The old basic billing and payment system not only took significant time to generate invoices, but due to traditional mailing methods, it also took a great deal of time before the invoice was in the hands of the client. A bookkeeper first needed to create a template in Microsoft Word that would require constant formatting and adjusting every time it was used. Next, they need to enter all of the information in regards to that specific bill, and then use a calculator to figure out the taxes and total. The invoice was then printed (usually several copies), folded, and mailed out. The client would receive the invoice several days later, manually write a cheque, stick it in an envelope and then mail it back.
Times have changed and you can now immediately email an invoice directly to the client and then receive payment the same day using a variety of quick online payment methods. Small businesses with tight margins whose survival depends on receiving payments quickly can especially benefit from the advantages of electronic invoicing and payment services.
Electronic invoicing was specifically designed to save small businesses time and money. Most online invoicing providers offer simple, ready-to-use templates that anyone can quickly update. Once a company has entered their contact information, payment terms, and item descriptions into the program, the information will be permanently stored and saved for future use. This eliminates time-consuming double entry, allowing business owners to generate professional invoices in a matter of minutes.
All the bookkeeper needs to do is select a client, choose which products or services they are purchasing, and the invoice will be automatically updated. It will calculate any taxes, the total amount, and even the due date. It can then be immediately emailed to the client and all corresponding financial reports produce by the invoicing software will be instantly updated with the new information.
Before the invoice is sent to the client, make sure there is a sentence or two indicating the various payment options. Cash and/or check might be excellent choices for you, but they are not always convenient for your client. Having electronic payment capabilities offers your customer’s choices like paying online or by phone using a credit card. There are a lot of different companies like E-pay or Pay Pal that have made electronic payment options more affordable and accessible for any business.
Electronic invoicing and electronic payments are not only simple and convenient choices, they also environmentally friendly ways to reduce costs. There is no need to print extra copies of an invoice, purchase envelopes, and then pay for stamps to send it by mail. By handling the transaction completely online, both companies will reduce their paper consumption and save money on postage.
Small businesses should be regularly looking for ways to save time, improve the payment experience for their clients, and cut costs in order to grow their business. Using an electronic invoicing and payment system can quickly achieve all three of these benefits for your small business.