How To Get Paid Faster with Wave (Part 2)

Post 3There are 3 laws of money: #1 It is better to have money than not to have money. #2 It is better to have more of it than less of it. #3 It is better to have it sooner rather than later. Wave Accounting can help creative entrepreneurs adhere to all three laws.

Last week we looked at Wave Invoicing which is essentially asking your client to pay you and how much, this week we look at Wave Payments which is where you actually get the money. We will look at 3 payment scenarios that are typical for creative entrepreneurs.

  1. Your client pays your invoice through Wave with a credit card.
  2. Your client pays your invoice through Paypal, another payment service, or send you a check.
  3. Your client buys something from you in person and pays with a credit card or cash.

The first scenario requires you to setup a payment account through Wave’s chosen credit card processor Stripe. Don’t worry, Wave makes it easy and secure to use this service. As with PayPal and other processors you will be charged a standard $0.30 per transaction and 2.9% of the invoice total for using their services.  Once you are setup, send your invoice through the desktop or mobile apps. Your client receives this via e-mail and clicks on the View and Pay Invoice button (you can also attach a .pdf to the e-mail if they prefer). Then they click the Pay Now button.

Window 1        Window 2

A screen pops up in their browser and the client enters their credit card information and clicks the Send Payment button. If your client doesn’t want to enter their credit card online, but is willing to give it to you over the phone, you can enter the information for them from within Wave.

Window 3

That’s it. Their payment appears in your bank account and your invoice is marked paid in Wave. You can opt to send a receipt to confirm their payment, but your work (most of which was done by your customer) is done.

In this second scenario you are going to receive payment through PayPal. Some clients may only want to pay you through PayPal, but that seems to be changing as Stripe, Square, Apple Pay and other services become better known. There is no option in Wave to use PayPal to send invoice and payments directly, however there is an easy workaround. Wave allows you to disable payments for a specific invoice, so in the case of a client that will only pay via PayPal you must do the following. When you create your invoice make sure the Disable Credit Card Payments checkbox is checked and add a Memo that tells the client to send their PayPal payment to your PayPal e-mail and maybe include the http://www.paypal.com link as well.

Window 6

When the client gets your invoice e-mail they must login to their PayPal account enter your e-mail, the amount, and your reference and click the Send button. The money will be transferred to your PayPal account. Yea!

Window 5

Unlike with Wave’s built in credit card processing which automatically records the payment against your invoice, you will need to manually record that the invoice as paid. This is also how you would manually record any invoice payments made by check.

Window 4

Wave also allows you to link (read-only) to your PayPal account in the same way you do your Bank accounts, so these transactions will then be downloaded to Wave automatically. Unfortunately you will still have to manually mark each invoice as paid.

In scenario three you will be selling something in person, maybe books at a book signing, autographs at a comic convention, or t-shirts at one of your concerts. This is where the Wave Payments mobile app shines.

First you must download the Payments by Wave app from the Apple App Store for iPhone or Google Play for Android and link it to your Wave login and password. Please note that the same $0.30 and 2.9% of the invoice total fees apply to these transactions. Now open Payments and select (or take) a picture of what you are selling, enter the amount before tax and a description. You can enable an existing tax or setup a new tax in the main menu. You can also record the location via GPS.

IMG_0975

For a cash transaction click the $ icon or for a credit card choose the Card icon. In the credit card screen you can enter the credit card type, number, and expiration date. You can also take a picture of the card to automatically fill in these fields (the picture is not saved for obvious security reasons). When you click the Authorize button you have the option of capturing the customers signature. Once the card is authorized it will be recorded in the transactions menu. For both cash or credit transactions you have the option of sending a nicely formatted receipt to their e-mail address.

IMG_0977     IMG_0979

Important Note: You will not see your payment immediately. Stripe will deposit your funds in your account within 7 days. Some credit card processors require you to deposit a cash reserve to protect them against fraud. While Stripe doesn’t require a cash reserve, they do hold onto your money until it clears (PayPal may hold it for 21 days for some sellers). Although this is a violation of Money Law #3 (but in keeping with Laws #1 and #2), I still prefer the Stripe way, but your mileage may vary.

Just to review: we enabled Payments by Wave and looked at three scenarios for receiving payment from your customers. Wave Accounting has many more features for reporting, budgeting, payroll, tracking receipts, and much more. But I think you will agree we have seen enough for now. Tune in next week for a Non-Accounting post of Good Cloud, Bad Cloud: The Best and Worst Cloud-Based Apps for Creative Entreprenuers.

The Scorecard:

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How To Get Paid Faster with Wave (Part 1)

Post 3Wave is a free cloud-based app for accounting and is ideally suited for the creative entrepreneur. The desktop app beautifully integrates to your existing bank account (read-only ala Mint), is simple to use, powerful in its features, and hits a home run with its mobile apps.

If you didn’t already flee at seeing the word accounting, hang in there because what that word really means is getting paid for your work and  keeping a bit more of that in your pocket. I know lots of artists don’t want to care about money.  But the age of the wealthy patron or the impoverished artist/genius are over and we live instead in the age of the marketplace.

To get paid faster you first need to invoice your client. To create an invoice in Wave just go to http://www.waveapps.com, choose sign-up, and enter your name, e-mail, and password. You can create your invoice in less than 2 minutes in three easy steps.

Step 1: Click on Create Invoice. Since it is your first invoice you will be prompted to upload a company logo, enter your business address, and click Save.

Wave Invoice Step 1

Step 2: In the next screen enter your client information. Enter your product, description, units, price, tax (if any). Any clients and products you create here will be available when you create your next invoice. Click Save and View.

Wave Invoice Step 2

Step 3: Review your invoice in this screen and then click Send to e-mail or print your invoice.

Wave Invoice Step 3

Easy right? Well here is where it gets really good. Instead of booting up your laptop you can do all of this with Wave’s mobile invoice app (available for iOS and Android devices). This is great for when you are on the go. Just finished a recording session? Send your invoice. Just finished a shoot? Send your invoice. Client claims they never go it? Resend your invoice. The sooner you send it the faster you will get paid.

Step 4: Install the app on your smartphone or tablet and open the app. The first screenshot is the invoice we just created. Click on it to show/edit details of the invoice. You can also create a new invoice on your mobile device just as easily as you did on your desktop.

IMG_0967   IMG_0968

Step 5: Follow up on your invoices by choosing to set a reminder when creating or editing an invoice. You can set it for a specific date or for 7 or 14 days after the due date.  You can also enable Notifications in the mobile app to see which invoices have been viewed, paid, or are overdue and take action. Using both of these methods allows you to follow up on past due items with your client and get paid faster.

Invoice Reminder

Just to review: we signed up for Wave, created an invoice, sent it to our client, viewed/edited it on our smartphone, and got notifications on all our invoices. And you thought accounting was hard! Next week we will examine the next step in getting paid faster with Wave Payments. 

The Scorecard

Post 3 Scorecard

What don’t you need to know about “The Cloud”?

Post 2 1200x1200In a word: “Everything”.

OK. You see that stuff in the speech bubble? You don’t need to know any of that stuff. In fact the idea of “The Cloud” originated as shorthand for white boarding technical architectures. It represented the unknown. It represented the (for now) unimportant. It represented the (frankly) incomprehensible.

Note to any techie scolds reading this: The word Cloud has more meanings than your narrow definition of it. Yes, marketers stole the word, get over it already. In fact the first use of the term “Cloud Computing” was coined to describe Compaq Computers internet business strategy in the early 1990s.

OK. There are a many blogs on Cloud Computing for techies. I follow those blogs so you don’t have to and I am not going to write about any of that. If that’s your thing this one is good. But for creative entrepreneurs, which is the audience my blog is focused on, this stuff really, really doesn’t matter.

OK. So what do I plan to blog about? First and foremost, what problem are you trying to solve or what result are you trying to achieve?  In other words, how does a particular Cloud App help you succeed? And to answer that I am going to be looking at Cloud App functionality, costs, time to setup and maintain, security and privacy of your information, mobile capability, analytics and reporting, ease of import and export, future directions of the software, and the viability of the vendor. And last but not least, aesthetics and good design. As creative entrepreneurs the tools we use every day should be beautiful as well as practical.

Most of my posts will be reviews of specific Cloud Apps, so to keep it simple I created the following 5 point Likert Scale graphic. Next week on Wednesday see my post on How to Get Paid Faster with a Cloud App called Wave.

Likert Scale

Is this blog worth it?

Post 1 1200x1200No one makes you read a blog. To hold your attention it must inform, educate, or entertain. The best blogs do all three. But like a youtube video the opposite of “good” is “off”. No one watches bad video and no one reads boring blogs. I don’t and neither should you, it’s just not worth it.

So is this blog worth it? Well that depends on you. Are you an actor, author, director, filmmaker, musician, photographer, producer, screenwriter, voice artist or other creative entrepreneur?  Do you want to spend more time in front of an audience, behind the camera, writing your novel, or practicing your craft and less time on hold with tech support? Do you want to spend as little money as possible running your business, finding new clients, and acquiring the tools you need? If you didn’t answer yes to each of those questions, this is not the blog for you and I suggest you stop reading now.

So is this blog worth it? Well that also depends on me.  Am I qualified to judge the best and the worst of cloud-based apps for creative entreprenuers? Will I really be able to save you time and money? Do I understand what problems you are trying to solve or what results you are trying to achieve? In order to answer these questions to your satisfaction I need to tell you a brief bit of my story.

I was trained as a computer scientist and spent the next 10 years developing business application software. After earning an MBA I helped found a management and technology consultancy that my partners and I built it into a billion dollar business. My focus in consulting was helping companies implement sales, service, and marketing applications, many of them cloud-based. After earning a Ph.D. I served in the Peace Corps and received a USAID grant to help local non-profits implement cloud-based apps. Since coming back to the states I co-founded a creative start-up that focuses on voice over and video production.

So back to those three questions. Yes, I am well qualified to say something about cloud apps. Yes, I am certain I can  save you time, money, and aggravation. And yes, I know first hand about selecting and using cloud apps for my creative business. But I wouldn’t begin to claim to know all about what you are going through. That is where I need your help. Leave me a comment, message me, connect with me on social media, ask me your questions, help me to understand and I will do everything I can to help you be successful.

Since you made it to the end of this post, keep reading. I’ll make sure this blog is worth it.