Can your business afford to waste time in waiting for the receivables to be paid? Well, the answer here has to be a No, isn’t it? Getting paid on time is one of the most challenging and important aspects of running a business. After all, it is impossible to handle business expenses without having proper cash flows.
Invoicing the clients is one of the most crucial steps to get paid for the services rendered. Also, there is this great need to get the invoices in front of the clients as fast as possible because this is the only way to get them pay early. The bottom line is, to manage your cash flows effectively you need an effectual invoicing process in place. A process that simply allows you to quickly enter the specific client/job details and you are done – Just hit send.
Yet again, things aren’t as simple as they sound; invoicing mistakes have become common due to several factors. We can expect one or two minor mistakes once in a while, but a persistent pattern of errors can lead to disastrous results. Below is a list of 5 important things you need to keep in mind before sending out an online invoice to your clients.
Sending An Online Invoice? Consider This Checklist Before You Click “Send”
Automated invoicing process has several benefits, before discussing them; here are some tips you would have to keep in mind before sending out online invoices to your esteemed clients.
1. Use A Top-Notch Invoice Software
Invoicing software allows you to create invoices within seconds. Users can automatically send out online invoices to their clients and also keep a track of whether they have paid or not. There are many free and subscription-based services available make sure you select the best option which addresses the requirements of both – you and your client.
2. Establish Payment Guidelines
Sending out invoices without any guidelines is one big risk; the clients might start taking things for granted. Develop payment guidelines right from the beginning, this will ensure that your clients are aware of when and how you want to get paid. Agencies need to make clear few things:
- Payment modes accepted by the agency
- Due dates
- Charges for the services rendered
- Charges for defaulting payment
3. Set-Up Recurring Billing
Sending an online invoice does not ensure 100% on-time payment, this is because clients can overlook or simply forget to pay. Hence set-up recurring billing options for your clients, this automated feature will ensure that the client’s bank account/credit card is automatically charged every month. Invoicing software allows inputting such information and it will be wise to use this feature to receive payments automatically.
4. Say No To Paper Invoices – Simply Email
Today, sending paper invoices is a totally outdated trend and it also has its cons, misplacing is one common one to note. So, how to prevent this issue? Go Paperless. Yes simply email online invoices, the chances of its losing it this way is very less. Another perk of sending online invoices is that is speeds up the process of payment.
5. Include Your Contact Information
Invoices are generally reviewed several times by several people before it is finally approved. Therefore always include your contact details to make it easier for such people to recognize who they are paying. Some important information to include in online invoices are:
- Full name
- Phone number
During the contract tenure, agencies send out a number of invoices, hence it is very important to keep a track of the payment history. This can be done by creating a customer database; this database will not only help in tracking the pending and received payments but also uncover valuable insights on the payment patterns of the clients.
Benefits Of An Efficient Online Billing System
As the business picks up, the need for an effective and faster billing solution rises. So, for a stable and continued business growth, investing in a reliable billing system is a logical idea for every agency. The type of business doesn’t matter, online invoicing systems offer an array of benefits for each one, check out some of them right here:
- Mobility – Invoicing clients online gives the users incomparable convenience. Users can create an online invoice at any time and from anywhere, the only requirement is a Wi-Fi access.
- Save Cost & Time – Postage, paper, and ink can add to the company’s total expenditure, but with online billing software agencies can conveniently conduct transactions and save cost involved in printing invoices and purchasing stationery. Also, fast and efficient invoicing reduces the chances of errors in invoicing as compared to manually processing; this helps in saving both time and money.
- Reduce Administration – Fast and efficient invoicing helps in reducing the margin of error as compared to manually processing of invoices. This automated system helps in saving valuable staff time which can be invested into more lucrative areas of the business.
- Makes Reporting Simple – Custom dashboards allows to create convenient reports, identify the most profitable clients/ customers, also helps in identifying payment patterns and project cash-flows.
- Email invoices directly – There is no waiting time involved in the arrival of the invoices as online billing systems totally eliminate the need of traditional snail mails. These automated systems email the invoices directly to the clients aiding in getting quicker payments.
It is a very shocking fact to learn that still many agencies use manual processes to create client invoices or use outmoded invoicing software programs. Guess they are unaware of the fact that today there are many more efficient ways available to generate online invoices and also keep a track of the company financial figures.
Today’s competitive marketplace demands businesses to invest in better technology like online invoicing to save valuable time and money. ReportGarden’s Billing Software can keep you informed and have better control of your businesses, by automating invoicing and handling receivables, on the go.