Invoicing can be incredibly draining. According to one TD Bank survey, nearly half of all business owners ranked bookkeeping as their least favourite task – and it’s no wonder they did.
It takes years to develop your skills, team, and products to the point of reaping the rewards of freedom and control. Counting ourselves as an exception, you probably didn’t start your business out of a love of accounting.
Another major pain point is when the work doesn’t seem to pay off. Your expenses rush in like a river, while your payments dribble in like a leaky faucet – one here, one there.
Here are a few foolproof tips for small business invoicing to help you get paid quickly.
1. Establish Clear Expectations
The first step to getting paid quickly is to make sure you and your client are clear on
a) exactly what service or product is being provided,
b) when (or by when) it will be delivered, and
c) when and in what format payment is due.
2.Deliver Invoices Promptly
For many businesses, especially small businesses where one person wears many hats, administrative tasks like invoicing and bookkeeping are secondary to the core work. One option is designing a simple workflow that cuts down the time it takes to create and send your invoices. Another option, especially useful for subscription-based businesses and businesses hired on retainer, is to use a cloud-based accounting app that can automatically draft or send invoices on a recurring schedule.
3.Define Late Payment Terms in Original Agreement
Though many businesses are hesitant to enforce late payment fees, unrealized revenue can force you to incur real costs. Whether it’s interest payments on a line of credit you’ve had to dip into to cover monthly payroll or the value of your time spent on collections, establishing late payment terms from the beginning is a clear way to ensure payments are made on time and mitigate associated costs.
4.Don’t Forget Contact Information
The simplest details are often easiest to overlook. Including your contact information, and your clients’ is integral to getting paid quickly. Your clients can’t pay invoices they haven’t received, and the only thing more frustrating than drafting and sending a stack of invoices is having to do it twice!
5.Provide an Online Payment Option
Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business, an e-commerce company, operate as a remote service provider, or anything in between, we live and work in an increasingly digital world. Odds are high that you already issue most, if not all, of your invoices digitally – it’s faster and more convenient. Your clients likely feel the same way about paying those invoices. With hundreds of reputable options for processing online payments (like QuickBooks Online), many of which are built into or integrate with cloud-based accounting apps and charge comparable service fees to any other payment processing service, offering an online payment option is an effective way to avoid hassle and receive your payments sooner.
6.Hire an Online Bookkeeper
Why spend a lot of time doing something you hate?
Like many business decisions, the answer is simple – dollars and cents. But doing your own books could be costing you far more than you save. Between human error, missing or damaged documents, and the value of your time, professional assistance is probably much more affordable than you think.
Of course we’re a little biased, but for good reason – we use an online bookkeeper too!
Where an in-house accountant could cost you $70,000/year or more, our online bookkeeping services start from just $295/month. That includes access to a powerful suite of cloud-based accounting apps, full-cycle bookkeeping, year-end packages, GST filings, unlimited support from a fully Canadian-based team, and more. We can even handle payroll.
Get Invoices Paid Quickly
Do you find that tasks that are difficult, monotonous, or even just plain frustrating often get pushed to the back of the line? We all do this, but when procrastination turns into inconsistency and disorganization, it stands in the way of you getting paid.
If you’re handling your own books, it’s crucial that you set clear expectations with your clients about deliverables, payments, and late fees, that you deliver accurate and timely invoices, and that you make it a breeze for your clients to pay.
When does time-saving become time-wasting?
If you’re spending more than 2-3 hours per week on bookkeeping, the value of your time alone is enough to consider an online bookkeeping professional.
Want to know how we help business owners save both their time and money?