Invoicing shouldn’t be tedious or complicated
Everyone knows a smooth billing process saves you time and money, yet many small businesses are frustrated by their invoicing system. This seems counter-intuitive, because making money should be fun!
So why do small businesses find the billing process such a headache? One common issue is the rekeying and double (or even triple) handling of invoice data. Many people with traditional invoicing software still use a manual process – typing up each new invoice to deliver it via snail mail.
Cash flow is essential for small business, and invoicing plays an integral part in their success or failure. However, getting paid on time is not something businesses are confident about at the moment. These payment delays have a negative effect on cash flow and mean that money isn’t available for small businesses to pay their own bills.
If your invoicing is easy, quick and available online, the flow of money is much faster. If you can generate an invoice while you’re out and about, or on a job, then you’re ahead of the game. The faster a customer or client receives an invoice, the sooner you get paid.
The trouble with traditional invoicing software
- You often don’t get paid on time
- The steps involved are too manual, easy-to-mess-up and time consuming
- Invoice templates can’t be customised
- There’s a lack of visibility – it’s difficult to record and track what stage the billing process is at
- You can feel disconnected from your customers if you can’t see the same information at the same time
Invoicing should be easy and seamless
Getting paid should be simple and fun, not stressful or complicated. It should be a pleasure to do business. When we chat to the small business community, it’s clear that the billing process needs to be simple. One thing we hear about invoicing is that it would be much easier if you could do it anywhere, from any device.
With online invoicing, your customers can pay invoices immediately with the click of a button. There’s nothing to get lost in the mail, and you can see exactly when your customers have opened your invoice.
Using online invoicing also allows you to take advantage of eInvoicing networks. Using eInvoicing means your invoice is sent directly to your customer’s accounting or finance software ready to be approved and paid. No more lost emails or waiting for accounts receivable to input the bill into their system. Plus, with eInvoicing you’ll receive invoices from suppliers directly into your accounting software as a draft bill, reducing hours of data entry and ensuring that your ledger is accurate and up to date. You don’t even need to be using the same accounting software. Payment can be quicker and more secure.
Seven ways your business runs faster and smarter with online invoicing
- Automation of tasks that were traditionally manual, saves you time and money, leaving you more capacity to grow your business
- You have a clearer picture of your cash flow as invoices are updated in real-time, every time you record a payment on one, edit one or reconcile one
- Payments are made quickly – your customers can pay online with the click of a button
- You can create professional, customisable invoices from any device, any time.
- When your customers have paid or even seen an invoice, you’ll be notified and if they haven’t paid you can send an outstanding bills link to customers that still owe you
- There’s a much better connection to your customers – you can see the same documents at the same time
- You have greater insight – you can see how much money you’ve made, and which clients owe the most
Online invoicing speeds up the flow of money and data
Paying online is dramatically faster and simpler for both businesses and customers. Businesses can see when their invoices have been viewed. Meanwhile, the customers can see the most up-to-date status of their payments, including all outstanding and overdue payments.
This means the relationship between you and your customers is much more in sync. Financial transactions recorded in real-time closes the gap between money flowing and keeping proper business records.
Small business accounting has been fundamentally changed by the introduction of cloud computing. When sending invoices becomes simple and seamless, your business will reap the benefits.
Disclaimer: Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.