Kim Cook, president of 2K Productions, doesn't have any trouble getting paid--his big challenge is finding time to invoice clients. "It's not that people don't want to pay you, it's just that they have their own ways of doing it," says Cook, whose Charlotte, North Carolina, company shoots TV commercials, documentaries, videos and TV spots. "Trying to keep up with invoicing is my most difficult [task]. I let things pile up, and when I set aside time to get caught up, I get a call [for work] and that day is shot for billing." What's a homebased businessperson to do?
You could hire a service to do your billing and follow-up, but then you'd have to pay that service. We asked Michael Magdalani, president and CEO of Compustart, a New York City company that provides computer-based solutions, what to do. Magdalani recommends software from Intuit: QuickBooks or QuickBooks Pro. These programs are business-oriented, user-friendly and inexpensive. With them, entrepreneurs can track time for fee-based consulting jobs, do project-costing, monitor accounts payable and receivable, track invoices, calculate overdue fees, do online banking, and make payments and deposits. And that's just for starters.