Three ways to speed up invoicing
Everyone likes making money, especially small business owners. Invoicing, however, is typically one of the tasks that small business owners like the least. Chores like creating and sending invoices get set aside for other duties that are seen as more enjoyable or even more urgent.
You tell yourself you’ll get around to it tomorrow, but tomorrow becomes next week, next week becomes next month, and suddenly you realise your client hasn’t paid you in a while and your bank account is lower than expected.
The issue, of course, is that clients can’t pay you until you’ve invoiced them. You need an invoicing system that makes the process less painful—or even takes it out of your hands entirely.
Use invoicing programs
Cloud-based invoicing programs make creating, sending, and collecting on invoices much easier. You set up an invoice template and for each client or project fill in the necessary information. The invoice is sent out, either as an attachment or as a link to the invoice online. For example, in Xero the untracked inventory function can be used to save time and standardise your invoices by allowing you to select an item that prefills the details onto your invoice.
With some systems you can see when the invoice was sent and when the client viewed it. You can set up different deadlines for each client and you can often accept payment through the system. Not only will invoicing itself be faster, but it’ll be easier for clients to pay you.
Make sure your invoices are going to the right person – sending invoices to the wrong department can create massive delays in getting paid. A cloud-based system can also keep track of when your invoices are overdue and send out reminders without you thinking about it.
Set up a payment schedule
If you have regular clients who require the same amount of work from you over a set time—such as a month or two months – set up a regular payment schedule with them.
This is easier if done along with a cloud-based system, which can automatically be set up to send out recurring invoices. You set up how frequently the invoices go out and your client gets used to expecting those invoices and paying them quickly.
Hire a bookkeeper
Bookkeepers handle your company’s day-to-day financial transactions and records. That includes invoicing and following up when invoices aren’t paid.
A bookkeeper creates the invoices and ensures they’re sent out on time. They record all payments that come in and follow up on unpaid invoices. By having a full view of your company’s financials, they’ll even be able to tell you if you’re charging enough for your services.
Think about how much easier it would be to get paid if someone else was responsible for ensuring that happened.
The only way for your business to bring in money is to invoice your clients. Unfortunately, invoicing is one of those boring tasks that constantly gets put off.
Finding ways to make that process easier for you and your clients means you’ll be paid more quickly. Isn’t that every business owner’s dream?