I'm always looking for an easy way to organize client invoices for my company, which sells men's clothing and accessories, as well as illustration and design services. When I asked my Twitter followers to suggest a simple accounting program, one of them told me about Pancake Payments, a Web app that lets you create and manage proposals, estimates, and invoices.
Typically, we start projects in Pancake's "kitchen," where we can collaborate with clients. For instance, if we're working on a design project, we can e-mail a Pancake login to the client and invite him or her to view JPEG images of our ideas. Clients can make suggestions right in the app. Then, with the click of a button, we can generate and send an estimate, proposal, or invoice. Before, we would e-mail PDFs back and forth to clients, which was a huge pain.
My favorite thing about Pancake is the dashboard, which shows a tally of how much clients have paid and how much they owe. I can also drill down for payment details on individual invoices. When I see clients dragging their feet, I simply resend an invoice from Pancake, along with a reminder.
Pancake has a one-time fee of $49. It's a small price to pay for an app that helps us keep the financial stuff as basic as possible, so we can focus on the creative side of the business.