Invoicing is an essential part of any business transaction that you make. While it can seem like a tedious and frustrating task at times, focusing on your invoices is absolutely necessary to keep your business’ cash flow on track and your customers happy. It’s therefore important to avoid these common invoicing mistakes so that you can invoice effectively and professionally and make sure that business runs smoothly.
Generic and boring invoices
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is using a generic and boring invoice template that you find online. While customising your invoices sounds like a lot of work, it not only makes you and your company seem more professional, but it also allows you to add personality and flair to your business!
Examples of what you can do include adding your brand logo to all the invoices you send out. Including a logo helps your customers differentiate you from the other invoices they are also receiving, and it’s also a branding opportunity whenever you send out an invoice. You can also choose fonts and colours that reflect your company’s brand. Just be sure to not go too overboard, as you ultimately still want your invoice to look professional!
Incorrect or missing information
Making sure that you include all the correct and relevant information on your invoices may seem like obvious advice, but it’s surprising how easy it is to forget. Following a checklist of all the details you need to include before sending off your invoice helps to prevent any misinformation or misunderstandings that can arise.
Always ensure that you have the following information on your invoices:
- Contact information for your company
- The job/invoice number and date
- Your client’s information, such as name and address
- An itemised list of products and services provided and their expenses
- Total payment due
- Payment due date
- Terms and conditions of payment, including information on how to pay like your bank details
Also be sure to check that your invoice is free from any spelling, grammatical or numerical errors, as this can not only reflect poorly on your business, but also prevent you from receiving the correct payment on time!
Inflexible payment processes
Improve your chances of getting paid on time by introducing multiple payment options for your customers. For example, with how common technology is nowadays, allowing your clients to pay online via credit card or Paypal makes payment easier and faster, as it can be done in just a few clicks.
On top of these options, along with more traditional methods like making a bank deposit or writing a check, you can also offer intuitive and creative payment options, such as allowing payments with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Understand who your customers are and offer payment options that they are familiar with or will likely want to use.
Not following up on unpaid invoices
You can have done everything perfectly and sent out your invoices immediately, but sometimes your clients may still miss the payment due date or forget to pay you. You send your clients invoices to request payment for the work you’ve done, so it’s just as important to be proactive and chase down unpaid invoices. Make this easier by setting up a system that automates invoice reminders to be sent out when there are overdue payments. Xero is an example of a system that can do this. If you’d like help getting Xero set up just drop us a line, we’re a certified partner.
Relying on paper invoices
While there is nothing wrong with using a paper-based system per se, there are more benefits to switching a cloud-based system. By invoicing online, you can save money on postage, paper and ink costs, as well as being a more environmentally-friendly option. It is also a much more efficient alternative than paper-based invoicing, as invoices can be automated and sent and received electronically, therefore speeding up the payment process.
Cloud-based invoicing systems also allow you to store your data in one place and back-up your invoices and reports, so you no longer have to worry about misplacing invoices. Again, this is something that a service like Xero can do.
If managing your invoices is an unproductive use of your time, get in touch with us. We’ll not only manage the process for you but you can get paid immediately when the invoice is issued!