What are invoices and how do I use them?

How to use Bonsai for your invoicing needs

Updated over a week ago

Bonsai is an excellent tool for invoicing, whether you're a freelancer or an LLC! Invoices are one of our most popular tools. You can create invoices from scratch, generate them from time you've tracked, or from proposals/contracts- and get paid by your clients quickly and easily.

To learn more about our other tools, visit our getting started article!

Creating an Invoice

To create an invoice, click on your "Invoices" tab, and click "New Invoice"

Remember, although these are the steps to make an invoice "independently", you can also create a contract or a proposal, and choose to make your invoices along with those documents as well.

Once you've clicked to create an invoice, you will be presented with this prompt. Here you can choose the Invoice Type, such as a single invoice, a recurring or subscription invoice, or a bundled invoice. Then you can choose your Client, and choose an existing project or make a new one!

Now, you can click "Create Invoice" to get started!

Payment Methods

After creating your first invoice, it's a great idea to make sure your payment methods are set up the way you want.

You can do so in several ways...

  • After creating an invoice, and while it's still in "Drafted" status, you can easily edit the payments methods by accessing the "Payments" section in the sidebar.

  • You can also do this by visiting your "Invoices" tab, and click on "Edit Payment Methods" tab within.

For more information on setting up integrated payment methods, check out this article here.

If you are using an integrated payment method, remember that processing fees will apply depending on your processor and payment method! You can also share custom payment instructions with your client instead of using our integrated options. It is good to become familiar with the pros and cons of different payment methods, such as ACH bank transfers being slower but having lower fees than credit/debit payments.

Invoice Options

There are a few useful options to note when creating your invoice.

You will see that the "Issued On" date and the "Send Now" options are highlighted. You can change the "issued date" to a future date, and then click on the "calendar" icon next to "Send Now" if you want to schedule the invoice to be sent on a future date. This will make sure that your invoice is sent to your client on that future date.

You can click "Add Recipient" to add additional contacts, or additional client emails, to your invoice when sending it.

Lastly, you need to create "Line Items" on your invoice. If you generated this invoice from a proposal or contract, these may already be started for you. Enter an Item Name, type in a quantity for Units, and add the Rate for that item. These will tally and become a total at the bottom of the invoice.

You can also create a custom tax by clicking on where it says "0.0%" and adding your own figure and tax name. You can also add expenses by clicking on "Add Expenses."

Sending Your Invoice

When you're finished with your invoice, the highlighted "Send Now" option is straightforward. Once clicked, it will give you an option to either send your client the invoice through Bonsai, or you can choose to send it as a URL link to your client. You can also click "more options" and download a PDF version of your invoice.

Now that you've sent your invoice, remember that you can always view your invoices from the "Invoices" tab. The icon on the left-hand side will let you know the status and whether it's unsent (grey), overdue (red), outstanding (orange), or paid (green!)

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