As a freelancer you are legally required to keep accurate financial records and expenses going back over the last six years. My trainees often ask me how they should record both their own financial records as well as their client invoices, so I thought I’d show you the system I use myself.
Posts Tagged Money & Legal
People often ask me whether they should take out business insurance and, although I usually direct them to various online articles (because well, that’s why Google exists!) I thought I should cover it on the site. Most other Sole Traders I know don’t have any insurance, but here’s a summary of the different types so you can make the decision for yourself.
An ongoing debate amongst freelancers is whether or not you should display your rates on your website. Although not everyone agrees and I have my own fixed opinion on the matter, I want to outline the pros and cons of both arguments as well as address common concerns so you can make an informed decision for yourself.
So now I’ve covered how to set your rates, how to track time spent on client tasks, how to avoid time-wasting clients and how and when to fire a client, it’s time to tell you how to invoice a client so they can pay you! This is how to set up easy standard ways of invoicing so you can just do the work and bill your client without any stress, worry or confusion.
Along with your niche, one of the hardest things to decide when you become a Virtual Assistant is how to set your rates. If you bill by the hour then you’ll never earn more than there are hours in the working day, if you charge a retainer then what do you include? And if you charge by the project how do you know how long a task will take in order to quote a fair price?
When you decide that you’re going to become a Virtual Assistant and take over the Universe, one of the many, many things you’ll need to do is tell the Government you’re no longer working for The Man but for many men and women instead. The information below is based on UK tax laws so make sure you’re up to date with what you need to do if you live outside of the UK.
When I started out as a Virtual Assistant I thoroughly researched other VA websites and noticed that many of them mentioned contracts or terms and conditions – yet when I asked another VA about them she said she never used a contract and simply trusted her clients.
So what did I do?
At some point during your VA career you’re going to get some late payers. I wish I didn’t have to just tell you that, but it’s just the way things are. Some clients are really good payers and some clients are a pain in the rear – it’s the way of the world. There are a few things you can do to mitigate the damage however.
If you’re a Virtual Assistant who charges by the hour then you’ll need a way of recording your time. Clients need to know they’re paying solely for the time you spend on their task, and it kinda helps if you know how much to bill them for! If you charge by the project then you probably won’t need a time tracker, but if you charge an hourly rate then you will.