Whether you’re slaving over a keyboard programming all night or out in the hot sun trying to get a construction project finished, it’s tough to find a better feeling than finishing something to the best of your ability- and finishing it on time. Of course, getting paid for a job well done is pretty close to that feeling too- some people might like it a little bit better.
Unfortunately, there’s the all-to-common reality of not getting paid for a job well done. There’s few feelings worse than this one, and tracking down clients that owe you money is a waste of everyone’s time. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone just paid when they should? Fortunately, invoicing software has the power to get you paid faster.
Problems with invoicing
Traditional invoices are pretty simple: they get made at the end of a billing period, then they get printed out and mailed to the customer. Eventually, the customer gets the invoice, at which point they set it on their desk and go back to what they were doing. The best ones pay it right away- unfortunately, they’re not all this good.
Where do some of the classic problems of invoicing arise? According to APN, 23% of companies duplicate invoices being paid, 26% pay the wrong person, and 10% somehow manage to pay for goods that they never receive. These are all situations in which money is almost literally being thrown away. Through a more organized system, these human error mistakes can be reduced and lost cash can get prevented by up to 80%.
Improving invoice accuracy
When creating invoices by hand, the chances of mistakes happening are much greater when calculating them with a computer. Calculators revolutionized the way people worked out math problems of all kinds. Using invoicing software lets the computer take even more risk out of the equation. There is far less information that is being entered multiple times, which is where mistakes frequently come from.
Instead, you’re working from the original information. There’s less migration of data.
Get invoices out quicker
Forget about printing and mailing invoices. Even if you have gone digital and are emailing them, you still have to take the time out of your normal work to complete the invoice and email it. Instead, invoicing software offers scheduled invoicing. Get it sent automatically, on the exact date that it needs to be. You don’t even have to stop what you’re doing.
On top of that, you don’t even have to wait for your accountant to do it. You’ll both have access to the same information, and it’s all automated- so the software can do it for you. This even has the potential to reduce overhead, because you won’t have to have any extra staff on hand. Plus, you don’t even have to go back to the office to send the invoice- you can prepare and send it from anywhere, even at the client’s location.
Get paid quicker
Sending out the invoice is a crucial step in getting paid, but it doesn’t help if you never actually receive your money. Typically, the old method revolves around either waiting patiently by the mailbox for a check, or impatiently checking your bank account every day until the payment has gone through. Neither is a good usage of time.
Invoicing software, though, has streamlined this process too. It allows for the viewing of payment status- you can look at all outstanding invoices and see which ones have been paid, which ones are due, and which ones are past due. It’s also possible to set up reminders for yourself and for your clients. These can be automated as well, and can be different for each account since all accounts require different attention. If you have the same list of clients, it’s easy to find out which clients are good at paying and which ones aren’t- from there, you can choose to adjust your prices accordingly.
Make it easier on everyone
Many clients don’t intend to miss payments on purpose. They might legitimately forget about them. Everybody is busy, but it’s no excuse to skip payments. Setting up an automated reminder system will ensure that your clients will not forget to pay you because they will automatically be reminded. This serves a different purpose, too. It sets up a paper trail showing that you have attempted to contact them about payment several times. This would be useful in the event that a client never pays up to serve as evidence, just in case.
You also have the option of accepting more types of payment. Whether it is PayPal or bank transfers, allowing more ways to get paid will increase the chances of your clients paying you on time. Making it easier on them will ultimately make it easier on you- so you can get back to doing your job instead of tracking down payments.