Last editedApr 20233 min read
While there are an enormous range of benefits associated with self-employment, many freelancers struggle to get paid on time. Late payments have a direct effect on personal finance. And, chasing up late payments can be an extra burden on time and resources that many freelancers would rather do without.
Fortunately, there are a variety of solutions out there to help freelancers get paid on time. In this post we’ll take you through some of the best payment solutions for freelancers as well as offer up some tips on how to accept payment as a freelancer.
Best way to accept payment as a freelancer
How to accept payment as a freelancer is one of the first and most important questions freelancers ask themselves. While it might look slightly different for different freelancers, the process usually involves the following steps:
Client and freelancer will agree terms and payment in advance of the work’s completion
Freelancer will create an invoice and send it to the client
Clients will make the payment through a bank transfer, cash, cheque or payment portal.
There are several ways to collect payments from clients. The old-fashioned way involves cheques and cash. However, these can be harder to record for tax purposes and aren’t as safe and convenient as receiving digital payments.
Another issue with cash payments is that they must be accepted in person, which restricts your freelancing work opportunities to within your locality. In an increasingly digital age where freelancing is usually carried out remotely, this is a real problem.
With cheques, meanwhile, while they can be sent in the post, there is always the risk that they will get lost, compromised or stolen. Plus, if the cheque takes a while to arrive there’s a risk that it might bounce when you go to cash it in.
Online bank transfer is another method to pay freelancers. While this method has the benefit of being digital and convenient, it does leave responsibility for timely payment in the hands of the client. That’s why it can help to use a payment solution with tools and automation which can facilitate digital payments. This can help increase the chances of getting paid on time meaning you can turn your attention to focusing on your billable work.
Top 5 payment solutions for freelancers
Now we’re clued up on why software solutions can be such a benefit to collecting payment as a freelancer, let’s get into our list of the top payment solutions for freelancers.
GoCardless offers a bank payment service that always gets you paid on time and is more affordable and more secure than accepting card payments. It's easy to accept both one-off and recurring payments through GoCardless, and if you need to request payment instantly, just take advantage of our Instant Bank Pay feature.
Using Instant Bank Pay, you can send a payment request link directly to your clients through whichever digital channel you prefer, for example, by email, text, Whatsapp or on your website. After following a few simple steps to confirm the payment, you and your client receive instant notification of payment success. The amount is then settled either that day or the next working day, but you always have peace of mind that the amount is confirmed and en route.
Hectic is a freelancer-focused software solution that offers recurring invoices, automated reminders, late fees and customisable payment terms. It also has a time-tracking tool to keep records of hours spent on billable work.
FreeAgent's online accounting software is tailored specifically for freelancers and small businesses. The solution lets you set up recurring invoices that can be sent to clients automatically, as well as automated reminders. FreeAgent also integrates with GoCardless for payment collection.
FreshBooks is a popular invoicing software solution that allows for quick and easy invoice creation and can send out automatic payment reminder emails to clients.
Lili is actually a banking app rather than an accounting solution, however it offers great solutions for freelancers and small business owners. These include the option to divide bank balances into “buckets” for tax expenses, emergency funds and savings.
Bonsai is a great tool for getting paid faster, as it gathers data from its users to develop tactics for faster payment. It offers features for invoice creation, time tracking, contracts, proposals and accounting and taxes.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin you and your team have to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.