As a full-time writer who is consistently taking on different freelance opportunities, at different times, and from different businesses, managing invoices has always been a challenge. Because not all companies use one system, such as PayPal, all of the invoices you send manually or through different platforms can get confusing. If you run your own business then chances are you’re even more overwhelmed, which is why Due.com is such an exciting new tool to review.
It fills the gap in invoicing that the online industry is missing without having to charge you an arm and a leg. Check out the review below, improvements I think need to be made, and the verdict that talks about who can benefit most from this particular tool.
How It Works and How to Get Started with Due.com
To get started, all I had to do was visit Due.com, click “Sign Up,” and then fill in basic contact information. I was then taken to my dashboard and set to go. For non-disclosure purposes I chose to use screenshots in this piece with generic and made up company names (but you get the idea). The best way to really understand the tool is to go through the basic features, or tabs, including in the tool. If you’re only interested in the review, just skip down to the next section!
The Dashboard Tab
Below is a screenshot of the empty dashboard you start out with. As you might imagine, as you add information your dashboard will change and you’ll have a full calendar and full list of Reports. Pay attention to the tabs on the left hand side of the screen—that’s where all of the action and features happen. It gives you a quick look at everything you’re working with at once (as dashboards do).
As you can hopefully see, it’s a very intuitive dashboard. You have all of your options in the left-hand side bar, you just have to click them and get started. If you want to add a client, click the “Client” tab to add, if you want to add an invoice or a recurring invoice, you can click the “Invoice” tab, and so on and so forth.
The Invoice Tab
Because this tool focuses on invoices, let’s look at the screenshot you’ll see when you click the “Invoice” tab on the left-hand side of the page:
This gives me a quick look at how many invoices are pending, paid, and the ID numbers all listed out neatly in a chart at the bottom of the page. I can also easily click to Recurring Invoices to make sure everything is set correctly. To create a new Invoice, I simply click the Blue Button on the top right-hand side of the page.
The Client Tab
This is a pretty straightforward feature that makes it easy to create an address book of your clients, both new and old, so that you can navigate to his/her contact information and find him/her easily when creating and invoice or a project. You may also notice that there is one Project associated with this client (which brings us to the next tab), but ultimately it’s nice to see everything in one place.
The Projects Tab
This tab has two different layers: Projects and Tasks. What you do is create a project and then you can add tasks to that project (almost like a subcategory of a topic). You have the ability to add a budget, client name, due date, and of course can make edits and changes at any time. This Project is associated with the client “Joe Smith,” which again, you can see above in the Client tab.
Prices: And here ends all of the free options. To unlock the other tabs you have to pay a monthly fee anywhere from $10/ month, $25/ month, or $100/ month. You can check out more of the pricing here.
Looking at the paid version and giving it a quick try, larger businesses would benefit because it opens up features like PayPal integration, Invoice Export Options, a Timeline of your Activity, and allows you to add other Staff members to your projects and activity. For smaller businesses or freelance work, like me, the free version is more than enough.
Notable Features of Due.com
A few of the features below you can only find with the paid version, so it’s up to you to decide whether or not you would benefit from some of these features. Nevertheless, Due.com does offer some cool stuff that you may just want to keep in the back of your mind if your company does end up growing:
- Embed Invoices. This tool has a feature where you can embed one of their invoices (yes, they’re customizable) right onto your website so that customers never have to leave your site to pay your invoice online.
- Invoice Multiple Countries & Tax Systems.com is supported in more than 100 countries and supports the majority of all tax systems. Obviously, this makes it a great option if you expect to someday have international customers.
- PayPal Partnership.com has a partnership with PayPal that offers a $.50 transaction fee if paid through PayPal balance. This helps you save money on fees.
Where Due.com Could Use Some Improvements
The first thing I thought of when using this tool was the importance of sinking it to oDesk. There are also other invoicing services out there such as Zoho, Xero, eLance, and even Venmo for small projects that Due.com didn’t seem to mention. The paid version of the tool will include PayPal and QuickBooks integration, which is great, but I know that we personally use oDesk all the time and would love the ability to sync it with Due.com. For smaller businesses, having to pay to even just get PayPal integration may not be worth it.
I get asked to write a lot of reviews, but this was one that I really had my hopes set on as I sat down to check it out. If the tool were as good as the idea, then my life would get a whole lot easier. Fortunately for me (or anyone out there managing a lot of invoices and projects), it did not disappoint. The verdict here is a big “YES everyone should try this tool.”
Because the tool is so new it is unsurprising that there are still a few kinks to iron out and improvements to be made, but they have a solid foundation. As discussed above, the best thing about Due.com is the interface. It’s so easy to use and straightforward that it actually does make things easier, which so many tool that try to do-it-all simply just can’t master. It’s intuitive, the navigation makes sense, and it automatically tracks everything for you so you know when something is completed and what’s coming up on your calendar.
A different way to think of this tool, and something that came to my mind immediately, is to compare Due.com to Mint. Your bank always has its own dashboard that you were probably using, just like you probably use the PayPal dashboard for your invoices. However, as things start to get more complicated you need a tool that does it all while still keeping things easy. In other words, Due.com is to Mint the way PayPal is to your bank. You love PayPal, but it just won’t cut it as your work continues to grow.
Again, you can sign up to start using the tool at Due.com. Once you give it a try, let us know what you think and what you would improve in the comment section below.
Author: Amanda DiSilvestro
Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.