Willa: A New Invoicing System for Freelancers

Willa invoice app

I recently received an invitation from Willa, a brand new invoicing app for freelancers. I’m always game to try out new things to see if they’re right for my business. Therefore, I went ahead and downloaded the app. Here’s what I’ve learned so far …

What is Willa?

Willa is a new freelancer’s invoicing app. It’s currently invite-only. However, you can request an invite through the website if you’re interested in trying it out for yourself.

Willa for Professional Invoicing

First of all, it simplifies invoicing. I don’t honestly have a strong invoicing system in place. I use PayPal invoicing. Alternatively, I create a Word doc and send it through email. It’s obviously not as professional as it could be. As a result, I’m interested in the idea of streamlining my invoices.

Will for Quick Payments

Apparently the way Willa works allows the person doing the invoicing to receive payment into their account immediately. You send an invoice. Then, less than 30 seconds later, the money lands in your account. I’m still trying to figure out how this part works, because it seems too good to be true.

Payment is Easy for the Client

The invoice that the client receives has a professional look. Moreover, it has links to payment via credit card or other payment options. It does seem to simplify the payment processing system. And it reportedly works with all different types of client payment systems, so whatever they’re already using should mesh with this invoice system. The client doesn’t have to download the app. And they don’t have to pay any fees.

There Is a Fee: Is It Worth It?

You, however, do pay a price for this professional service and immediate payment. Luckily, there are no upfront costs. There are no ongoing monthly charges. However, you pay approximately 7% of each transaction to the app. That’s a big chunk of change in my opinion.

Willa says it’s worth it for these reasons:

  • You save time, which saves you money. After all, if you constantly have to chase down payments, that’s wasted time. I’ve had to do that in the past as a freelancer, and it’s definitely frustrating. However, all of my current clients pay on time so I’m not sure this one makes Willa valuable enough to me at this stage in my career. The app does note that it reduces the risk of taking on new clients, which is a positive as far as payment issues go.
  • Your client gets to set their terms of payment. Will suggests that honoring this makes the client more likely to work with you in the future. I have mixed feelings about this one. While I can see how it works in some situations, I also think it’s important as a professional to set your own terms. Of course, you can negotiate outside of the app then just use the app for invoicing. But then you’re spending 7% of your transaction on something you don’t need.
  • You get money right now. Apparently a venture capital firm backs Willa, guaranteeing that you get paid when you send your invoice. So, that’s certainly the main thing that makes the Willa app appealing. If you need the money now – not when your client gets around to paying – then perhaps a 7% fee is reasonable. If your client never ends up paying, then you still get paid. Obviously, that’s a plus.

Will I Use Willa?

Willa definitely would have worked for me when I dealt with a wide range of clients who had payment issues. However, as I’ve grown my career and become more professional and discerning, this has become less and less of a problem. The main appeal of Willa seems to be that you get paid immediately, regardless of when or whether your clients pay. If that were still an issue for me, then I’d definitely use Willa. However, since I don’t have that issue right now, I’m not sure it’s worth the 7% transaction fee for payment receipt.

I should add that the fee is not significantly different from Paypal’s fees. Therefore, if I were to invoice more clients than I currently do though Paypal then I’d likely switch to Willa. The added benefit of instant payment offsets any difference in the fees. However, since a majority of my clients pay directly to my bank without fees, I’m not currently in that position.

In conclusion, I don’t see the need to start using Willa today. However, I can definitely see why it would work well with other freelancers. And should my client situation change even slightly, I might opt to use this payment tool.

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