Invoicing is a critical part of the customer experience that is usually taken for granted. However, a company that bears this in mind when creating invoices can improve the experience and revenue by 4-8%. A better invoicing process can be achieved by following the best practices below for effective communication and accurate billing.
Make the invoice easy to read even with a simple glance. Do not add unnecessary jargon or include a layout that will increase the number of pages. While it is important to include all the necessary details, it is also best to make it short and to the point. This will avoid confusion and speed up processing of payment.
It is not just a matter of creating a document that will communicate what the other party should pay. Include careful thought when setting up the layout so that branding and marketing principles are perfectly followed. Logos, address, telephone numbers are some of the items that you should consider including as they also add authenticity to the document.
Navigating different invoices is made easy if they can be identified by the dates they were created as well as their reference number. It also makes record keeping easier for both the organization and the client. While human beings have names, invoices have dates and reference numbers.
Sometimes the financial department may need to make clarifications about details in the invoice so the contact person’s name will help direct them. At the same time, for a smaller company or an individual, including the name adds personalization to the invoice. The company name and address make it clear that the invoice is for that company and not a mix-up.
The client needs to know what they are paying for. Simply giving a total will not cut it. Itemize the billing so that everything is transparent. This builds trust and makes inquiries about billing easier to deal with. However, in the interest of simplicity, do not itemize every minute detail and do not add an entire paragraph explaining items. Clients simply want to understand the item, its unit cost, the quantity billed, and the total.
Ensure everyone is on the same page by including the terms for payment. This includes when payment is due, what the total amount is, and if there is any associated discount. In most cases, a client has 30 days to make the payment. The business may also send an automated reminder a few days before payment is due.
The client needs to know what options they have to make the payment. It is best to make it simple for them to pay so be flexible about the way they can make payment. Include different options and where possible, make it easy to effect the payment. For example, if they can pay using credit card, then include a link that will direct them to that option. Do not wait to be asked for details to make payments. This ensures quick processing of payment.
It's not all business and formality, be friendly and express your appreciation. A short note stating your appreciation for the business adds a human touch to the invoice and goes a long way in building lasting relationships.
Have a centralized place to keep copies of all invoices. This is important for reference purposes, auditing as well as creating standard templates. Most accounting software can easily store copies and make them accessible on the go.
Invoicing involves repetitive actions which can get boring and take up a lot of time. Automating the process helps you work faster as well as ensures adherence to best practices. You can create several invoices in a short time and you can be sure the data is accurate if you automate the process.
Windward offers the best automatic invoice generator that can help you create them in a matter of few seconds by using templates and dynamic data. Try us free before you buy for the next 14 days - download our free trial today.