6 Tips to Ensure Efficient Invoicing
Invoices are crucial in order for a business to get paid. And the sooner an invoice is sent to a client, the sooner you get paid. The sooner you get paid, the better. In order to do that, you need to set up a system that ensures invoicing is done efficiently. This will also help free you up as a business owner to do more important tasks. Here are six tips to get you started.
- Automate invoicing
Automation is extremely important in just about any area, and that includes invoicing. This can help minimize mistakes, reduce cost, and keep accurate records.
- Invoice consistently and follow up on payments
Having a regular billing schedule not only sets your client’s expectations on getting an invoice but it also prevents confusion. Sending the bill consistently during a certain period every month decreases the likelihood that it gets overlooked and ends up not getting paid.
And should your client get delayed with payment, pursue the matter and send a reminder. You may have to do this more than once so try to determine an appropriate interval for sending reminders. For example, sending a reminder weekly should be a good enough interval.
- Define accepted payment methods
Making it as easy as possible for your clients to pay translates to you most likely getting paid sooner. This can be done by accepting payments through credit cards and other online methods. There may be a chance of additional transaction fees using some payment methods, but at least you get paid sooner.
- Set your clients’ expectations ahead of time
Before any transaction, it would be wise to send your client a quote before the delivery of a product or service. This ensures clarity in the transaction and a better understanding of the terms and conditions moving forward.
As an added safeguard, make sure that your client understands and accepts the terms and puts it into writing. This can be part of a paper trail in case things go wrong with the transaction.
- Set up an invoice tracking system
Keep track of your invoices and include details such as dates, what and who they were for, the amount involved, and an invoice number. This will be very helpful for your financial record books as well as for paying taxes.
When everything’s properly labeled and in order, it just makes things go more smoothly and with less trouble. Working on a daily basis is burden enough to be confronted with more hassles like missing or confusing documents.
- Add the human touch
Also try to make personal connections with your clients. This can help establish rapport and make them feel that they’re not just dealing with machines.
In turn, processes can go more smoothly in case something needs to be ironed out and invoices will get more personal attention if you’re dealing with people who know you better.
Personal touches aren’t only achieved by personally talking to or actually meeting with a client, although it would be prudent to do so every once in a while. Personal connections can also be established through sending simple notes occasionally with invoices.
These measures can be extremely helpful in allowing you to collect payments early and have a much better working relationship in the future. You can also apply this concept during follow-up on payments.
Keep in mind that delayed payments may just be mere flukes so be sure to stay polite in your dealings with your client so as not to cause any strain on future transactions. Remember, manners matter.
Receivables are assets, but they won’t amount to much if you don’t get paid. So make sure you set up a system that works for you and your client and ensures efficient invoicing moving forward.