Elance Blog

Introducing a New Invoicing System

We released a powerful new invoicing system today.

With this release, service providers will be able to:

  • Manage all invoices and payments from a single dashboard
  • Manage and release Escrow funding from the same dashboard
  • Withdraw Elance funds into a PayPal account
  • Send invoices that are printable for hard copy storage
  • Send reminders to late-paying buyers
  • Find invoices or payment status more easily across projects
  • Manage changes in milestones more easily
  • Experience improved overall invoicing and payments usability

Also, other new features include:

  • Ability for buyers to search for providers by geographical regions
  • Modified watch list, now sorted by bidding end date

See the March 24th invoicing preview webinar, where we reviewed these features in additional detail.


I'm really happy to see these advances. Good work Elance team.

One suggestion that has not been implemented yet:
Program your system to show the estimated dates that payment will arrive by each method.
I think it is very frustrating to have to refer back to your help page and calculate dates by hand (or by counting on fingers) every time I use the withdrawal system.

For instance a sample screen could show something like -
Withdrawals by Paypal will arrive in your account February 4 - February 6
Withdrawals by check will arrive in your mailbox February 14 - February 20
Withdrawals by Payoneer will arrive in your account February 1 - February 3
Withdrawals by ACH will arrive in your account February 3 - February 5


That would make it clear, upfront, and accurate. And absolutely minimizes misunderstandings.

Dear ypoon,

It's great to hear that now we can withdraw our payments on Paypal account.
That'd be a great option. Congratulations for your innovative thoughts.

New invoice reminder system is also good. It will save a lot of time.

One more thing...Lot's of providers are not satisfied with Debit card performance.

Can you do something about it?

Thanks and regards,


This sounds good.

I see that PROVIDERS can "manage and release escrow funding..." I hope that it will also guide buyers to handle escrow funds properly -- I spend way too much time teaching them that the escrow process is 2 steps (fund, then release). If they are to fund the account prior to the beginning of work, which is how my terms always read, I spend days waiting on them to understand that they need to RELEASE the funds, or explaining it to them -- and by then, they are yelling at me that I'm behind (which I am, because I will not begin until funds are dispersed). Very frustrating, and something that I feel is more elance's responsibility than mine.


Hi frameworks24,
Thanks for your encourgement and input.  :)
Also, we will look into the suggestion of displaying estimated cash arrival date for withdrawals.  The only catch is that there are time components (e.g. processing by your bank) outside of Elance's control.  So, we need to word the text carefully to avoid setting a wrong expectation.
Again, thanks for your input. Please continue to provide feedback as you start using some of the new features.
Elance Product Guy

Hi Tanya,
Thanks for your comments.  Actually, buyers can "manage and release escrow funding" as well.  We have introduced several enhancements to make escrow more friendly to buyers. Please take a look at this post:
As always, your additional feedbacks will be much appreciated.
Elance Product Guy


Thanks for responding. Your thoughts are well said, about wording the text carefully. I agree, and I think that with some careful planning you would be able to very successfully cross that hurdle to implementation. I hope that the fear of misinterpretation does not hold that up.

I used the PayPal option with my last project, and I was very impressed with the speed of processing. Its a big benefit especially to smaller Elance providers. Good work on that.

I just wanted to add that I understand that you're trying to improve your service and user experience, but why changes things that worked fine as they were? We service providers and buyers want things to get easier and not more complicated. The new system may have many "benefits", but at what expense?

For example, I issued my invoices this week and let me tell you I never had to spend as much time on this as these days and I've been on Elance for 5 years. Please, as a kind suggestion from another Web developer; in the future, make things easier, don't add "bells & whitles" just for their own sake, don't add features that aren't needed, don't change things that work fine as they are. Do some usability testing beforehead. Elance is great. Don't destroy it by "making it better".

I'm sure that the number and tone of feedback you'll be receiving in the upcoming weeks will be of similar nature like my comments above.

Thanks for listening.

Marko (aka Stringwaver)

Hi Marko,
Thanks for your comments.
As part of our product development process, we regularly reach out to members to solicit feedback on the Elance platform and to identify places where usability and processes could be made more efficient.  The invoicing and escrow process was frequently identified as an area where usability changes could make a positive impact on both the buyer and provider experience.
We know that process changes can sometimes disrupt your usual workflow, especially while you are getting used to the changes, but we believe the new additions, such as the new account billing page, the project billing page, and invoice reminder add flexibility and convenience, which greatly enhance the overall invoicing capability and will save you time in billing and managing payments  To become more familiar with the new changes, please join us for the Q&A on the new invoicing process on Wednesday, April 9 at 8 am PDT.  http://www.elance.com/p/new-invoice-process/webinar
Thanks again,

Elance Product Guy

Hi ypoon,

Great work on new invoicing features. One thing I feel is missing when we see the invoice details is the Elance Service Charge which is deducted against each transaction.

We can only see the amount of Invoice / Payment received but we can not see the service charges deducted on account of that transaction. To see this detail we have to download the transaction history and filter the results to see against which transaction this charge has been deducted from.

It is the need of the hour to incorporate / add another column where you can see the service charge deducted alongside the invoice / payment received account.

Looking forward to see this feature added soon to the already powerful invoicing system.


Sanjay Keshan
RAS Info. Solutions

Hi Sanjay,
I am glad you like the new invoice features and thanks for the suggestion.  I agree with you that it will be good to make the service charge information available from the invoice area.   But, for legal reasons, we may need to display the information in a way different from what you suggested. As always, we’ll make a note of this as a possible future enhancement.
Elance Product Guy

Please introduce moneybookers account as well

This dashboard is a great relief! Thanks for the continuous improvement on your end.

A MoneyBookers account channel will be highly appreciated as we don't have PayPal is my country and I believe a lot of freelancers work from Pakistan.

Osama Khan
Director, bzzinga*