Using the Paypal invoice feature for your small business needs

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Whether your are a new blogger or an experienced blogger, a small business owner or freelancer you may have been asked if “you accept Paypal.” You may have also been asked to submit an invoice via PayPal or by some clients to accept credit cards. All of these things can be done, making PayPal an efficient way of keeping track of payments and expenses as well as what is outstanding or unpaid, and providing a quick way to send a reminder. I find PayPal (other than the fees) to be one of my favorite methods of handling my small business finances.

+ The information provided is based on the belief that you currently have a PayPal account. If you don’t have one, it can be easily created by visiting Paypal.com. If additional assistance is needed when setting up your account or using it for business be sure to talk to the helpful customer support system.

creating a paypal invoice

Log into your account and select the Send and Request option.

creating a paypal invoice

Select Create Invoice.

paypal invoice feature

 

Select the type of invoice you need to submit. I usually use the default function because my invoices usually are a flat rate sum but I like being able to detail what it is. You can also use the amount function if you are charging a rate only. Select hours if you charge by the hour (example 4 hours at $55 an hour).  The invoice number and date are automatic, however you may want to change the invoice number if you have for example submitted other invoices using an alternate method.

If you need to you can create your own template, however the three provided do offer most the itemization that they need.

Optional items: You can upload your logo and use your logo on your invoice. Other optional items include changing the due date, reference number, currency or due date. Additional options include attaching files like reports.

Include the email address to the person you need to bill. Once you have included their address it can be saved and used ┬árepeatedly by starting to type the name. You can also send to multiple parties. For example I’ve had some clients where I send it to the accountant for payment, but also to the marketing department so that she would know it had been submitted and be aware of where it was in the process.

paypal invoicing

I like to end my invoices in the notes section with “Thank you for your business,” or other note of appreciation. I leave other correspondence for email messages. Terms and conditions can be stated, for example my contractor included a note about the warranty on the parts and labor for the repairs made in my house and attached the files of the items used and hours worked.

PREVIEW: It’s important to preview and review your invoices before sending. The wrong number can cause difficulties with your client. You can also save them to be sent at a later date should you get called away from the office.

SEND: Click send and you will receive an email message to the email account associated with your Paypal account confirming your invoice has been issued. An email will be sent to the client to pay and they may use their debit or credit card or their PayPal funds available in their account.

It’s that easy. I like that I can also go through the unpaid invoices quickly and easily with the sorting function or I can look at the full list of all paid and unpaid. Use the “REMIND” button to remind clients that they invoice remains unpaid when it has not been paid by the time agreed upon.

Remember PayPal just charge a fee but then again most of these types of services as well as even some banks do. Consult your accountant to determine if it is a tax deductible expense.

This is just the basics of using the PayPal invoice feature, be sure to contact their customer service department for additional information as well as assistance should you have any problems.

 

 

 

 

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5 Finance factors to consider before deciding to work at home

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Image By Flickr Creative Commons: Dustin Moore

The decision to stay home or return to work after having children is one hot topic. Not only do people talk about it a great deal, but there are also some very strong feelings offered up to both men and women as they consider becoming a stay-at-home parent. In our case, it was sort of an easy answer to the question of staying home. A nice salary from a university position, didn’t offset the cost of two young children needing daycare, which would cost approximately $2500 a month in child care and made our decision somewhat easy. But there are also many other factors to consider before parents make a final decision about staying home. The most important one may have to do with money. Here are a few finance factors to consider before you write your two week notice.

Beware of your budget. Childcare is not the only expense to consider. You may also need to make some tough decisions about your lifestyle choices, vacations or even dining out. Do you have some payments like the mortgage that simply couldn’t be met if one parent or the other stays home? If so, you may need to consider downsizing or cutting back on your other expenses, if you do decide to stay home.

Check the credit. While couples can add their non-working spouse to a credit card, usually this means that the stay at home parent won’t be building up their own credit. That can cause long term financial problems in the event of a death or divorce.

Insure your insurance. Is the prospective stay at home parent the one with health insurance coverage? If so will the same level of coverage be available for a similar premium, from your company? Will there be additional copays or deductibles? You will also need to consider where in the year that these insurance changes, such as taking on a new policy or changing an existing one will happen. In some cases you must wait for a determining factor or an enrollment date.

Return on retirement. You know that 2-5% contribution that your company has been depositing for you in your IRA account? While it may not seem like much, but at least it was something going into your retirement fund. As a result, staying at home can mean that your retirement money may not grow old with you, unless you can find a way to continue to make some contributions.

Respect responsibilities. With one parent staying home there may be some thought that now all the household decisions and work like cooking and cleaning is done exclusively by the stay at home parent. Where once before you may have had a housekeeper, use a dry cleaner or have someone to care for your pool or lawn, your decision to stay home may mean that those expenses need to be cut from the budget. You may have to start doing these chores. However, staying home is a job too, and it is just as hard if not harder some days that going out into the workforce. Make sure that you and your spouse discuss how the chores, cooking, cleaning and transporting the kids after work hours will be handled and find a way that works for you.

The decision to stay home isn’t one that can be decided easily. There is a great deal to consider and discuss with your significant other or spouse. Money is one of the main topics of disagreement in many relationships so it’s important to consider the impact that your stay at home decision will make, not only on your finances but on your relationships too.

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