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Simple software to generate invoices?


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#1 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 04:16 PM

I am going to try my hand at a little consulting part time. I would love some recommendations for simple software to generate invoices that I can save as PDFs and send. I tried doing it in Word and Excel, but it's tedious and it doesn't look that good.

I don't need anything fancy. I only have one client at the moment and may not have any more. And it will be just me -- no other associates.

I did a little search and found dozens of possibilities. But most of them are much more elaborate and complex than what I need. I just want to generate invoices. And most of them are cloud based with annual subscription fees. I would prefer a desktop version that I can buy.

 

Is there a shareware program that might work?

Thanks, CM


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


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#2 britechguy

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:30 PM

I can't imagine what's difficult about using MS-Word to generate a beautiful invoice.  It's what I've been using for years now.

 

Download this "genericized" document template based on my own and have a look:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B98uELZbPFnOZ19BdGpkaXoyeTA

 

Edit it to your heart's content.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

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#3 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:43 PM

I can't imagine what's difficult about using MS-Word to generate a beautiful invoice.  It's what I've been using for years now.
 
Download this "genericized" document template based on my own and have a look:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B98uELZbPFnOZ19BdGpkaXoyeTA
 
Edit it to your heart's content.

Word is great at making things beautiful. It's less great at calculations. Unless I did something wrong, your template does no calculations. I need to do them elsewhere and then type them in. This is error prone and a duplication of effort.

 

My Word+Excel solution is to do the calculations in Excel, then paste that table into Word as a graphic image. That gets the calculations right, but it's still tedious and the 30/60/90/120 days past due calculations are difficult even in Excel.
 


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#4 britechguy

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 10:10 PM

Excel can be made to be beautiful, but I chose Word because my invoices are simple and I prefer to do my own calculations for same.

 

I'm not criticizing you, but you said, "simple software to generate invoices that I can save as PDFs and send."  If the invoice is as simple as mine are I don't really need things to auto-calculate.  I have billing sheets I submit that are Excel and do auto-calculate, but are not particularly pretty.  They're really straight tables.  I can genericize one of those if you'd like, but it would be a complex task to turn it into an invoice like you'd likely want.

 

I essentially wanted something that would be just like what I'd do with pen and paper on an old-style invoice pad, but generated on the computer, so that's what I did.  You want something much more automated, it seems, and that's a different kettle of fish.

 

There are scads of free MS-Excel invoice templates that you can download and customize.  See the results from this search:  https://duckduckgo.com/?q=free+ms+excel+invoice+template&t=hq&atb=v33-7__&ia=web

 

This is how I've found the baselines for virtually anything I've used, but then customize the ones that come closest to what I was looking for.

 

This MS-Excel Invoice that calculates looks good as a starting point:  https://templates.office.com/en-us/Service-invoice-TM00000031 


Edited by britechguy, 13 July 2017 - 10:15 PM.
Added URL for specific Excel Invoice Template

Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#5 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 04:42 AM

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.

 

And I'm not criticizing you, either. I just know myself. If I do the calculations by hand, I'll screw it up. Plus I have to add "Previous balance", "Payments received", etc.

 

Cheers...


Running Win 10 & Office 365.


#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 06:32 PM

Copy > Paste special > Paste link

 

I think it is possible to set up a template - such as Brian has outlined, above - to include links like 'Previous balance' and 'Payments received', but even if it isn't it is very easy to paste entries from one sheet in a spreadsheet, or even entries from a different spreadsheet, into a form like an invoice.

 

I agree that creating a 'pretty' invoice template in Excel requires a bit of work but, since it is a template, you only have to do it once. I am the Treasurer for a small local Club and my 'Income and Expenditure' statement is entirely automated with links. It's a copy-paste job at the start of each financial year and basically that's it.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#7 jwoods301

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 06:37 PM

I would suggest downloading and running the 30-day free trial of QuickBooks and see how you like it...

 

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/t/qbks-13588/c/homepage/

 

You need to consider your overall business accounting, along with invoicing.


Edited by jwoods301, 14 July 2017 - 06:38 PM.


#8 britechguy

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:40 PM

I would suggest downloading and running the 30-day free trial of QuickBooks and see how you like it...

 

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/t/qbks-13588/c/homepage/

 

You need to consider your overall business accounting, along with invoicing.

 

 

For a very small business, particularly if it's a sole proprietorship with a small client base, QuickBooks is probably overkill.  Not that one couldn't use it, but . . .


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     Presenting the willfully ignorant with facts is the very definition of casting pearls before swine.

             ~ Brian Vogel

 

 

 

              

 


#9 jwoods301

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 10:57 PM

Version for independent contractors as well as small businesses...

 

https://quickbooks.intuit.com/t/qbks-13588/c/pricing/

 

Comes in handy at tax time as well.






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