Artist + biz = hope me
July 29, 2008 1:45 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone used mac freelance to manage their freelance biz?

I am a freelancer wearing different hats in different creative industries. I like it like this as I am bored easily. But I am not great at managing the financial end. For instance, I have no idea in any given month how much I make because everything is so different, running on different timeframes and with completely different guidelines. I am okay with numbers (I have managed budgets of up to 65,000) but I have never tried to track my business(es) as it is far from intuitive for me. I have mostly just tracked things with a notebook. Eg. How much will I get paid? And when it gets paid, I highlight the entry. Now I am getting too busy and dare I say successful, that this system is really no longer sustainable. Will this program be useful and adaptive enough for me? Or is there some other way to do this easily? Any other financial freelancey tips more than welcome.
posted by typewriter to Work & Money (3 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not familiar with MacFreelance, but I do use Freshbooks, which is an online service that does similar things. I also use Quicken on my Mac to track financial details.

My projects have different timeframes and different clients, and some are hourly while others are fixed price. Here's what works for me:

1. I send the client a bid. Freshbooks has a way to do that, but I just send an email that's a combination of bid and contract.

2. When the bid is accepted and I start work, I time myself using the Freshbooks timer widget. It automatically assigns the hours to the right project and can generate an invoice from the hours. (I time myself for fixed-price work, too, so I know if my bids are good.)

3. At invoicing time, I use Freshbooks to create the invoice. The client gets an email with a link; they click the link to see the invoice. I like this because Freshbooks can tell me when the client has seen the invoice. I could instead save the invoice as a PDF and just email that.

4. Also when I invoice, I add the invoiced amount to a "receivables" asset category in Quicken. That way the receivables are included in my net worth, which I like to keep an eye on.

5. While I wait for payment, I can check Freshbooks to remind myself who hasn't paid yet and whose payment is about to be late. I can use Freshbooks to send reminders to late clients.

6. When the client pays, I record their payment in Freshbooks. In Quicken, I move the amount from receivables into my business account.

7. I immediately transfer 30% of the payment to a high-yield savings account at ING, from which I pay my quarterly taxes (I'm in the US).
posted by PatoPata at 2:30 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks, Freshbooks look pretty interesting.
posted by typewriter at 5:38 PM on July 29, 2008

Response by poster: I don't want to commit to a monthly fee so I am going to spring for the macfreelance. It's $40. I'll report back.
posted by typewriter at 1:21 PM on July 31, 2008

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