Are you still printing and mailing paper invoices out for your customers at the end of each billing cycle? If so, your doing a disservice to your business and missing out on the many cost and efficiency benefits of invoicing online.
The Problem With Paper Invoicing
Paper mail invoicing requires a chain of time to be created, reached and be processed by the customer, and then be returned to you. And, all along this chain are a number of unnecessary, time-consuming, and risk-loaded difficulties:
• Getting lost in transition at any time during the chain, which then further delays the ultimate goal of receiving payment.
• Keeping track of bills manually.
• Keeping track of payments by blindly sitting and waiting for payment return.
• Creating and digging out an invoice template for different customers.
• Entering billing information into the account and on the invoice each time.
Of course, email verses paper mailing your invoices cuts off a little of the time delay, but it only marginally reduces your workload. So, what’s the best billing solution?
Online or e-invoicing allows you to use an invoice generator or invoice generator app to quickly and easily send and track your invoices. In turn, you reduce effort, time, and costs.
Benefits Of E-Invoicing
1. Immediately Reach Your Customer
Invoicing software helps you schedule invoicing. It can be set up to automatically send out out the invoices at specific dates and times without you or your accountant/bookkeeper manually tasking this out each month. The chain is significantly shortened since it goes directly to the customer. Plus, you don’t have to be at the office should you need to generate a bill on the spot for a client.
2. Innovative Tracking Capabilities
No more blindly sitting around waiting for a payment and shuffling through papers to see when you need to chase your money down or slash a client’s line of credit. E-invoicing is all about automatic tracking through invoicing software and cloud accounting. This allows you a complete overview of accounts so that you can quickly see paid and past due invoices, create reminders and notes per client or invoice, establish an audit trail, run detailed reports, analyze accounts receivable to see poor payers, and ensure that no accounts are slipping through the payment avoidance cracks.
3. Payment Expediency
By immediately reaching your customers, you reduce the time in which it takes to get paid. Your invoice is received the same day it’s created, and you know with certainty that it did in fact arrive. Depending on the type of invoice generator software you use, you can even receive automatic updates that customers have opened their bill. Special encryption (similar to banking encryption) allows customers security peace of mind in immediately handling the bill with the pay now option within the invoice itself.
4. Payment Encouragement
It’s an instant gratification world. When a bill is received in the mail, it goes into the stack of to-do-later because it takes the customer time and energy to open it, write a check, find a stamp, and mail your payment. Online invoicing, provides the customer with a means of instant gratification because the payment can be handled on the spot through a variety of payment options like PayPal, bank transfer, credit card, and other payment service options. When you use a cloud-based application, customers have the immediate ability to pay you with the simple click of a button. Plus, the software enables you to set up automatic reminders as a gentle nudge for past-due payments.
5. Save Resources
Manpower hours are money. Whether it’s a staff member, outsourced accountant or bookkeeper, or yourself, generating invoices by hand takes manpower hours that could otherwise be devoted elsewhere or avoided altogether. E-invoicing moots standard cash flow management and complex accounts reconciliation processes. The accounting software handles it so that you don’t have to worry about tedious tasks like numbering your invoices.
6. Reduce Paperwork
Paperwork equals space and space equals money. E-invoicing allows you to create, store, index and archive your invoice paperwork online from start to finish.
As you can see, the benefits of going with online invoicing are quite extensive for businesses small and large alike. Many of the payment delays and barriers in invoicing can be mooted by such a simple transition so that your business gets paid faster and thrives under a better cashflow system. The bottom line is that online invoicing simply makes good business sense. Not sure where to start? Try out a free invoice template to test out how you’d like your online invoices to look and operate.