By Andrew Cravenho
Invoicing and billing are regular, yet time-consuming office activities. However, it is shocking to learn that a huge number of businesses are still using a manual process or using outdated invoicing software programs, especially when there is so many efficient billing and invoicing software to help you track company’s financial information. Today, businesses struggle to survive a cut-throat competitive marketplace. It is imperative to invest in better technology to save valuable time and money and better focus on core competencies.
A manual invoicing system involves a great deal of paperwork and is time-consuming. It also costs you a lot of money. Besides, there are considerable threats of human errors. A bookkeeper needs to create a template that requires regular formatting and adjusting; in fact, every time it was used. He/she needs to enter data manually and calculate the total and the taxes. Any error in the process can cause both financial and legal problems in the future.
Once the bookkeeper prepares the invoice manually, it goes out for printing and then mailed out. He/she is also responsible for identifying the clients and sending the invoice to respective clients via postal service. It generally takes several days later for the invoice to reach the client, who in turn makes a manual payment via check. In case of errors or if the invoice fail to arrive on time, the bookkeeper needs to recheck the records and emit another invoice. The process costs you both time and money.
Yet many small and macro businesses still prefer manual invoicing over online applications. They mostly believe that buying online invoicing tools will increase their expenses, overlooking the fact that in the long run, these tools actually help them get paid faster and mange their billing systems and expenses better. Besides, many invoicing applications offer free accounts for freelancers and small businesses with limited features.
Using cloud-based invoicing software means you can access it from anywhere and at anytime. You gain an unparalleled convenience and accessibility when it comes to creating and sending invoices to clients. All you need is a home computer or mobile device with Wi-Fi access. This process offers a great mobility where you can access invoicing and expense management reports on the go so that you can always remain updated about your valuable business information.
Automated Process Eliminates Human Error
Calculations are done automatically by a computer program, so you don’t need to second guess the data or totals. Most invoicing applications offer an additional feature: a time tracking tool. It records the time spend on each project and automatically converts the data into an invoice. As a result, each figure is correctly entered into the system, saving you from manual entry and calculation and reducing the chance of potential errors.
Real-Time Financial Reports
As soon as your invoice is generated, an invoicing application also updates your financial reports instantly. In fact, this happens every time you enter a payable or receivable data, ensuring that all of your financial reports are current and accurate. This also means that you can check your outstanding receivables at anytime and from anywhere. This helps you understand your financial status before making any decision. For example, if you want to make a big purchase or extend additional credit to a client, the updated receivable report will help you make informed decisions.
Invoicing tools have in-built, professional invoice templates for project estimates and quotes, invoices and cover letters. These templates make everything look well-organized and uniformed. Besides, you can send the quotes and invoices directly from the application and even request a read receipt to get notified when the client reads your email. This means, no “lost in the mail” excuses from your client. In addition, the invoicing tools these days send automatic reminder notices to clients before invoices are due. This again improves your chances of being paid on time.
Client Contact Management
Cloud-based invoicing software tools allow you to manage your billing information and client contacts from the same location. You can store and access data like contact details, credit balance, payment terms and purchasing history of each client in one single location. This makes the tasks of sales professionals and project managers easier.
You can save money on paper, envelopes, ink, stamps and postal services. The entire process is carried out in a virtual environment; in fact, you don’t even need to print a copy as all the information is securely stored online. Most importantly, anyone with basic knowledge of invoicing and computers can manage the process and there is no need to hire an expert. These online invoicing applications not only save money but also prevent legal and financial disputes and therefore help in improving customer relationships.
It is imperative for small businesses to look for ways to save time and money. There is nothing better than automating some of your processes, and organized finances is one of them. Invoicing software keep your bills, payments, and statements organized and at the same time improves your clients’ payment experience. With cloud-based invoicing software you will cut costs and start growing your business.