Whether you are an online business owner, a brick-and-mortar retailer, an entrepreneur, tradie or a freelancer, the old saying ‘time is money’ still rings as true as ever.
In all these roles, cash flow, and the act of making money, is a critical success factor to the longevity of your job. So, it follows that you need to adopt best practices in all aspects of doing it.
For this reason, using invoicing software is a very important thing to do. Not only does it help you to generate invoices quickly, but it also reduces your workload.
Regardless of your industry, invoicing software helps you save time and money.
Here are 9 ways in which it does that.
Invoices can be generated very quickly
One of the key benefits of invoicing software is that you can quickly generate invoices.
The manual process can be labour-intensive and quite tedious when it comes to billing your customers. Often involving you going through each transaction that you processed on your ledger.
However, in just a few minutes, invoicing software enables you to create a document you can instantly pass on to your customers or clients.
One of the good things about invoicing software is that it can store your existing client’s details like name and address, contact details and payment terms and method. Therefore, saving you lots of time from having to input this information repeatedly.
You also do not have to update regularly or maintain a spreadsheet, or ledger of transactions, as this is automatically done for you.
You can receive instant payments
Another huge benefit of invoicing software is that clients and customers can pay you instantly.
Gone are the days when a cheque might have been lost in the mail. Instead, by taking advantage of eInvoicing networks, your bill can be sent directly to their finance or accounting software.
Accordingly, it can be approved and paid for in a matter of minutes – and best of all, you don’t even have to use the same type of accounting software as them.
Can be accessed anytime and anywhere
As invoicing software is cloud-based, you can access it at any time of the night and day and from anywhere in the world, you have an internet connection.
This flexibility is incredibly useful because even if you are enjoying a day off at the beach or travelling for business purposes, you can still manage the process of giving estimates and sending out invoices.
This can be done to potential new and existing clients using any device.
To facilitate easier reporting, you can even collate and enter tax return information efficiently on all your transactions.
If you have an international client or customer base, you’ll relate to the struggle of working out exchange rates when billing them.
Thankfully this is something you won’t have to worry about with invoicing software, as you can choose exactly what currency you want to charge your customers in.
If you have a customer in the USA whom you want to charge US$1000 to or one in the UK to whom you want to send an invoice of £500, then you can do that by selecting your preferred currency.
This is particularly useful for businesses that run a physical store using EFTPOS terminals like Smartpay and require invoicing for bigger orders for corporate or international clients via their website.
Unlimited cloud storage
If you are still using the traditional method of paper invoicing, then as your business grows, you will encounter the issue of storage.
Whether in a filing cabinet or a larger facility, this could cause issues in terms of cost further down the line. Not to mention the risk of losing these documents forever should they be destroyed in a fire.
With invoicing software, you won’t have to worry about this as you can opt for as much online storage space as you need. You can even increase the amount you have as required.
Regardless of how much cloud-storage space you have, you can instantly draw upon an old invoice, or set of invoices within seconds.
Which, of course, is a much faster process than trying to find them in your filing system.
Easily manage your business operations
We all get busy during our working day trying to juggle tasks and priorities. So, it is understandable that sometimes we might need to catch up on certain things, like chasing up invoices.
But as paying invoices to you is crucial for your cash flow, this is something you should keep on top of.
Thankfully, automated invoicing software enables you to do this by keeping track of what has been paid and also sending out reminders to customers of outstanding balances they still need to fix up.
This, in turn, helps to reduce your workload and the amount of money owed to you for products bought or services rendered.
As well as being very easy to use, invoicing software is also very safe. Clearly it needs to be, as it involves storing private information about the customer’s identity, contact details, payment details and buying habits.
However, as all the major online billing software companies must adhere to the rules and guidelines set out by the PCI Security Standards, you don’t need to worry about this.
PCI Security Standards Clearance is not just given to any company, and providers of online billing software go through vigorous testing before being issued with it.
So, if your provider has it, then that will go a long way towards raising customer confidence about your own invoicing process.
Enhances brand identity
Another benefit of using online invoicing is that it helps to strengthen your brand equity and identity.
Adding your logo, as well as your strapline, brand colours and fonts to the invoice gives it a very professional look.
This, in turn, enhances the perception your customers and clients have of your business and could result in quicker payment.
You could even incentivise repeat orders from them by advising them of their entitlement to a discount on their next purchase.
Less errors and fast audits
The old-school method of filling out paper invoices has a much higher risk of human error than invoicing software does.
Situations like miscalculating invoice amounts or even sending out an invoice to the wrong address or customer could negatively impact your business.
However, this does not happen with online invoicing software, as it automatically populates the details for you, including amounts for tax.
When it comes to filing your tax return, this will also help your accountant to work out what deductions you are eligible for by simplifying the overall auditing process.
WRITTEN BYSerena K. Johnson