How to invoice your customers for free using GNUcash

(Estimated 3 minute read)

Note: If you don’t need everything integrated into one system, or the guarantee that it will always remain free, and just need an easier means of creating free invoices, at least one other good alternative exists. The one using at present for this is WaveApps, which continues to work well for us.

To my knowledge, GNUcash is perhaps the only true free alternative to Quickbooks to date, for those who require a comprehensive bookkeeping system.

Despite this fact (at least as of the time of writing), GNUcash has not included time-tracking/integration, and has lacked any direct way to import Quickbooks-formatted files, so be advised that making the switch will likely present some challenges. For time tracking, I use a simple spreadsheet, but there are many free time-tracking tools you can use, including Harvest, which integrates with Asana.

It features a strong ledger system, but unfortunately can be even more user-unfriendly than Quickbooks and more difficult to set up, with very clumsy and limited invoicing, sadly with no way to save settings from app & very clunky tools to tweak layout options.

That said, it’s free, so let’s cut to the chase!

To set up invoices, you’ll need to first set up a customer at Business → Customer → New Customer. You can leave Customer Number blank or use a name, but you’ll want to use the full customer/client name under the Company Name field, as this will appear on the invoices. The Name field, however, can be left blank.

When your customer(s) are set up properly, next go to Business → Customer → New Invoice (Note: After creating your first one, you can also then click the ‘Duplicate Invoice’, to save yourself some time in the future.)

Fill out the invoice details and click the OK button, which brings up the following:

When you have finished entering all the items, you can Save & ‘Post’ and then ‘Print’ the invoice.

To make invoices look less hideous, you’ll then need to choose and customize a Stylesheet. Click here for more on customizing invoices…

Note: Use “Extra Notes”, not Description for customer note.

To find an existing invoice, use the Business → Customer → Find Invoice menu, but before you can edit a posted invoice, you will need to Unpost it.

Click here for more detail from the official GNUcash website…

Or here for a video tutorial on the same topic…

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