Invoicing is such an essential part of what we do – without them we wont get paid! However, sending invoices can be a tedious process, and it gets even harder when you have to chase clients to make payments!
The key to painless invoicing is having a good template, knowing what to include in your invoice, and ensuring the right timing to send the invoice to the client. Today we thought we’d share some tips to help achieve more effective invoicing.
Template information for invoices
The invoice you send to clients should be simple, clear and professional. Since the customer is expecting this invoice from you, you don’t have to write a long story. The invoice should have four key elements:
- The name of your company, or your name if you are a freelancer. This should appear at the top to make it easy for the recipient to identify who the invoice is from. You can include the logo of your company, your address and contact information. This gives your invoice a professional touch.
- The invoice number, the list of services or goods offered to the client, the taxes and any other amount payable applicable.
- Your payment policy. Payment policies should be discussed before you offer the goods or services, but it is essential to remind the client in the invoice. This should be a short statement indicating the payment period and the due date. Finally, indicate the payment types that you accept.
When to send invoices
You have three options on when to send invoices. It can be done either before or after the job is done, or half and half. Your choice depends on the nature of the job and the position of a company. For instance, if you don’t have the funds to finance purchases for the client’s project, you can send the invoice before in order to receive an upfront payment to assist with the cash flow. Invoicing after the job is complete has its risks and therefore should really only be done where there is a high level of trust and confidence that the client will meet his end of the bargain. Whichever time you choose to send invoices, you should always ensure that you have a signed contract.
How to send invoices
Invoices can be sent manually or automatically. Manual invoicing gives you control of choosing the data to include in each invoice and is a suitable option for businesses with very few transactions as the process is time-consuming, plus it is cheaper than investing in invoicing software. If your company processes numerous invoices, you should consider automated invoice processing. Automated invoicing is cheaper, less prone to error, delivers invoices on time and boosts employee productivity. Our PA’s can help you to decide what works best for you and can even manage this on your behalf.
Following up on invoices
When you send an invoice, but the client does not respond, then you need to follow up. Consider sending a reminder when the due date is approaching, set up automatic reminders every five days after the due date and remind the client of the contract terms on the follow up for non-payment emails or reminders.
Getting clients to pay you can be a hard task, but unfortunately an essential one! You can help this process along by sending your invoices in plenty of time to receive payments, and following up regularly to ensure they don’t forget to pay! Our team at MY PA are experienced in managing this for clients and would be more than happy to help with any stage of this process.