Invoice tracker
The invoice tracker template is great for relating every invoice to a specific project and compiling that information in one place.
This can be used for internal purposes to get a clear overview of your finances. Here, you can add as many fields of information as you like.
These can be invoice number, the status of payment, partially paid, currency, client or business name, amount, date of payment, next scheduled payment, and more.
You can add up to 10 invoices per page with this template. And add more pages as need be.
Best feature: helps you monitor your account by giving you a bird’s eye view of all your invoices.
2. Commercial invoice
Excel’s commercial invoice is ideal for small businesses—especially B2B—that work with large orders.
You can calculate the total of each line and then the grand total of the entire invoice at the bottom.
It shows all the necessary information right at the top. This includes your and your client’s name, address and billing information.
There’s a column for discounts that are automatically subtracted from the line total.
You also get a space for additional information such as the item number and quantity of items. That’s always helpful to have especially for commercial invoices.
Best feature: automatically calculates the total after accounting for the sales tax and deposits received.
3. Service invoice with hours and rate
Agencies that bill per-hour often have a hard time finding a template. Most of the ones out there require too many modifications.
But this service invoice by Microsoft Excel is excellent for your agency if you bill hourly for your services. Here you can automatically calculate the total cost by adding your rate and hours worked.
It has space to add descriptions of each task. That helps to keep track of payments because you or the client can open the invoice later on as well and find all the relevant information readily available.
Best feature: Mentions descriptions of the project to serve as a reminder for both you and your client.
If you’re ready to ditch old accounting systems and save your time then you need to use software to track your invoices.
ManyRequests has all that you need to keep track of payments. You can quickly create quotes for clients or send them invoices after the project ends.
Our invoicing system offers you an interactive dashboard to view your monthly invoices, get updates on paid and unpaid bills, manage due dates and communicate with clients all in one place. Contact us to learn more about ManyRequests. We can help you give your clients a unified experience and scale your agency!