Finding the right invoicing software is hard, but not having the proper software can be costly. Invoicing errors can be a source of conflict between you and your clients. One mistake that commonly happens with most business people is postponing sending out the invoice.
Did you know that you’re 1.5 times more likely to get paid if you charge promptly? Sending out the invoice on the day you complete a task increases your payment chances. Unfortunately, many people wait until one or two weeks later to send an invoice.
You need invoicing software that can help you eliminate the errors associated with the billing process. After all, you want to get paid as soon as possible for services offered, right?
Here’s how to ease the process of choosing the best invoicing software.
Choose Software with Both Invoicing and Accounting Features
Most of the cloud-based accounting software on the market today incorporates invoicing features. Handling your invoicing needs with accounting software provides a two-fold benefit. The first advantage is that you’ll synchronize your invoices with your accounts.
Second, it’ll save you on costs as you’ll not have to pay for two separate sets of software. Depending on your current accounting and invoicing arrangements, the option is worth considering.
However, you may ignore the integrated accounting and invoicing software if
- You’ve got an accounting software in place that you’d not like to change
- You need to have auto-billing software
If you are not a business accountant yourself, seek the advice of one on the features to look for before you buy. You can also enlist help with the software provider if you aren’t sure about something.
Free or Paid?
There’s a variety of free invoicing software that you can download and install. However, most of them come with limited and basic features. Still, they can help you complete day to day tasks, and you can find more info here.
If you’re looking for something more advanced, you’ll have to part with some money.
Consider the features you need before you go for paid software. It makes no financial sense to pay for something that you’ll not even use. First, make a list of the features you cannot do without.
Second, make another list of those you’d like to have but can do without.
Some of the features are:
- Customizable templates
- Online payment options
- Attach files to invoices
- Sales tax
- Customer statements
- Automated late fees
- Inventory tracking
- Client portal
- Automatic reminders
- Recurring invoices among others
It’s upon you to decide the features that would mean the most to your business. See how the features line up with the available software.
Safety of the Billing Software
When looking at all factors, none is as important as the safety of the software. Remember that it will handle your financial data, as well as that of your clients. Your documents will also be at risk should anything go wrong.
If you buy your software, ensure that it’s from a reliable source. If you decide to download the free version, you might gamble with the safety of your data. Check online for reviews by other users.
Proper Design of the Invoice
Billing software does not substitute professionalism. This means that the design of your invoice still matters as it did when you used the manual system. Poorly designed online invoices will cause annoyance and confusion among your clients.
A demonstration of lack of professionalism won’t influence your clients to pay on time. A professional invoice will set you apart from all the generic invoices your clients get. Choose software that will make it easy for you to design your invoice.
It should reflect your brand by capturing your
- Brand’s color
- Payment terms that should be clearly defined
- List of products or services provides
- Invoice number
- Contact information
- Due date
It’s advisable to include a personalized message to your client thanking them for the payment. Most software comes with a template where you can drag-and-drop your logo. Designing your invoice has never been easier.
Seek Help When Necessary
Because you’ve been sending invoices doesn’t mean it’ll be easy with the online-based one. You also might not have the knowledge or time to manage the invoicing software effectively. If this is the case, do not shy away from seeking help.
You might require help in
- Setting up the system depending on its complexity of use
- Establishing a line of credit for your clients
- Following up on payments
Using billing software may not be as easy as you first expect. It’ll get more comfortable with time and as you familiarize with it.
Once you are sure how the system works, ensure that you maintain proper records. Keep track of the project that you want to bill. Your invoice should have detailed records to reduce chances of client disputes.
Keep track of paid invoices to avoid sending unnecessary reminders. The billing software will do this for you if it comes with the feature.
Best Invoicing Software – Final Thoughts
There are times you need to take your business to the next level. This can be by making use of software and systems that make the business processes easier. Among them is the billing software.
If you’ve decided that manual invoicing is no longer convenient, it’s time for the invoicing software. Choosing the best invoicing software is not easy, but is possible following a few guidelines.
You can opt for one that integrates your accounting and invoicing. This will streamline the two processes and make it easier to track cash flows. You also need to decide if you want to have free or paid software.
Whatever you choose, ensure that you safeguard your data security.
Look at the features that come with the accounting software. How easy will it be to design your invoice? Will it show professionalism? Ensure that the software does not come between you and your clients by making life complicated for them.
Most importantly, seek help from the software providers if you are stuck in its use. It is crucial that everything works out smoothly.
Be sure to continue reading our blog for more information on business finance.