While cash flow is crucial for your business, hounding your clients for money owed can be tricky. Like Aesop’s fable about the goose who laid golden eggs, we don’t want our efforts to secure profits now to ruin future income.
Over at CorpNet, Anna Helhoski suggests these 5 best practices for invoicing to help balance immediate needs and future possibilities:
- Clear paper-trail – Follow up verbal agreements with documents that specify costs, timeframes, and payment details. Make sure your invoices include all the information that will make it easy for your client to process payment (e.g., itemized lists, costs, taxes, totals, and payment instructions). Keep track of these documents by attaching them to the client’s record in your ERP solution.
- Good software – A spreadsheet can only do so much. Invest in a tool that reduces mistakes and streamlines billing. A high-quality system will be able to economically meet your immediate needs as well as expand with your business growth.
- Consistent tracking – Any accounting or billing system hinges on dependable usage. Create an ID method that works for you, then stick with it. Good organization here can be a great help during tax season.
- Prompt billing – After order fulfillment, don’t delay invoicing. Send your payment request while you’re still on the client’s mind. aACE, for example, can be configured to generate an invoice as soon as the order ships for prompt delivery at the push of a button.
- Appropriate Follow-up – Using methods that you’ve spelled out in your initial agreement documents, feel comfortable reminding clients of payment due dates. While additional fees are often used for late payments, consider whether it will be more effective to set up your billing with reduced charges for early payments.
Respectful communication is an essential part of your customer-relationships, especially when it comes to money matters. Always invest in a “please” and “thank you” to help keep your golden eggs in steady supply.
For more information about a proven business management software for Mac and PC that makes invoicing a breeze, get in touch with us today.