A company must be able to justify each receipt of money. In the case of auto-entrepreneur status, the business is you! You must therefore be able to prove the origin and amount of each payment. This is the role of invoices. You might think that this is obvious and yet every year many self-employed people face accounting and billing problems.
Indeed, it can sometimes seem difficult to organize your accounts on your own, especially if the workload is already significant, due to your activity. This is why there is billing software for small business. Among the many offers, how do you find your way? What is the best invoicing software for small business? What are the different features offered? And is it really possible to find efficient invoicing software?
Accounting obligations as a self-employed person
As a self-employed person, you can work with companies or individuals. In the first case, you are required to produce a proper invoice. This invoice must include, at a minimum, the following information:
- Your contact details
- The billing address (if different from the delivery address)
- Your National ID number
- Your client’s contact details
- The invoice number
- Its purpose
- The date of issue
- The date of completion / delivery of your service
- The payment term
The mentions of penalties in the event of delay
You must also produce an estimate, prior to the service. The latter is sometimes omitted but it is indeed mandatory. Remember to have it signed before starting the service. This will prevent you from having any recourse in the event of a conflict.
Second case, if you are working with an individual: you can obviously proceed in the same way with an invoice but you do not have to. In this case, you just need to produce a receipt, but you must still be able to justify the receipt of the money in your accounts.
You must also, like any business, keep an account register, that is, have access to and be able to prove any inflow of money into your self-employed business. To do this, the good old Excel table is tolerated even if it is preferable to have invoicing software. It is important that there is no hole in your accounting that is to say that the invoice number must follow each other. If an invoice is canceled, you should mark it as canceled, not just dismiss it.
What functionalities for good invoicing software for self-employed people?
An independent contractor does not have the same accounting and billing needs as a business with 1,000 employees. You might even wonder about the usefulness of such software, but they will give you more convenience, because they are created purposely, and more security, for the same reasons. Here is a list of the different features that can be considered useful or even essential:
- edit and issue a quote
- edit and issue an invoice
- store your accounting documents
- manage your customers
- automatic reminder of deadlines
So, free invoicing software or paid software?
The choice will be made according to three main criteria: the number of invoices that you generate, your computer skills, and your financial means. Indeed, if you only have one bill to issue per month, you don’t have to take the plunge and break the bank with billing software you won’t need. Then here comes your ability to manage software of this type.
In fact, the more features the software offers, the more parameters there will be to manage. This may turn out to be a bit too much for some of you. It is therefore advisable to keep it simple. As a self-employed person, billing needs are still limited. Finally, ask yourself the question: are you willing to pay to bring in the money? This may sound absurd to some. Why take money out when you’re billing for a service?
Well, paid software will offer much better support with the possibility of telephone contact with an operator, for example. Some very useful features, such as the calculation of future charges or contributions, due date reminders or even automatic reminders will complete the picture for the most demanding.
Most of you will be more than happy with free auto-entrepreneur invoicing software, but some, whether demanding or less effortless; will find what they are looking for in the plethora of paid offers available.
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