How to generate invoices and keep accounting for free online

How to generate invoices and keep accounting for free online

Large or medium-sized companies have a system with billing programs that help them to keep their invoices and current or extraordinary expenses with total rigor. However, the little freelancers usually get by as they can. Sometimes they keep track of their invoices in Excel documents. And in the worst case, they may even do the invoices in a simple Word . This, in the long run, ends up being a problem.

First, because any freelancer - no matter how small - has to keep an exhaustive control of their finances. Make sure that all your invoices are in order, that the withholdings are correctly calculated and that ultimately you receive and pay the payments from the suppliers on time .

On the Internet there are countless proposals, both for software and online services, to manage billing. However, most of them offer us a free trial time, then move on to a paid service , which is not always easy for many freelancers to assume.

Whatever your situation, if you are considering organizing your bills and keeping a good control of your expenses, today we want to recommend a tool that we have tested. And that is working wonders for us. It is also free and does not include any trial period or limitation on its features.

Selfconta, a free system to keep your billing

Selfconta, a free system to keep your billing

We have tried and searched a lot of tools, but this is one of the ones that has convinced us the most. In fact, we already carry our billing through Selfconta. This is what this system is called.

It's intuitive, easy-to-use, and includes very home-like messages and directions. This is not against you, quite the opposite. And it makes the task of making invoices not an ordeal once and for all . Especially if this is what you like least about your job. Because in the case of the self-employed you have to assume everything!

But start using Selfconta now. All you have to do is access this page and register. Click on Sign up for free! and enter your email address and password. By creating an account, you will start to have access to this billing tool. It will also be necessary to include your information as a freelancer or company , because these must appear on all your invoices.

When you're inside, we recommend saving the address of // in your favorites. From here you will have direct access to your billing , anytime you want.

How to start creating invoices 

How to start creating invoices

When you are inside, you will see that you have no income or expenses to start with. It's normal, you haven't been released yet! To create a first invoice, click on Income (the first option on the top bar). Simply click on the Create button.

create invoice

A blank page will open and you will have to enter the first data . This includes:

  • Customer name
  • Customer ID / CIF
  • Date (if you do not modify it manually, today's date will appear)
  • Invoice number (one will be assigned consecutively)

create client

Add customer data

If the client is new, you will have to enter all their complete data. In this case, a window will be automatically activated and here you can insert the name and postal code. If the customer is identified within Selfconta , the other data will most likely be added automatically. This can happen in cases of large companies or that have already been previously identified by other Selfconta users.

If the system does not make things easier for you, you will have to be the one to add the DNI / CIF and the optional data (country, province, town, address, contact person, telephone and e-mail). If you enter an email address, Selfconta will be in charge of sending the invoice directly to the customer (as long as you have given this order).

create concepts

Add the concepts to the invoice

Now let's continue with the concepts, the central part of the invoice. Here you have to specify the services or products that you have offered to your client and for which you will receive the corresponding payment. In the first box, you have to select if you have made a sale of merchandise, if you have provided a service or if it is a rental income. Although you should know that here you can generate the product or service that you prefer. You have absolute freedom to adjust it to your needs and those of your company.

Next, you will have to type the description of the product or service , the quantity, the unit price and if you are going to apply any discount. At the end of this same line, you will see that there are two boxes for taxes. The first is for VAT (choosing the applicable rate, either 20, 10, 4 or 0%) and the second for personal income tax withholding (1%, 2%, 5%, 7%, 15%, 19% and 24%).

Keep in mind that these must be applied for each and every one of the concepts and not at the end, as is usually done in many invoices. Take a good look at this, because if you don't realize it, you could forget it and end up generating a wrong invoice.

The system will automatically calculate the percentages. As well as adding and subtracting all the necessary quantities . What you will get in the end will be a complete invoice, without errors and with all the calculations applied.

form of payment invoice

Include information about the collection system

At the bottom of the invoice, you will have to indicate the payment method . Here you have different options (Check, Cash, Credit, Deposit refund, Promissory note, PayPal, Direct debit, Bank remittance, Credit card and Bank transfer). Depending on the option you choose, it will be necessary to indicate a bank account.

When you're done, click Save or Save and exit if you want to go get another invoice or close the billing program. Within this same section, you have the option of sending the invoice to the customer (via email) or printing it, either on paper or to generate a PDF document.

How to create recurring invoices

Selfconta includes different options to make this billing system more personal and practical. One of the most important is the one called Recurring Bills . If you always offer the same service to a customer and pay for a monthly service, you can activate this option.

This is a feature that allows you to send a recurring invoice to a customer on a monthly basis. Thus, for example, if you invoice 300 euros per month for a specific service , it will not be necessary for you to generate the invoice manually every month. Selfconta will take care of doing it with all the data you have entered.

In addition, you will have to have added the customer's email address, so that the system can send it automatically. And you don't even have to deal with it. To activate this option, access one of the generated invoices and scroll to the bottom. Once here, check the Make recurring option . You do not have to do anything else.

If you want to see what your recurring bills are, simply go to the Income> Recurring bills option . From here you will be able to carry out all the steps you consider necessary regarding this type of invoice.

Customize invoices

Customize invoices

If you want, Selfconta will also offer you the possibility to personalize your invoices. In this way, you can adapt them to your liking (aesthetic) and select the color combinations that you like the most. To achieve this, click on the Settings button (it's the gear wheel in the upper right) and choose Invoice Design .

Here you can access  various designs , upload your logo, choose the combination of two colors and two types of letters, one for the titles and the other for the text. At the end, you can also choose if you want to add boxes for optional data (Title, Payment distribution, Annotations, Discount percentage, Withholding percentage and Telephone). When you're done, click the Save button.

How to control your expenses 

How to control your expenses, make budgets and delivery notes

If you want, you can only use this tool to control your invoices . Especially if you already have the help of a manager. But if this is not the case and you want to keep complete control of your finances as a freelancer, you have the possibility of adding expenses to the system. The procedure is exactly the same as you use to register invoices.

Only in this case, you will have to click on the Expenses section. Hit the Create button to add a new expense and select the provider. You can enter it in the same way that you generated a customer. And repeat it as many times as necessary.

On the other hand, you should bear in mind that within your administration and management tasks there will also be that of preparing budgets and delivery notes . This is an option that you will find in the More section. From here you can create all these documents and keep them in order.

In addition, you can also download reports to control your treasury expenses . You can download them in Excel format, to manage them later according to your needs.

expense chart

See your income and expenses in a graph

Things always look better if they are on a graph. And the same will happen with your income and your expenses. As soon as you access this tool, you will see a summary of all your financial information (provided that you have entered it, of course). Thus, at a glance you can check the following:

  • How much have you billed?
  • How much do they owe you?
  • How much have you earned?
  • How much will you pay in VAT?

This will be very good for you to avoid surprises when it comes to paying your quarterly taxes. And you will be able to get a very approximate idea - not to say exact - of the money that you must save or manage. At the top of the screen, just above the graphs, you can make a selection by months, quarters or years .

objectives income and expenses

If you want, you can also indicate what your objectives are, both in the income and expenses section. You just have to click on the Customize button . A page will be displayed for income and expenses for the entire year. Simply enter the figures for each of the months and hit the Save button. Each time you open the tool, you can check if you have met your goals.