Excel is not necessarily difficult to learn but it does take some getting used to. Unless you use it often it can be easy to forget some of the functions and the neat things it can do. Once you get the hang of how the different functions work, you can make some great stuff with it. Once you get your template set up ahead of time you will be able to just plug in your data. But you will be creating someting out of nothing so it can be more frustrating to use if you have always used computers for documenting where you just filled in the blanks like at most hospitals.
I suppose that some of the factors to consider are: cost of programs, ability to creat something out of nothing on the computer, time available. If it is going to take you days to figure out how to make an invoice with Excel, that time becomes money that you aren't making because you are still trying to figure out the program. In that case - get a premade template program. The template programs like Quicken and Quickbooks are like the computers that you chart on at the hospital - premade where you just fill in the blanks for your particular client. Most computers come with Excel already installed so you wouldn't be spending the extra money on an invoicing program, if money is a concern. MS Office Small Business and Pro editions also have accounting software that can do invoicing.
You can always get some of those "dummy" books. I saw some the other day at the bookstore for the various computer software programs. Those books looked great! I am thinking about getting some just to have a reference for some of those little tricks of the trade that I might forget about.
Last edit by RN1989 on Apr 20, '08