How to Pay Your Contractors and Invoice Clients in 5 Steps

Payable is the easiest way to pay your freelancers and independent contractors - but did you know that you can also use it to create invoices to send to customers?

If you’re a small business or freelancer doing consulting or project-based work, then you probably need to track billable work. You’re most likely doing this in a spreadsheet, or in an app disconnected from where you actually bill customers.

In this post, we’ll walk you through 5 steps for how to track work for a particular customer or project and create invoices to pay your subcontractors and for your own contracting work.

For a lot of freelancers, getting paid is often a huge painpoint. You have to wrangle hours and output and turn that into an invoice and send it off to the client. Once that’s over - the average freelancer waits 30-60 days left before getting paid for that hard work. Even worse, freelancers  may have to fight tooth and nail to even get paid. Lost wages due to non-payment from clients is huge issue for small businesses and the self-employed, and stories like Rafi Bernstein's are all too common.

Payable helps you avoid all of that.

For contractors or the self-employed working with a team of other freelancers or subcontractors, Payable helps you:

• Know what you’re owed and what you owe your team.

• Create invoices for your customers, and automate your contractors’ invoices to you at the same time.

• Best of all, get paid and pay your team with a single tap from any device!

In five steps, I’ll show you how to manage that entire flow, and get paid in minutes instead of weeks, or months.

1. Turn on customer invoicing

To get started tracking work for  customers or specific projects, make sure to have “Customer Invoicing” turned on. This can be selected during account set up (below) and can also be toggled on or off in Payable under “Settings.”

2. Setting billable rates for subcontractors and clients

Next, I’m going to set up my customers and their Billable rates under “Lists.”

Adding the client’s email will enable you to send invoices directly to that individual through Payable, but this is not required.

In this example, I’m using the default billable hourly and project rates for work done for this customer. They appear gray in color because I have left them blank (A).  These default rates can be managed under “Work Types” (B) but I also have the ability to change these on a customer by customer basis, without changing my typical, default billing rates.

3. Logging hours for a project

Now that I’ve set up what I need for this particular customer, my contractors can begin logging their hours and flat fees (Projects, in this case) into Payable as they work.

Today, Edward added 4 hours for work he did designing a landing page in addition to the 7 hours he tracked a couple of days prior. By selecting the customer from the drop down provided, he made this work Billable. This means that the work and its value will automatically accrue on both invoices (Edward’s invoice to you, and your invoice to the Customer) we’re automatically billing in real-time.

I can see that Laura also added her fees for work completed for this customer, but she happens to be compensated by way of a flat project fee, rather than hours. Payable can accommodate any way that your workers get paid, and also any way you bill your customers.

4. Sending invoices

Now I see all of my hard and valuable work (A) in addition to Edward (B) and Laura’s (C)  accruing on this invoice. When the project is over, I can simply tap “Send Now” to initiate the invoice and request payment.

The invoice is on its way, and it shows up with my other unpaid invoices

5. Paying your subcontractors

The final step is to compensate my freelancers, Laura and Edward, for helping me finish the project. In the same way that tracking their work generated an invoice to send to the customer, their work has also been accruing on an invoice to me - with a single tap, I can pay them immediately.

To learn more about how Payable can work for you or the company you’re contracting for, reach out to me at

Matt is the Director of Sales at Payable.

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