We can all improve how we run our business – in this short post we’re going to give you 5 killer tips to improve how you run your invoicing. Without running a strong focus on online invoicing, everything starts to suffer. Clients get complacent about paying, jobs start to run into one another, and cash flow suffers – next thing you know you’re struggling to hit payroll.
In this post we’ll give you 5 quick tips that will help you steer away from trouble. Naturally all these features are automatically handled by Bullet, but I’m sure most systems will do most of them.
1. Get Paid Online
Getting paid online with your online invoices is kind of a no brainer. The whole transaction from bank account to bank account takes only a matter of minutes. It’s reconciled in your accounts, and you can instantly forget about having to chase that client. Here are some products you can use to allow people pay online, Stripe and PayPal are already integrated in Bullets online accounts.
If you hit some resistance with clients on paying online, encourage them by offering an online discount. You’d be surprised as to how expenses late payments are to a business.
2. When Are Payments Due?
In a recent report by the credit bureau, over 80% of clients that don’t pay on time blame the fact that they forgot about it. There are some tricks to fix this. It wouldn’t be uncommon for digital agencies to be coy about chasing clients for cash, some nice tricks here will do the job.
- Give every invoice a due date, so it gets flagged in Bullet or whatever system you’re using. Then you’re on top of it.
- Create a fake email address called firstname.lastname@example.org and send them a mail saying ‘Hi this is Mary from accounts, just to let you know you have an invoice due. Any questions please let me know’.
- Get a friend or coworker to call them pretending they’re from the accounts department or accountants. ‘Hi this is Mary from accounts, just giving you a courtesy call to make sure we’re all ok for payment of invoice 1234?’
These are all nice, simple and polite ways to cash money.
3. Include Your Contact Details
We get asked a lot of questions in Bullet about invoices; usually the rotate around customising invoicing. We indeed allow for some basic customisation, but a lot of the information we ask you when creating an invoice is designed to protect you, ensuring you’re complying with regulation should an issue arise – never mind managing your vat.
Although you might have a good relationship with the client, your invoice could and probably will be passed around the office from department to department. So include company name, contact details (to resolve queries quickly), and email. If you’re working in big office and have a direct line make sure to include that too.
4. Number Your Online Invoices
If you’re not generating a lot of invoices then numbering them mightn’t be a huge issue, although it creates a good reference point should a dispute or query arise. If you do work on a lot of invoices it can be handy to have a system that say covers the month, or client id. There are lots of different tricks and like every system everyone has their own way to do this. Any online accounting and payroll solution that’s worth it’s salt should have an automated numbering system.
5. Get Into The Habit Of Follow Ups
So, we’ve mentioned this earlier about how to chase your clients. Just keep a good eye on the stages of your invoices due dates. In Bullet, we give you a todo list which tracks all items you need to chase, not to mention the read receipt tool so you’ll never have to listen to the ole ‘Oh, I never got that invoice’.
You just can’t escape from having to do daily tasks when running a design company, digital agency or any kind of client business.
What do you think is important to track with invoices?