by Joanna Norman
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When I was just starting out as a transcriptionist, I needed a way to keep track of the work I accepted from both my clients and as subcontract. I also wanted a quick, easy way to track my income. I asked for tips from more experienced transcriptionists and then designed a spreadsheet that I still use to organize, track, and invoice my work. I’m guessing there’s software available for purchase that could be used for this, but for now my system works for me. At the bottom of the post, I’ll put a link to a template so you can use the same system or customize it for yourself.
I use a spreadsheet in Google Sheets which has three “sheets”.
The first one is called Workflow:
(click on the image to see an enlarged version)
When I accept a job, I put the name of the audio or video file in the first column, the name of the client/company in the next column, the the date I received the file, and the due date. Later when I finish the transcript, I fill in the “Completed” cell. I use the next column “Planned work day” to map out when I will work on each file. This helps me to make sure I get everything done on time or early and also helps me to make sure I don’t over commit. I have a separate column for “Delivery Date” because sometimes clients want me to send individual files as they are completed, and sometimes they want to receive all the files at once. The next four columns are for the length of the file in minutes, the number of minutes billed, the billing rate, and the total billed (all titled in green). I complete these cells when I finish a transcript and later use them to generate an invoice. I fill in the last column “Invoice Date” when I send the invoice to the client/company.
The next sheet I use is called Income/Invoices:
This is where I track each of my invoices when I send them. I record the date I send the invoice, the name of the client, the invoice number, and the amount of the invoice. Later when I receive payment, I note the date and amount received in this same spreadsheet.
The last sheet I use is called Invoice Generator:
This is what I use to create the invoices I send to clients. I know there is software available to do this, but for me, this works just fine. To generate a table for an invoice, I cut and paste the appropriate columns (the file name column and the four green columns) from the Workflow sheet to this one. It automatically calculates the total, and then I can cut and past the invoice table into an invoice template I have in Word. Easy peasy!
If you think this system might work for you, use the link below for a free Google Sheets template. When you click the link, it will open in a new window. In the upper left corner, click the button that says “USE TEMPLATE”. Any edits you make will be saved to a new google sheet in your google drive.