1. Establish Billing Terms First
Before you begin a project with your client, it is essential that both parties are in agreement to the terms of billing. Both of you need to be aware of the terms to ensure understanding, prevent confusion, and avoid surprises.
When working on the terms, make sure to include the following details:
If you bill by the hour or per project;
Inclusions of the fee and other extra charges;
Preferred types of payments;
A time frame wherein the client is expected to settle the invoice;
Penalties charged if the bill is past the due date.
By working on and setting the terms of billing, you put yourself on the same page with your clients. This becomes the foundation of a productive and fruitful business relationship. Also, it helps make sure you get paid on time.
2. Consolidate Multiple Billing Dates
Managing multiple billing dates can be hard even if you have a billing and invoice system installed and running. This is especially true for SaaS businesses that offer subscriptions and e-commerce enterprises that cater to a huge volume of clients with multiple subscriptions.
Billing customers based on the date they subscribed or signed up can be messy and confusing since people sign up on different dates. One way to address this is to consolidate the billing dates and set a single billing date for a subscriber who has multiple subscriptions.
Another effective way to handle multiple billings is to bill all subscriptions on a fixed billing date that is convenient to your billing cycle and to your clients' financial cycle. By doing so, your company drastically reduces the number of billing dates to just one or two days, simplifying your own billing cycle.
Your clients benefit as well as they don't have to remember and deal with multiple payment dates. This allows them to better monitor and predict their payables via their accounts payables and accounting software and empower them to pay on time, resulting in a better revenue stream for your business.
3. Automate Your Billing
Many of the best software for invoicing, if not all, come with automation features to speed up the billing cycle, which in turn, gets your company paid faster. Check out FinancesOnline.com list of billing systems and take a look at the best options available in the market today.
One of the most important parts of the billing process you want to automate is the recurring fees. The amounts of most recurring fees remain unchanged for an extensive period of time.
With your billing and invoicing software, you can set up schedules, terms, and amounts for recurring fees. The software will automatically charge the appropriate amounts based on your terms, allowing you to focus on other pressing billing matters.
You can also automate reminders for invoices that are past due. You can configure the software to automatically send reminders to clients after a certain number of days, weeks, and months, depending on your company's preferences and terms.
Many companies also automate invoice generation and delivery based on proposals that are submitted, approved billable time, and upon project completion. Payments can be processed directly from online invoices and bills via buttons and clickable links. Clients don't have to exit the invoice and open another page to settle payments. They can simply press a button and send payment anytime they want.
4. Move Your Billing and Invoicing to the Cloud
Spreadsheets are archaic and on-premise software solutions are fast becoming obsolete as cloud technology has taken over many business processes, billing and invoicing. If your company has not yet migrated your information and business activities to the cloud, it may be worth your while to see how moving to the cloud can help your business.
According to the RightScale 2019 State of The Cloud Report, 94% of companies surveyed said they have adopted a cloud-based strategy for their business. The same report revealed that companies plan to increase spending on cloud technologies, an indication that this is a growing trend.
Getting an online billing software has its pros and cons. But experts are unanimous when they say the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
How so? Because moving business processes to the cloud is cost-effective, secure, and fast. Using cloud-based billing and invoicing software frees you from having to invest in expensive hardware or closely monitor software updates. You can scale your platform based on your billing requirements in a flash and not worry about not losing information when there is software or equipment failure.
Also, migrating your business activities to the cloud means you can access your business data and perform a variety of functions using your mobile devices anytime and anywhere. Such a setup provides you the agility that you don't enjoy with desktop-based applications.
By 2020, 84% of enterprise workload will be transferred to the cloud according to the latest hosting statistics. You really don't want to be left behind and depending on legacy systems while the competition takes full advantage of the cloud.
Be Ahead of the Curve
Investing in a billing and invoicing software is a great move. That said, it is just a single step towards the right direction. To fully unlock the potential of your invoicing and accounting software, you need to adopt and implement the best practices mentioned above.
They are designed to enhance and accelerate your billing and invoicing activities using modern technology. With the changing times ahead, you need to make your billing and invoicing approach future proof so you remain ahead of the pack and be on top of your business at every curve.