An invoice is one of the essential documents of any business. It serves as proof of the buyer’s obligation to pay you for your products and services.
With this, you can monitor payments and maintain records in case you need to provide evidence of your agreement with the client.
Proper invoice management organises your tax process as well, which is something your accountant will thank you for. Another significant benefit of this documentation, is that it provides data on your customers’ buying patterns and other trends, such as popular products and peak seasons.
Successful businesses often leverage this data to make decisions about future investments, responding to what customers love to craft effective marketing strategies to boost sales and profits.
Aside from creating an invoice, you must make sure that you have a system for managing it. This includes thinking about how to store and distribute your files properly.
Here are some tips to help you manage your business’s invoicing documents:
1. Invest In The Right Tools
Business owners, especially those who are just starting out, often oversee all departments, from finances, to marketing, to sales. While you may not have enough funds yet to hire additional people into your team to help you, you should, at the very least, take advantage of modern technology to ease your burdens.
One of the tools that you should invest in is small business invoicing software. This specialized program usually comes with a management system for your documents. Its primary benefit is that your team has a central location where they can save and search for accounting-related files.
Another advantage of this app is that it automates some invoicing-related processes. This function allows you and your staff to focus on more revenue-generating tasks instead of wasting their brainpower and energy on tedious activities, like sending recurring bills, as well as entering customer information repeatedly and manually.
2. Standardize Your Documentation Process
If you want to ensure that your accounting files are stored properly, you should consider your documentation process. Take a look at how you save invoices now and find areas of improvement.
It’s also helpful if you create a record of the steps involved in the procedure and announce it to your staff. This way, you ensure that they’re aware of how the process should go, and that compliance is a must.
These are the key tasks involved in an effective document management process:
- Capture – The best way to create a copy of an invoice is to scan it if it’s a physical file.
- Validation – Next, you must find a way to ensure that all data in the invoice is accurate. Check for missing fields or mistakes in the prices.
- Routing – Then, the invoice must be sent to the departments or employees who are responsible for processing them. You can set up automatic sending and notifications on most invoice software programs. You can even integrate your invoicing app to your business email tool, which is one of the technologies to maximize if you want to scale up.
- Approval – Once the document is routed to authorized personnel, they can process the invoice and confirm their approval.
- Posting – Lastly, the invoice should be automatically sent to the client for quicker payment processing on their end.
3. Include Invoice Numbers
Your invoices must follow a sequential system so that you can track your documents easily. With this, each file that you create and distribute must have a unique identifier, usually a series of numbers. This is a good way to avoid duplicates and make sure that every transaction has an invoice attached to it.
4. Set Alarms For Deadlines
One viable solution to late payments is to send notifications to your clients before the deadline. On your end, you should set alarms for these targets.
It helps you manage and improve your documentation process because you have another motivation to accomplish this goal, which is to stay on schedule, along with getting your payments.
5. Go Mobile
Mobile apps make the process of managing your invoices more convenient. You can easily take a picture of the document on your phone and upload it to the system, which can be accessed on various devices, thanks to cloud technology.
Most invoicing software companies have developed mobile versions of their platforms, so all you need to do is to become familiar with the interface.
Your invoice is an essential document for your business. That’s why you should make sure that you manage your accounting-related files well. You can invest in software to serve as a central location and automate some processes. Follow these tips to ensure that you don’t miss out on payments and keep your enterprise solvent.