From monthly tracking of client revenue to taking advantage of Google Sheets’ built-in features, freelancers have plenty of ways to track their revenue. I asked eight freelancers to share their tools and processes for keeping track of their earnings. Here’s what they shared:
Track Revenue Per Client Per Month
I track my revenue per client per month. It’s difficult to see the overall health of your business when you have a diverse portfolio of clients, projects, and invoices. This method is a simple and effective way to see how each client is contributing to your revenue stream.
Keep in mind that while the per-client-per-month approach is a great monthly snapshot, you should also analyze your top 10-15 clients annually to see which clients you should focus most on in the coming year.
Log All Invoices and Payments
An essential way to track your revenue is by maintaining accurate records of invoices and payments. This way, you can always see how much money clients owe you and when payments are due. This information can also help negotiate payment terms with clients or follow up on overdue invoices.
Use a Time Tracking and Project Management Tool
I am a freelance SEO consultant from Zürich. For tracking expenses, I use the Paymo app to track my billable time and invoices.
By simply “clocking in,” it saves me the headache at the end of the month to calculate how much time I spent on a project. It will cost you a bit, but you should consider that as an expense for your business.
Get an Accounting System
When I first started freelancing, getting an accounting system wasn’t a top priority. I thought they were costly, and when you are starting out, every penny counts.
I moved from an excel spreadsheet to an accounting system as soon as I got more clients. Managing invoicing had become more of a challenge. There are loads of good ones out there that connect to your bank account, so you can automatically match payments to invoices.
It saves a lot of time and is easier for you to see who’s paid and who hasn’t. Some of them aren’t even that expensive anymore. Take QuickBooks for example—they offer basic, inexpensive plans.
Find a SaaS Application That Meets Your Needs
There are a variety of SaaS applications that can help freelancers track their revenue and earnings. These applications can create a budget, organize expenses, and keep track of invoices. They can also help with forecasting future projects and understanding how much money you’re making.
QuickBooks and Wave are both popular SaaS applications for tracking finances. There are other applications like Incomee specifically designed for freelancers and independent contractors. Most of these not only save time but can also provide valuable insights into your finances.
Rely on No-Nonsense Spreadsheets
I use a combination of my bank account, invoicing software, and a spreadsheet to track my freelance writing revenue/earnings.
The spreadsheet shows an overview status at-a-glance with the details of where I am for the month and the year. Divided by month, I list clients on the left with the amount I’ll invoice them each month. At the bottom is my monthly total.
It’s a great way to see if I’m on track or need to increase my outreach.
Use a Google Sheets Template with Built-In Calculations
Rather than using accounting software, I prefer to track my revenue on a Google Sheets document. This living document gives me a yearly and monthly overview of my earnings from each client I work with.
If you choose to use a spreadsheet to track your earnings, I strongly recommend building in sections that automatically calculate your gross income, expenses, and taxes.
A good rule of thumb for tracking taxes is to set the calculation for 30% of your gross income.