I understand invoicing is the bane of many small business owners lives and for that reason, it is no surprise invoicing is one of the most common tasks regular clients choose to outsource to Busy Lives!
Ensuring you send invoices and get paid on time is the life blood of any business, but it does require a regular time commitment and a focused follow-up. During the past few years, businesses have been reluctant to chase overdue invoices as frequently as pre-pandemic, but this is starting to change now.
Having used many different invoicing programmes such as Xero, QuickBooks, Excel etc. I have picked up some great tips along the way to support businesses with their invoicing needs and I will be sharing in this blog:
My Top Tips are:
- Depending on the size and nature of your business, I would recommend you always invoice your clients either weekly or monthly. Always on the same date / day to ensure easy payment.
- Always use the date you did the work, not the date you’re generating the invoice.
- Ensuring invoices are paid on time is crucial when running a small business, to mitigate the risk of late payments make sure your payment terms and due date are clear and your invoices are completed fully. I regularly review my clients’ invoices to ensure compliance.
- State your preferred method of payment (such as direct debit or the fact you do not accept credit cards). Be clear & reduce issues further down the line.
- Avoid confusion on both ends by requesting clients uses their invoice number when paying electronically, this will minimise the need for you to trawl through your online banking, saving you precious time.
- Always ask the client who the invoice should be addressed and sent to, when dealing with other businesses this may not always be the Director and may need a purchase order number adding.
- Provide as much information as you can to your customers when generating an invoice, be clear with exactly what you are charging them for to reduce confusion that could lead to late payments and time wasted with clients querying their invoices.
- If you charge VAT, double check the software you’re using is taking this into account and is charging the correct rate as this human error is often made when using automatic invoicing software to save time.
- Most importantly and the one many small business owners shy away from is, do not be afraid to chase the payment! Both as Xero and QuickBooks have the option to send automatic reminder emails. If clients fail to respond to those emails, pick up the phone.
- Ensuring you keep a secure record of all the invoices you generate for HRMC to save time when filing your financial accounts and tax return
After many years of clients outsourcing their invoicing to Busy Lives! I also have some great ways I can help clients improve their invoicing process for those outsourcing their invoices for the first time:
- Create a clear and consistent key of all your service areas by assigning a letter to each one, this will save you and the person managing your outsourced invoicing time and confusion.
- I can help you create an easy-to-use table to streamline all your invoices showing the service their receive and the amount to be invoiced and their payment terms if they vary Again, this saves time for the business owner.
- Keep detailed monthly stats on who pays you via direct debit and who pays on time / late. I regularly provide my clients with detailed stats highlighting key trends, average order values and the most popular services being used.
- Use data to ensure you can make decisions about your business – are you receiving the income you need? I provide regular tracking data to help you track and measure your invoices. Clients find this useful and something they would not have the time to do.
- Don’t forget to send reminders and chase for payment. I always help clients to successful chase debts by creating a 3-stage process and email communications to help ensure invoices get paid. You would be surprised how many don’t like chasing but with simple, friendly communication it can really work wonders.
I manage invoicing for a busy Marketing Agency in the East Midlands, and this is what she had to say about my work
“Karen has a very keen eye for detail and has helped set up and implement some procedures into the business around invoicing, all saving time and money. Highly recommended!”
Using the tips mentioned above to either manage or outsource your invoicing will allow you to save precious time! If you would like to learn more about how outsourcing your invoicing can save you time call Busy Lives! 07565 722 031.
Alternatively, you can drop me a message on LinkedIn / Messenger on Facebook or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements!