-- Sending an invoice --
There are three steps to creating your first invoice! Before you get started, please make sure that you've completed setting up your Invoice Options from Part 1.
Now, on to getting you paid!
>> Step 1: Create a contact
First we'll need to know who this invoice is for. Click on CONTACTS from the left-hand menu on your dashboard. If you have already added the contact to the system, simply find their name and move on to Step 2.
If you still need to add your contact to 17hats, you have two options:
- Import a batch of new contacts: click on Import Contacts. You can later find this option by clicking on the gear-shaped settings icon in the upper right-hand corner and selecting "Import Contacts" from the drop-down menu. Follow these instructions here.
- Manually add in your contact: choose Add My First Contact. You can also access this option in the future by clicking on the plus sign next to the word Contacts at the top of the page. Enter in the necessary information regarding your contact.
Please note that:
- Checking the "Show as a company" option will display the contact under the company name within your contact list.
- You can learn more about the four contact types within 17hats here.
- The system will inform you if there is already an existing contact with the same email address as your new contact.
>> Step 2: Create a project
A 17hats project serves as a file folder that holds everything pertaining to a specific contact. You can create as many projects as you wish for each contact. To do so, click on the Add a New Project button.
But what if this technically isn't a "project" for this contact? Projects typically represent the individual jobs that you're carrying out (e.g. a wedding shoot, a website redesign, a catering order.) However, if the said contact is not engaging in your services, you may simply title the project "Contact name's Project" to create the file folder that will house your invoice.
Read more about the differences between a contact and project here.
>> Step 3: Create your invoice
Now you're inside the contact's project. Under the Important Documents section, click on the Create New button and select Invoice from the menu of options.
Should you prefer to work off of an existing invoice template that you've saved ahead of time inside the system, please click on the Templates button in the upper right-hand corner of the invoice document to select the name of the template that you'd like to use.
To create a new invoice, you first need to set your general options for the document:
- Invoice #: you can set whatever number you'd like in this field. Please note that the following invoice numbers on your future documents will continue to automatically go up by one. For example, if you use the invoice number "10" here, the next invoice you create will automatically be set at invoice number "11" unless you change it. Invoice numbers are unique to each document and therefore cannot be reused, even if the invoice is later deleted.
- Due Date: set your final due date.
- Tax: select the appropriate tax setting if you are planning on applying tax to the invoice. You will later indicate which products/services are taxable within the individual line items.
- PO #: enter in the relevant PO number here if necessary. 17hats does not generate the PO itself.
- Notes: text entered here will show up at the bottom of the invoice, right above the invoice footer.
- Discount: discounts can be applied as either a fixed rate or as a percentage of the total.
- Online Payments: check this box if you plan to allow your clients to pay online.
- Recurring Invoice: check this option if you'd like for this invoice to be automatically sent on a continual basis to your client.
- Payment Schedule: to utilize the payment plan option, you'll first need to add in your line item(s). We'll come back to this setting in just a moment.
Now let's add in your line item(s)! Click on the Add Item button.
- Item: type your desired line item name. If you're looking to pull up a product that you've previously added into your account, simply start typing in the first few letters of the item's name and a drop-down menu of matching options will appear for you to select from.
- Description: add in the details.
- Price: set your pricing. Don't forget to check the Taxable box when necessary. This will bring up your list of pre-set tax rates for you to select the applicable one.
- Quantity: choose your quantity.
- Income Category: select the appropriate transaction category for bookkeeping purposes.
- Options: check this box if you'd like reuse this line item in the future. Why do the same work twice? Selecting this option will save the item along with its description, pricing and all other settings that you've created under Products within your Account Settings.
After you've added in your line item(s), you can now apply a payment plan if you'd like to allow your client to pay you in segments. Check the Payment Schedule box to bring up the backend settings for you to edit.
-- We're pretty much done here! --
Once you finish composing your invoice, hit the green Save button in the upper right-hand corner.
Tip: check the "Save as a new template" button to save your hard work as a new template for reuse. Your future self will thank you! Once saved, this invoice template will reside under Account Settings > My Templates > Invoices. It's that simple!
Now, you'll notice some new options at the top of your screen:
- Send invoice: everything look good? Click here to email the invoice to your client!
- Preview: check to see how the invoice will appear on your client's end by clicking here. The URL displayed in the address bar of the new tab is the unique link to this document.
- Print: click here to print the document or save it as a PDF. To make the invoice look more professional, we recommend that you click on More Settings from your printer options and deselect "Headers and footers" to remove the time stamp and URL from the document.
- Edit: need to make some last minute adjustments? Click here to edit the invoice, mark it as sent, manually record a payment or delete the entire invoice.