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Small Victories

Small Victories

I’m billing more regularly. Almost monthly. Only a year ago did I almost create a custom “signature” in my QuickBooks invoices (and emails) that said something like, “Ha ha, here’s the semi-deciannual billing for design and hosting services. Sorry I’m so behind on accounting, I swear it’ll happen this year! Thanks for your patience.”

I wish I were kidding.

I just went through my least favorite report in QuickBooks, “Time by Job Detail (unbilled).” It’s a report of time spent on projects that hasn’t made it into an invoice yet. Of course, all it takes is creating a new invoice for the client and adding the items. Great, done. Yeah, but I’d have 20 or 50 of them with a half hour here, an hour there and I would think, “Oh, I’ll send a bill when there’s more time on there.” Which would either happen a few months (or years) later or more likely: never.

But this morning, granted, a Saturday morning, there are only maybe a dozen entries and those are all projects I’m currently working on. So as far as that report goes, I’m actually caught up. With something. For a change.

That’s progress. Small or large, it’s an improvement. I’ll take it.

Of course, there are many other areas where I can still improve, but I’m getting there. I have too many “manually automated” billing cycles. Mostly for hosting packages ($10/month x 12 months = $12). People want to pay by check, I have to send them an invoice once a year. Then they forget to pay, I forget to remind them, months pass, I bug them, maybe they pay. You get the idea. But if I’m monthly, I can bill them monthly and if they’re a month late, I can shut down the site. That usually works. Or put them onto credit cards with auto-billing. Or put them on another reseller account that has completely automated billing (complete with site shut-down) but I only get a small commission. There are options. I’m getting there.

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