For new entrants to the field, there's a lot to think about when setting up your business, and it's especially with these people in mind that I've shared this template. If you're a newbie, perhaps you can use this as an interim way of managing your accounts – one less thing to worry about for now!
This template includes a number of columns with formulae that I find useful. The Status column is particularly helpful because it automatically lets me know when an invoice payment is overdue. The formula here is derived from the Paid, and Payment Due columns. The Payment Due column formula is derived from the Invoice Sent and Payment Terms columns. As soon as I receive notification that an invoice has been paid, I insert "p" in the Paid column; if payment has not been received by the due date, the cell in the Status column turns to bright orange and I know it's time to chase my client.
Another thing I like to do is differentiate between different stages of the process. I use black text for complete and paid-for projects, red for complete and payment pending, green for active, and blue for forthcoming. It helps me to see, at a glance, what's going on in my schedule, especially when a client asks about availability.
I keep track of whether the job will be returned to a client via email, the post office or courier (at the client's expense). The UK's HMRC allows the freelancer to offset a percentage of mileage costs against their tax liabilities.
I've also elected to have a little summary box at the bottom of the spreadsheet. This shows me my average earnings, my average hourly rate and my average rate per 1,000 words. These figures are really only for curiosity, since each job varies quite considerably in size, type, budget, difficulty and speed. If I was doing any serious analysis I'd look more deeply into the data to assess whether there are patterns in terms of, say, client type, service offered and subject matter.
Feel free to copy, amend or ignore as you see fit. You can add your own formulae to particular columns if the way in which you charge for your work differs in some cases. I'm no Excel guru but I am familiar with the basics, so if you're unsure of the correct formula that you'd need for a particular cell or group of cells, feel free to ask.
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and the curator of The Proofreader's Parlour. She is also the author of Business Planning for Editorial Freelancers, Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business, and Omnibus: Editorial Business Planning & Marketing Plus.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, follow her on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
Search the blog ...
I am an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society. Visit the SfEP website for more information.
All text on this blog, The Proofreader's Parlour, and on the other pages of this website (unless indicated otherwise) is in copyright © 2011–17 Louise Harnby. Please do not copy or reproduce any of the content, in whole or part, in any form, unless you ask first.