What do You Use to Bill Clients?


JoyHawkins

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I was curious what system you all use to bill clients each month. In particular I would say a good system is one that:

1. Doesn't charge an arm and a leg for fees (I hear PayPal charges a lot)
2. Has automatic billing so you don't have to manually send out an invoice each month and wait to collect
 

Ben Bowen

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Just hit 5 years with Freshbooks. I have sent over 6000 invoices and have 0 issues. In fact, several of my clients now use it as well. I have most of my invoices sent automatically, on the same day every month.

I highly recommend it.

It integrates with several CC processors, including PayPal and Stripe. They also have a beta version of their own processing that I am currently testing.

Freshbooks itself is $30/month (the plan I use). Processing for CC depends on who you use. PayPal is 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction. OR, if you only allow clients to use direct debit from their bank accounts it is $.50 per transaction.
 
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Hi Joy,
I have used Paypal for 8 years without issue. Over the years I have looked at many alternatives but Paypal still wins in cost, convenience, and security. Paypal will try to push for their paid enhanced account ($30/month) but the free standard PP account will do recurring/subscription payments. Unless you get into large numbers of transactions Paypal is far less costly than bank merchant account.

The only clients who have complained about using Paypal, or didn't have/couldn't get a Paypal account, turned out to have financial issues so no great loss. Paypal's security & credit filter has saved me from a number of bad clients...

Doug
 

Phil Rozek

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I'll second what Doug said. I've used Paypal for many years, too. Clients like and trust it. Some send a check, but 95% opt for Paypal.

That trust aspect is especially important if you (as I do) offer services and products that people can pay for on your site, rather than requiring an invoice. In that sense Paypal's higher-than-ideal fees more than pay for themselves.

Also, the "Recurring Payments" feature is worth the extra $20/month. I've got most of my ongoing clients on that. You don't have to chase them down, and they don't have to spend time monkeying with
 
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Also, the "Recurring Payments" feature is worth the extra $20/month.
Paying for upgraded account may just make setup of subscriptions easier. I don't pay for the extra $20/month and can still do recurring payments.

Info on how to do Standard account recurrng payments is in Paypal's how-to info, but you will have to hunt for it. PM me if you need help.
Doug
 

Conor Treacy

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We use ProWorkFlow for our ticket/task/project management and it also does invoicing. It doesn't do automated invoicing, but it does a great job of time tracking and dumping out the invoice that way.

For automated billing, since I came from the web hosting world, WHMCS was my software of choice. I've used it for about the last 10 years and it works like clockwork! For billing we setup PayPal and CDGCommerce to accept credit cards directly. A number of clients still send check, but many of them like to just log in and pay.

PayPal has done an amazing job with making sure their name is known and trusted, and people don't seem to mind spending money through them, even on the subscription program that they offer.
 

JoyHawkins

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Sounds like everyone really likes PayPal :) For some reason I thought their fees were actually high compared to others out there. If they can do automatic billing that doesn't require a person to go in and manually create an invoice or chase down clients to pay, it sounds like a win-win.
 
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I 2nd Freshbooks. It is amazing and so easy to use.

And using Paypal within Freshbooks only charges me $0.50 (if not using credit card within Paypal). That saves a lot in itself. You can also use Freshbook's credit card processing which is pretty low fee as well. (Clients click whichever option they want to pay with.) (No extra merchant fees!)

It can email the invoices as expected, but they can also snail mail an invoice with a click of the button. Some clients still want a hard copy invoice, so this is a great feature.

Everything is automated. Late notices/reminders can be configured and sent automatically as well (if ever needed).

And it keeps track of my expenses.
 
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PayPal FTW.

I pay extra for recurring billing and virtual terminal.

Most of my clients don't feel comfortable entering their CC info online... so they sign their contract, fax it to me. I use the virtual terminal for one time charges... then I use recurring billing for monthly charges.
 

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