How much paper waste do you create as an individual? How about as an office?
In America, the average office worker disposes about 500 paper cups per year. And in the UK, office waste costs a whopping £15 billion.
This lead to the creation of the One Bin Day campaign, which was designed to make people think about what they throw away daily.
One way businesses are taking accountability is by adopting paperless processes. What better place to start than with invoices?
Many businesses today are still using manual invoicing methods that consist of printing out bills and mailing them off. This is inefficient on multiple fronts.
And it’s likely why so many businesses are turning to e-invoicing. In 2016, it was expected that the e-invoicing volume would reach 30 billion worldwide – with a 10-20% annual growth rate.
The popularity of paperless invoices continues to grow. But why?
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.
1. Quickly Create and Send Invoices
If you’re using paper-based billing, then the process of invoicing is longer. You have to search for and type in the contact name and details of the client.
Then you have to add your logo and business details.
With electronic invoices, you can build templates that eliminates multiple steps in this process. Then you’re also able to save the contact details of each client. This makes billing recurring clients faster.
What used to take hours will not take minutes.
2. Reduce Your Shipping Costs
The amount you spend on office supplies quickly rises when you’re mailing off bills each month. You have to cover the cost of stamps, envelopes, paper, and ink.
Why not just email the invoice instead? When you ditch paper invoices, you no longer have to spend excess amounts on overpriced office supplies.
3. Get Invoices Paid Quicker
When you mail off your invoices, you have to sit back and play the waiting game. It can take several days for your client to receive the invoice.
Then you have to wait for them to submit the payment, which can take another several days or weeks. Knowing whether or not your client received the invoice also becomes an issue, which requires you to reach out to ensure they did.
This is more time taken out of your schedule unnecessarily. With electronic invoices on a platform like invoicely, you’re able to submit your invoice to clients within minutes.
Then if they don’t pay within a week or so, you can send a payment reminder. On invoicing platforms, you can sometimes set up automated payment reminders for specific time intervals.
All of this helps your business get paid faster so you can cover your overhead expenses and business expenditures.
4. Access Financial Reports
If you’re using an invoicing platform for all of your billing, you’re better able to keep track of your finances. In the dashboard, you can see how much you earned in the past month.
And then compare your income month-over-month or year-over-year to see how your business is doing. Is it growing, stagnant, or need a boost in sales?
Invoicing platforms also allow you to see which invoices are paid or still pending.
Everything is right at your fingertips and easily accessible on any internet-connected device.
5. Send Invoices from Anywhere
Speaking of accessibility, invoicing platforms allow you to create and send invoices from your desktop or mobile device. So wherever you are in the world, you can handle billing your clients anytime you have an internet connection.
And if you have a team, they too can see and track the invoices you create and send. This comes in handy when you’re using virtual assistants who help with the financial side of your business.
6. Accept Multiple Forms of Payment
With paper-based billing, you’re limited to the forms of payment you accept. You either have to request a check or money order.
Or have them call you to collect their credit/debit card details for processing. This is inconvenient and could cause clients to hold off on paying your invoice right away.
Invoicing platforms make the process simple and there’s no interaction needed between your business and the client to pay an invoice. They receive an email with the bill and a link to pay it using their credit or debit card.
It’s a good idea to choose a platform that allows other forms of payment as well. For example, Mollie, Stripe, PayPal, and WePay.
The more payment options you offer, the easier you’ll make it for your customers to pay you.
7. Easily Track Time, Expenses, and Mileage
If you’re in an industry that requires you or your co-workers to travel a lot, then it’s good to keep track of the expenses associated with it. It’ll be easier to calculate and deduct them off your tax returns.
It’ll also help to see how much you’re spending and how you can lower the costs. Maybe you can stay at cheaper hotels or opt for a gas card to save a few cents per gallon at the pump.
Some invoicing platforms allow you to easily track your time, expenses, and mileage to keep an eye on spending.
Then if you have contractors who bill you hourly, you can use this to track how long they’re spending on projects. Maybe you’ll find it’s time to hire someone who’s faster so you can cut costs.
Or maybe you need to improve your processes so they can become more efficient.
8. Make Your Small Business Look More Professional
When you first open up shop, you have to focus on making a good first impression. It’s easier to do when you have a professional appearance and process.
Small businesses that use paper billing will only make it harder to collect payments, which is needed to sustain and even grow itself.
Once your clients learn and see how your e-billing process works, they’ll find working with you to be a breeze. Plus, you get to include your logo, which is helpful with branding your company.
Compared to other small businesses who are still using paper billing, your company will stand out (in a good way).
Who knows, this may even help to retain customers!
9. Make Your Corporation More Convenient
It’s not just the smaller companies that can benefit from e-invoices. Larger corporations can do the same.
In some cases, big companies tend to have complicated payment systems. It requires customers to call to pay their bills. Or they have to mail in their payment (how outdated!).
By implementing an e-invoicing process, you can make your corporation feel more personal. Your clients receive a professional invoice in their email inbox.
And then they can pay it at their own convenience using their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Plus, it can be in the middle of the night.
No waiting on hold for a long time just to make a payment.
10. Easily Manage Multiple Businesses
You have the entrepreneurial spirit, which means you likely want (or already do) own multiple businesses. To make it easier to track all of your finances, you can use e-billing platforms.
This way, you can see the financial reports of each company right in your dashboard. You can open up multiple accounts – one for each business.
This will make it simpler to see what business is doing what financially. It’s quick to set up and manage when you’re using the right platform.
11. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
The amount of paper waste businesses create around the world is insane. Why not play your part in reducing waste by going green?
With e-billing, you can eliminate paper waste stemming from invoices and envelopes. Then you can take it a step further by doing business with vendors who also offer e-receipts and e-bills.
We all have an important role to play on keeping our earth clean. After all, it’s the only place we have to call home!
12. Improve Security
Anyone can steal mail, which makes it difficult to maintain the security of paper bills. Why risk your customers’ details being stolen?
Or worse – having one of their checks or money orders lost or stolen? You can’t do anything about this when you’re using paper billing methods.
With e-invoices, you’re able to safeguard the invoicing process from beginning to end. The bill is sent securely via email and the payments are processed through a secure portal.
Finding an Electronic Invoicing Platform
Interested in the benefits associated with electronic invoices? Then it’s time to find an e-billing platform.
As you begin your search, be sure the platform you’re considering includes security features, payment reminders, invoice templates, a contact management system, and multiple online payment options.
It’s also good to go with a platform with a free trial, so you can test it out. Once you find the one that meets your standards, come back and let us know all about it (the good and the bad)!