Each time you sell a product or service, an invoice is made. If you’re not already using an e-invoicing software, then you’re wasting money (and trees) each time you do so.
It’s estimated that paper invoices cost between €2.50 to €10 per invoice. Then to receive and settle paper invoices hikes up related costs.
Since the reconciliation must be done by hand, it can cost between €5 and €15 per invoice. This is one of the major reasons why you’ll find companies around the world switching over to e-invoicing.
In 2016, there were around 36 billion electronic invoices created. About 50% of these were invoices for consumers and the rest were sent to other businesses and entities in the public sector.
The countries with over 40% of the e-invoicing share include:
Wherever you are in the world – reducing your invoicing costs should be top of mind. And if you can also simplify and organize your finances in the process – why not do so?
With e-billing you can. But before you purchase an invoicing software, let’s take a look at 9 things you should look for.
First – Why Use Invoicing Software?
We touched a little bit on what makes digital invoices appealing to business owners. Besides saving money on supplies, you can turn your financial system into a seamless and accurate process.
Typing up invoices on your own leaves a ton of room for human error. And this isn’t an area you want to be lenient in.
With an invoicing platform, you can reduce human error substantially. Also, you can access and create invoices from anywhere using a desktop or mobile device.
This makes it convenient for both you and your customers, who can access and pay their invoice wherever they have an internet or data connection.
1. Create Customized Invoices
Invoices are a part of your branding, so it’s important that you are able to at least insert your company logo. With invoicing tools, you’re able to create templates, which can make it easier to bill customers on a whim.
Why go through the hassle of rewriting and recreating invoices over and over again? The purpose of going digital is to help automate your invoicing processes.
Some platforms even come with a variety of templates to choose from based on your industry and preferences. For example, you can choose between templates designed with project/item or hourly rates.
2. Multiple Currency Options
Your invoicing software shouldn’t limit you to one type of currency. Especially if you’re planning to do business with customers across the world.
This will make it easier to bill international clients, receive payments, and provide receipts.
3. Customer Management System
Remembering all of the details for each client is impossible. And it can also slow down invoicing processes if you always have to look up and type in contact details for each invoice.
This is why we recommend finding an invoice system that will enable you to save your customers’ details.
4. Ability to Process Credit Cards
What’s the point of invoicing customers virtually if they can’t pay you virtually? The digital invoicing platform you choose should come with credit card processing capabilities.
Then if you offer a recurring service, then you want a software that will allow you to set up recurring payments. This can either be a recurring invoice being sent for the client to pay. Or processing the payments automatically each billing period.
5. Ability to Create Quotes
Before you secure a client, they may want to receive an estimate from you. Rather than sending an email with the quote, you can use a professional quotation template.
Many invoicing tools allow you to create estimate forms to email to your potential customers.
This will come in handy if you’re constantly getting new prospects or must provide quotes on new projects from your current clients.
6. Financial Report Creation
Knowing how well your business is doing financially is easier when your invoicing tool collects data and generates reports.
Some platforms provide financial snapshots in your dashboard, which you can customize with one click. For example, in the invoicely platform, you can look at your monthly, annual, or customized financial summaries.
This details your expenses and earnings. Plus, you can quickly view your open/pending invoices, bills, and estimates.
Then if you have a team, you can see detailed reports on their invoices, bills, and payment activities. This creates transparency and a digital trail, which will come in handy when it comes time to do your taxes.
7. Accept Multiple Forms of Online Payment
It’s great to accept credit and debit card payments. But you’ll occasionally come across customers who want to use other forms of payment.
For instance, PayPal, WePay, Stripe, or Mollie. Making it as easy and convenient as possible for customers to pay increases the odds of your invoices being paid on time.
8. Easily Track Time, Mileage, and Expenses
Today’s businesses extend beyond the office. Keeping track of billable hours becomes easier when you have a platform you can access from anywhere.
Then you also want to be able to keep track of mileage and expenses that occur throughout the month. All of your expenses are easily traced when you’re using the right invoicing platform.
Once the month is over, you can include this in your bill to customers.
9. Include Taxes, Discounts, and Shipping
Invoices include more than just your rate for a service or product. In some cases, you may want to offer a customer a discount, which should be reflected in the bill.
The platform you choose will need to offer this feature so it’s as simple as typing in the discount percentage. The software will calculate the new total.
Other areas your software should include are shipping and taxes. Insert the amounts and the system will update accordingly.
Tips for Selecting the Best Invoicing Platform
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a platform, it’s time to go over some additional tips. Here’s a quick overview of some of the factors that can help you better decide on a platform.
Fits the Context of Your Company
If the invoicing tool you purchase doesn’t make your business more efficient, then it’s a waste of time (and money). Be sure to look at its capabilities to ensure it meets your business needs.
It should fit right into your usual processes so it’s simple to implement. Also, avoid paying for more features than you’ll actually use.
Has a Professional Appearance
While a bill isn’t necessarily a document customers look forward to, this doesn’t mean you can’t spice them up. Rather than offering them a bland document with typed up details, you can add some color and your logo.
It’s also a good idea to add a “thank you” note at the end of the invoice.
If the platform doesn’t have a look that’s professional, stylish, and easy on the eye, then continue your search.
Safety Comes First
When you’re collecting critical data from customers, such as their payment details, you want to ensure their security. Be sure to buy software that you know will safeguard sensitive data using top-of-the-line encryption.
If not – tell it to kick rocks and keep searching.
Excellent Customer Support
You may need a little help adjusting to your new invoicing platform in the beginning. Having a great support system to help you along when you have questions is key.
Be sure to look at the company’s setup to see if they offer online support, such as a help center. This should be populated with helpful articles that answer frequently asked questions.
This way, you can quickly find what you need without waiting on long holds on the phone.
Streamlining Your Invoicing Processes
The world is quickly turning digital – are you keeping up? If not, then you’re going to become outdated and fast.
Your competition are on the cutting edge of technology and are implementing them into their companies. If you’re not doing the same, then you risk falling behind or even out of the game.
Customers are looking for convenience, professionalism, accuracy, and security. This especially holds true when it comes to invoices.
So as you’re looking for software to upgrade to, we encourage you to keep this list in mind. Think of all the tasks associated with billing clients and ensure the features match your needs.
Use this as a guide and checklist and before you know it, you’ll have a quality platform to bill your clients with.
Once you get started using your new invoicing platform, come back and let us know how it’s working out for ya!