Does your business rely on paper invoices? If so, then you’re probably aware that drafting invoices is tedious, and that time could be better spent in other areas of your business.
Manual invoicing does not just distract you from other work; the entire payment process via paper invoices is time-consuming and costly. If your clients or customers still send paper checks in the mail to complete their invoices, you’d need to wait for the check to arrive in the mail, personally endorse it, take it to the bank, and wait two to five business days for the check to clear. This process can take from as little as a week to as much as an entire month–and that’s if your client pays on time.
This unpredictability in terms of payment settlement makes it difficult to calculate your cash flow and plan your budget. In order to speed up the invoicing and payment process, email and electronic invoicing have become a popular alternative, saving business owners a significant amount of time and money.
Sending automated email invoices can save you a significant amount of work when compared to creating and sending each invoice manually. By using an online invoicing tool, customers can pay electronically. This simplified step makes it easier for customers to pay, making it more likely that they will pay on time. CurrencyPay, our payment processing product, has this feature built-in. Through our electronic invoicing portal, you can automate your invoice process and set your preferences so that electronic invoices are delivered at pre-scheduled times. It also has a smart invoicing feature that allows your clients to pay directly from the invoice.
Instead of waiting for customers to mail you a paper check, they can pay their invoice at the click of their mouse by opening their billing email and paying through CurrencyPay’s portal. Making payments electronically has become more commonplace as our habits shift to a more digital-centric lifestyle. Everyone, especially consumers, highly values the convenience that online options bring.
Switching to e-invoicing can also encourage clients to pay sooner due to the simplified, hassle-free process. Meredith Wood, the former community manager at Funding Gates, says that businesses that decided to use online payment platforms “typically received payment within 10 days of sending the invoice, while all other methods usually take an average of 27 days. If customers are able to instantly access a payment link on an invoice, they can instantly make a payment.”
Email invoicing and payments are not only more convenient because customers do not have to mail a check manually, but they can also use the resulting electronic records for budgeting and tax purposes. When your clients or customers pay online, a digital receipt can automatically be created and sent to them after every payment.
So, how can you send an invoice via email? Or, more importantly, create them en-masse instead of individually? Online invoicing platforms provide you with invoice templates and dashboards that display invoices with their amounts, customer names, due dates, tracking numbers, and statuses. Some platforms will also include payment links that allow customers to pay online immediately. You can also choose to do recurring billing so that invoices will send automatically.
Before you start sending or updating your invoicing process, though, it’s important to set up your payment terms — especially if they differ between clients. One of your clients might agree to payments for project milestones, while another would prefer to pay once a project is entirely complete. Neglecting to establish these payment terms can lead to confusion around when you can expect to be paid, when your client should expect to pay you, and even negatively affect your working relationships.
Another benefit of managing your invoices online is that you do not have to constantly look up which terms apply to who; the system would track this for you. All you would need to do is enter your line items for future use, add any applicable fees and taxes, and review before sending.
Now that you’ve decided to take the leap, the first real step to transitioning to email and electronic invoicing is getting your clients on board as well. Notify your customers beforehand that you are switching to email billing. If your clients do not know how to pay online or are hesitant to do so, make it clear how this change would benefit them. Explain to them how electronic invoicing will save them time, simplify their own payment records, as well as allow them to make payments from anywhere.
Manual billing and paper checks are becoming increasingly outdated. Instead of spending large amounts of time creating invoices and waiting to get paid, see how your business could collect payments sooner with E-invoicing and electronic payments.