Let’s be honest; no one really enjoys invoicing. It’s monotonous and takes up time that you could be spending on other aspects of your business.
But, it’s a necessity. And if you have to do it, you’d better do it correctly, as it'll save you headaches later on down the line.
In many instances, a business chasing a client who isn’t returning calls, or even having to go down the route of issuing a late payment demand could have avoided the situation by taking a little more time on their invoicing procedure.
This checklist will provide you with a solid base to ensure that your invoicing goes as smoothly as possible.
Check you’ve included all of the relevant information on your invoice
You’d be surprised at the number of businesses that put very little thought into the information they provide on their invoices.
First of all, make sure that the word “invoice” is clearly displayed on the documentation that you send them. That may sound pretty self-explanatory, but it can be easy to get so caught up in the numbers and payment terms that you don’t include the word on the document.
Double check your own company name, address and contact information, and be sure to issue a unique reference number on every invoice you send out.
Clearly describe the services or goods that you’re invoicing the client for, as well as displaying the date, the amount owed and the date payment has to be made by.
Keep on top of the situation
Don’t just create an invoice, send it out and then forget about it until the day of expected payment. If you’ve forgotten about it, there’s a good chance your client may have as well.
Send out the invoice, and then follow up five or so working days before the due date with a nice little email reminding your client that payment is almost due.
Sometimes a friendly reminder beforehand allows for a bit of planning on your client's end. Let’s face it, people get busy, and sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the days or get swamped with work.
Create payment terms, and stick to them
Your invoice should include your payment terms written clearly and in an easy to understand way. When you indicate a specific number of days before payment becomes overdue be sure to specify if you mean business days, and don’t be afraid to be firm when it comes to enforcing the terms of payment.
Politeness and patience can go a long way when dealing with customers and clients, but there will be occasions where you have to be firm and to the point.
Sometimes, no matter how much you put into creating a perfect invoice, you’ll come across a customer who simply doesn’t want to pay.
When that happens, you could be left with no other option than legal recourse.
Most companies simply don’t have the resources or time to chase overdue payments, and it’s at this stage that a reputable debt collection company can be worth their weight in gold.
Are you claiming debts from individuals or sole traders?
Watch the video!