invoices

How to Take Control of Your Invoices

by Josh Biggs in Finance on 25th April 2019

When it comes to invoices, there are a plethora of more preferable activities. However, much like taxes and your business being audited, invoices are a necessity.

And when you are a small business owner, invoices are very important. This is because it doesn’t take much for invoices to get out of hand. And once that happens it doesn’t take long for the consequences to become devastating.

If you are worried about your invoices, or have already experienced issues, keep reading to learn how to take control of your invoices and streamline the whole process.

Automate

One of the best ways to take control of your invoices is to take advantage of automated invoicing. One of the biggest benefits to automated invoicing is the streamlined invoice approval process it offers.

One of the biggest problems with invoices is duplicate, lost, or missing invoices. These usually occur due to human error. With automated invoicing, the human error element is removed. Reducing the number of errors during the invoice process.

You’ll also be able to save man-hours and operational costs by freeing up your accounts payable staff to focus on other tasks and aspects of their jobs. Instead of countless hours dedicated to just invoices.

Accounts Receivable

Most common problems facing accounts payable departments can typically be resolved with automation and invoicing management solutions.  However, when it comes to accounts receivable there are some issues, not even automation can help with.

This doesn’t mean all is lost, however. There are a few ways to help ensure your invoices are paid on time and in full.

Know Your Clients’ Patterns

With automation of invoicing comes the ability to create templates for clients. While this might save time on your end while still providing a touch of personalization, they are still generic invoices.

You’ve probably already noticed that each client responds to invoices differently. Even if the invoices sent to five different clients were completely identical, those invoices would be reviewed and responded to in five different ways.

Tailoring your invoices to each specific client and project will help your invoices to smoothly interact with their guidelines and e-billing software. This can help to ensure prompt payment.

Attention to Detail

It should go without saying that your invoices should be accurate. But, you might be surprised to find out how many people pay almost no attention to how accurate their invoices are.

The problem there is, many clients equate the accuracy of an invoice to your ability to perform the service they hired you for. Basically, the more they have to correct your invoices the less faith they have in your ability to do what you claim.

Conversely, the more accurate your invoice is right at the start the higher the chances are of your clients trusting you and paying your invoice on time and in full.

Types of Invoices

Unfortunately, invoices are tailored to the specific project they are attached to making it difficult to create a one-size-fits-all template. However, there are different invoice templates tailored to various payment plans and services that can be of use in streamlining your invoice approval process.

Discuss payment with your client, in the beginning, to work out the best way to send an invoice and for them to pay you easily. A few examples include:

  • Final Invoices – sent at the conclusion of the project and outline all work is done and all interim invoices sent and those that are paid. The final invoice should show how much the total amount for the work was, how much has been paid to-date, and the amount still to be paid.
  • Interim Invoices – Rather than pay you all at once, your client can pay you in installments. Either monthly, as portions of the project are finished or etc…
  • Recurring Invoices – For long term ongoing clients sending recurring invoices at regular intervals usually weekly or monthly tends to make it easy on everyone.

Invoice Management

Whether you automate or not invoicing is still a joyless task. But a necessary one and important one. if you want to get paid for your services or be able to keep the lights on and the doors unlocked.

Invoicing doesn’t, however, have to be the horrific nightmare it has been in the past. By automating, paying attention to accuracy, and discussing payment options with clients early on, you can take control of your invoicing management process one and for all.

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