Getting your invoicing system right is key to a healthy cashflow. Here are some top tips to help you improve your invoicing process.
Find out your clients’ ability to pay
Before you take on a new customer, research their credit status to establish if they can pay you on time. If your customer has published accounts you can simply take a look at Companies House. Credit reports can also be purchased from any of the leading credit reporting agencies. For larger customers, where you stand to lose far more if they don’t pay on time, you might also want to use the services of a professional credit checking agency. It’s also worth asking your contacts in the industry to see if there is a history of late payments.
Establish your customers’ payment processes
Many customers have specific payment procedures or invoicing windows. And, while your business may have a preferred invoicing process, it makes sense to be flexible.
To get your invoices paid on time, make sure you know how and when each of your customers pays their invoices so you can send yours out accordingly. The last thing you want is to send an invoice out the day after they have paid theirs.
You should also be sure that you are on the same page as your customers when formulating an invoice. For example, some customers might prefer job-by-job invoicing, while others require batch invoicing or consolidated invoicing. If your billing is not done the way they expect, it could lead problems when it is time to pay.
To do this effectively, use software that lets you allocate different rates for each customer. For ongoing contracts, look for a recurring billing feature that allows you to set up a regular invoicing schedule for fixed amounts at set intervals. And, if you have customers who require consolidated invoices, choose software that lets you add, swap, and remove items and details as needed. So you always keep your customers happy while looking after your bottom line.
Don’t waste time
Use a system that allows you to automatically generate an invoice as soon as a job is complete. By allowing engineers to mark jobs as finished, directly from their mobile devices, there’s no longer any delay between completing tasks and invoicing. Furthermore, if you can invoice directly from the system via email, you’ll reduce your admin burden and your postage costs.
Allowing you to create multiple invoices, all at the same time, batch invoicing can also be used to speed up your invoicing significantly. Indeed, pricing up all completed jobs and parking them until you are ready to process can save you valuable hours every month. Furthermore, as well as the ability to handle invoices together, by customer and date range, you should also be able to attach any associated paperwork (e.g. job sheets) at the same time.
Integrate your finance and accounting capabilities
Cloud-based financial software is becoming an attractive option as companies look to reduce their overhead costs while extending functionality. You can use service management software to automate financial processes, record sales and receipts, track cash flow, better manage invoices and manage digital tax accounting.
What’s more, each customer can be allocated their own set rates. And, when combined with our mobile worker app, timesheets and parts are automatically calculated against the job. Once done, this data is then shared with your existing accounts software.
Establish automated follow-up processes
Nobody likes chasing customers for money. But quite often invoices are not paid simply because they have been overlooked and forgotten about. Use software to chase up late invoices (or even to provide a reminder just before they are due).
When it comes to establishing an effective invoicing process that helps you to get paid promptly, cloud-based financial software is an attractive option. And getting up and running with invoicing software is easier than you might think.
For more information on how our service management software can help you to get paid quicker, contact us today for an informal chat.