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How to create customer invoices using WordPress

Creating and sending invoices is an essential yet cumbersome task for most freelancers and small businesses. Instead of manually creating an invoice using a template, you can save a lot of time with the right tools. In this article, we'll show you how to create invoices for clients using WordPress.

Although there is a WordPress plugin for invoices, we recommend using a more intuitive solution called Freshbooks. This is why we will share two methods to create invoices. FreshBooks and WP-Invoice.

Method 1:Use Freshbooks

The easiest and most professional accounting tool for freelancers and professionals is Freshbooks. It is an accounting tool designed for non-accountants and is perfect for WordPress professionals.

There's a 30-day free trial for any paid feature, and they even have a forever free plan.

Signing up is extremely easy, and you don't even need to enter your credit card details for the trial. Upon registration, you will land on a simple panel that looks like this:

Creating your first invoice in Freshbooks

Creating and sending invoices with Freshbooks is very easy. Simply click the New button and select Invoice from the dropdown menu.

If you haven't added your business address, Freshbooks will prompt you for your business address that will appear on your invoice.

The billing wizard will also ask why you bill your customers? You can choose time, items, or both, depending on the services or products you offer your customers.

On the next screen, you will need to provide customer information. Freshbooks will save this information, and you can use it later each time you need to send an invoice to that customer.

After saving your client details, you can scroll down to enter the tasks, items, fees and amount due. You can add multiple lines for each item or task along with additional notes, terms, and conditions.

Once you're happy with the invoice, you can save it as a draft or send it instantly via email. You can also send an invoice by mail.

That was simple, right?

Adding payment methods in FreshBooks

Freshbooks allows you to accept online payments from customers. It supports PayPal and Stripe by default, and you can enable other popular payment gateways. If you need to set up payments, you need to click Settings on the top menu and click the Accept Credit Cards tab.

Activate the payment method you want to use and answer a few simple questions for your account details. That's it, your customers can now pay you online when they receive an invoice from you.

Track time and expenses with FreshBooks

FreshBooks allows you to manage and track your expenses. Simply click on the expense tab to get started.

Freshbooks can import your expenses from over 13,000 financial institutions. You can easily connect it to your bank account and credit cards. You can also manually add expenses and save receipts simply by taking a snapshot of your phone.

If you work by the hour, every second of your work must be billed to the client. Freshbooks comes with a built-in time tracking tool. Just click on the Time Tracking tab to get started.

All you need to do is enter the project details and log your hours. You can also start the time tracker by clicking the Start Timer button.

Method 2:Use a WordPress Plugin

Another way to handle invoices is through the WP-Invoice plugin. In this way, your WordPress website becomes the center of your invoices and payments.

The first thing you need to do is install and activate the WP-Invoice plugin. Upon activation, the plugin will add a new 'Invoice' menu item in your WordPress admin. You have to visit Invoice »Settings to configure the plugin.

You must first enter your company name as you would like it to appear on your invoices. Next, you need to select a page to display the invoices. We recommend creating a new WordPress page titled Invoices and selecting that page here. This page will be used to display your invoices.

WP-Invoices comes with multiple payment options (see our list of 5 PayPal alternatives for freelancers to collect payments in WordPress. You must choose a default payment system from Stripe, 2CheckOut, PayPal, credit card or Interkassa payment gateways. You can selectively enable or disable payment gateways and allow your users to choose their preferred payment method.

When you choose a payment method, you will notice a new tab in settings to configure that particular payment gateway. Each payment gateway has different settings that you will need to configure when you log into your account on that gateway and get your API keys.

After setting up your payment gateways, click Save all settings button to store your changes.

Creating a new invoice

To create and send a new invoice to a customer, simply go to Invoices »Add New . You will be asked to provide the customer's email address.

After entering the email address, the plugin will load the invoice editor screen. You will notice different meta boxes on the editing screen along with the familiar Title and Post Editor boxes. Just below the post editor box, you'll see a metabox to add the items you're including in this invoice.

Simply enter an item, quantity, and price. The plugin will calculate the total amount and display it as balance. You can click the description toggle link to add a description for a list item. You can also click on 'Add discount ' Button to deduct the discounted amount based on a percentage or a fixed amount.

Below the invoice items box, you will see the payment gateway box. This will display your default payment and all payment methods you have enabled on your site. You can change this setting for an invoice if you want, or you can leave it to use the default options you set in the plugin settings.

On your right hand side, you will see the user information metabox. The customer's email address will be displayed. You can fill in the rest of the information. In case you do not have all the information, you can leave it blank and the customer can complete it when making the payment.

In the post metabox, there are options to post this invoice as a quote, allow partial payments, or make it a recurring invoice. Clicking the Toggle Advance The link will allow you to add a due date for the invoice and enter tax information.

After posting the invoice, your customers will receive an email notification with a link to the invoice page on your WordPress site. If your customers are not receiving email notifications, you should refer to our guide on how to fix WordPress not sending email. They will see the invoice, with a link to print the PDF version before making the payment. Customers can also change their personal information on the page.

Viewing invoices and reports

All the invoices you create can be accessed from Invoices »View all . You can sort and filter your invoices using the menu on the right hand side.

To get a bird's eye view of your earnings and bills, you should visit Bills »Reports . There you will see charts and tables for all invoices.

Fine-tune your invoices, emails and payments

The invoice settings page will change after saving the initial settings. Now if you visit Invoices »Settings , You will see many other options that you can configure. For example, you can adjust email templates, create multiple templates, add line items that allow you to quickly add items to an invoice. You can even import/export your invoice data to XML file.

Pros and cons of WP-Invoice and Freshbooks

By using WP-Invoice, you get a free plugin that fits your website perfectly. You don't need to rely on a third-party service to manage your customers and payments. You can set up automatic WordPress backups to cloud storage to make sure your data is safe.

On the other hand, FreshBooks is used by thousands of professionals. Your data is stored in the cloud and you don't need to worry about backup or security. More importantly, it's not just billing software, it's a complete accounting solution for non-accountants. You can track expenses, connect bank accounts, receive payments online, etc. In addition, every day FreshBooks connects to more services and becomes more powerful and easier to use.

That's it, we hope this article helped you create invoices for clients using WordPress. You can also check out our tutorial on how to add rotating customer testimonials in WordPress.

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