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Five invoicing tools that will make your life easier

Using an invoicing program can save you time and money, but knowing which one to choose can be difficult. Here are five tools to get you started.

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You’re in business, so you’ve probably invoiced someone before

Chances are if you’re in business, at some point, you’ve either created, or received an invoice. Creating invoices can be a tedious process, especially if you’re using a word processor; receiving invoices that are created on-the-fly can be a hassle, because often times the data is incorrect, or incomplete. Using an invoicing program can save you time and money, but knowing which one to choose often time, can be more trouble than it’s worth.

Below are five invoicing tools that can save you time and money.

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Deciding which one to use is often trial and error, along with personal preference, but these five will get you started:

1. Link up with Stripe

Invoice.to is a simple, clean invoice tool that links with Stripe. Invoice.to works on every device and there’s nothing to download. Instead, you simply fill in your information and you’re ready to send. This is an excellent tool if you’re on-the-go, trying to catch up on work, and need to send a quick invoice without the hassle of formatting.

2. Invoice on the go

Free Invoice Generator is another great tool for invoicing on the go. Again, there is nothing to download, you’ll only need to enter your information into the fields. This one is my favorite because none of your information is stored on their servers, rather all your information is stored via the “LocalStorage” mechanism on your computer. They also give you the ability to instantly delete this information whenever you like. The only drawback to this one is you’ll need to download it before you can send it.

3. Unlimited and free

Slimvoice is a little bit different. To get the full benefits from this tool, you’ll need to create an account and login. Then, you’ll be able to create, manage, export, and send unlimited invoices for free. You can see outstanding balances at a glance by entering cash and check payments so Slimvoice can keep track of them. There’s no need to compose emails and attach invoices manually; Slimvoice will keep the stray files off your desktop by sending PDFs directly to your client. Like Invoice.to, you can connect Slimvoice with your Stripe account, allowing you to accept credit cards right on your invoices.

4. Freelancer’s dream

Lessons Invoicing is perfect for when you don’t have access to a computer. You can track lessons and hours, allowing you to invoice clients more quickly and efficiently. This tool was specifically designed for individual instructors, coaches, and freelancers. Lessons accurately generates invoices and emails them directly from your phone. Simple, fast invoicing for freelancers without the need for a separate time tracking tool. Lessons uses your contact list to add new clients and populate your invoices. It also gives you the option to BCC yourself on the email and send yourself a CSV copy of the invoice for your records. Again, a really effective tool if you need to invoice on-the-go.

5. From proposal to invoice

Motiv App is the most comprehensive tool on this list. Motive can handle proposals, quotes, invoicing, payments, expenses, contracts, CRM, projects, time tracking, and record your notes. Even if you just use it for invoicing, it is worth it. Motiv allows you to connect your invoices to Stripe or PayPal. Motiv also has a mobile app, so you can take advantage of all the features without the need of a desktop. The downside to Motiv is that it handles more than invoicing, so it isn’t free, and there is a little bit of a learning curve. It is definitely not as convenient if you’re just looking to send a quick invoice.

Have you tried any of these invoicing tools? If so, which one is your favorite?

#Invoicing

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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Business Finance

Under-representation of women in fintech: Let’s talk about it

(BUSINESS FINANCE) Representation of women in fintech remains scarce despite a prevalent population of interest. Why is this the case, and what can we do about it?

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Woman reading a document in front of her computer, one of the women in fintech.

Women are 50% of the population – so why are there only 9 of us on the 2020 Forbes Fintech 50?

I’m personally shocked by how underrepresented women are in such a lucrative industry. By 2022, it’s predicted that fintech, or financial tech, will be worth $26.5 trillion, and we cannot afford to miss out.

And I’m serious when I say fintech is truly taking over. This includes payment processing, online and mobile banking, person-to-person payments (think Venmo or Cash App), financial software, to name a few. For some perspective, half of consumers use digital banking services as the primary way to manage their money. That’s a big deal.

So why does it matter that women are drastically underrepresented in leading roles at these companies?

  • Women CEOs receive only 2.7% of all VC funding – that is astonishingly low, considering that the remaining 97.3% is secured by their male counterparts.
  • While a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review on leadership skills found that women scored higher than men in 17 out of 19 categories (I could’ve told you that), women founders make up only 17% of fintech companies. Some of the categories tested on were:
    • Bold leadership
    • Taking initiative
    • Resilience
    • High integrity & honesty
    • Collaboration and teamwork (this is a big one!)
    • Inspiring & motivating others

If you’re a woman interested in business, tech, or entrepreneurship looking to break into the big leagues, here’s some exclusive advice from lady CEOs, founders, and COOs:

  • Stay Passionate
    Suneera Madhani, Founder + CEO of Fattmerchant, says: “…remember why you started and hold that close to your heart when times get tough.”
  • Be Open to Learning
    “Never behave as the smartest person in the room because you may miss some of the best ideas.” Says Snejina, Co-founder + CEO of Insurify.
  • Trust Your Intuition
    As the Founder + CEO of Tala, Shivani Siroya urges us to: “Stay excited, focused on results and be incredibly optimist. It’s okay to really believe in your gut – just make sure that you see the results with it.”

2021 is a new year full of opportunity – even though the odds are (and always have been) stacked against us, let’s have this be the year where women techies and business owners capitalize on their leadership skills. We have lost time – and profit – to account for.

Author’s Note: Thank you to CreditRepair for the linked infographic!

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Business Finance

TikTok users are making bank by copying Congress peoples’ investments

(FINANCE) TikTok, the short-form video platform, has users trading stocks tips. The newest strategy: following Congress peoples’ stock moves.

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TikTok isn’t just for funny dances, crude jokes, and kids born after the year 2000 (but crazy to think, they aren’t kids anymore, they could be 21…time flies). The short-form video platform that soared to be the #1 most downloaded app during the pandemic is giving tips to youngsters and millennials for their finances. The newest strategy: following and copying Congress’ stock moves.

This is in part to the not-so-surprising news of insider trading among politicians and the ability to duplicate trades of another user on platforms such as Iris, whose website says…

“Invest together with your family, friends, and brilliant people all over the world. Get real-time notifications when others make trades and copy their moves.”

Nancy Pelosi and her husband, Paul, are the prime examples of government traders (or traitors, you decide) to watch. For example, Paul made $5.3 million through call options to buy 4,000 shares of Alphabet before the House Judiciary Committee voted on antitrust regulations. He also exercised $1.95 million worth of Microsoft stock just 2 weeks prior to the company’s awarded contract worth $22 billion for the use of their VR headsets in military training. Lastly, before President Joe Biden announced another incentive program for EV manufacturers, he also paid Tesla stock options for $1 million.

Nancy Pelosi at the podium.

Christopher Johns, the cofounder of Iris, said that every trade “inevitably turned out to be such a long-term winner.” Wonder how that’s possible (eye roll). He adds, “if they’re the ones passing the laws, it’s probably smart to keep up and see what they’re buying.”

And yes, their stock picks are considered public trading activity and this is perfectly legal. Trading is no longer a lone man in a dark room behind 3 large computer screens of graphs or Jim Cramer screaming in the background- it’s a full-on social activity, just like everything else nowadays.

There is a whole community behind these meme cryptos, penny stocks, and short squeezes. You’ll find them on r/wallstreetbets, Elon Musk’s Twitter, Facebook groups, and of course, trading TikTok, all contributing to the “Eat the Rich” scheme of Gamestop/AMC, the elaborate rise and fall of Dogecoin, and the now trending, 2nd dog-specific coin, Shiba Inu.

Laugh all you want, but these kids are working smarter, not harder, and even outsmarting the best in the league, by following the best in the league.

AMC, Gamestop, and Dogecoin.

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Business Finance

Mastercard partners with Bakkt to offer crypto services to its vast network

(FINANCE) The thousands of banks and millions of merchants on the Mastercard network could soon integrate cryptocurrency in their products and purchases

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Man holding Mastercard

Mastercard has announced a partnership set to change the financial industry forever.

The major payments network is teaming up with Bakkt, a crypto-focused firm spun off of Intercontinental Exchange, that would be the provider of custodial services for users that sign up. This means that the thousands of banks and millions of merchants on Mastercard’s network could soon integrate cryptocurrency in their products and purchases. Bitcoin wallets, cards that earn rewards in crypto, and loyalty programs like airline travel or hotel points that convert to bitcoin would be included. The benefit is that the rewards or points in the form of crypto will allow users to earn a yield. Bakkt CEO Gavin Michael said in an interview,

“It’s an easy way to get going because you’re not using cash, you’re putting something that’s an idle asset sitting on your balance sheet, and we’re allowing you to put it to work.”

cryptocurrency

With Mastercard being a dominant force in the global payments industry alongside Visa, and 2.8 billion Mastercards in use, the announcement could bring a noteworthy expansion to how Americans interact with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Sherri Haymond, the executive vice president of digital partnerships says,

“Our partners, be they banks, fintechs, or merchants, can offer their customer the ability to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency through an integration with the Bakkt platform.”

The development of crypto, and bitcoin in particular, has dramatically increased in just the last year. Bitcoin has reached the record price of $60k this month and U.S. regulators have now allowed bitcoin-linked ETFs.

In a U.S. Consumer Crypto survey by Bakkt consisting of 2,000 consumers, 48% said that they purchased some form of crypto in the first half of 2021. 32% that had not yet purchased crypto reported that they were heavily interested in purchasing by EOY.

According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 77% of millennials stated their interest in learning more about crypto while 75% said that they would put it to use if they could understand it better.

“We want to offer all of our partners the ability to more easily add crypto services to whatever it is they’re doing.”

Cryptocurrency on top of US dollar.

And just announced, due to the popularity and interest in cryptocurrencies in the Asia Pacific, consumers and businesses there will have the ability to apply for crypto-linked Mastercard credit, debit, or prepaid cards allowing them to convert their crypto into traditional currency to use globally. Mastercard is partnering with Amber Group, Bitkub in Thailand, and CoinJar in Australia to offer this service. Be on the lookout for the rollout of these services in the States soon!

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