Best Practice Tips For Invoicing For SMEs

Do you feel as if you are drowning in paperwork? Are invoices and administration keeping you away from important tasks…such as growing your business? We can help!

Invoices are such a basic part of daily business that there is an assumption that it is easy and straightforward. This can be true once you have the right best practice guidelines in place, but the reality is that every business has had to figure out how to set up their invoicing system in the first place!

Even with a great system in place, invoice and the processing involved can take valuable time away from actually growing your business, making affordable accounting software more important than ever before.

How Doing Things The Right Way Makes A Difference

Why Do Best Practices For Invoicing Guidelines Matter?

Invoicing in a professional manner, and in adherence to the standard practices expected from your accounting and taxation responsibilities, is highly recommended. Not only is it a sure-fire way to ensure that you are protecting your business, now and in the future, but it also makes sure that you are able to maintain a healthy cashflow, alleviating financial stress and unwanted pressure.

In short, do your invoicing right and it will only make doing business simpler and better.

Best Practices For Invoicing You Need To Know

  • Keep It Simple: Make sure your clients can pay you easily with minimal delay or unnecessary charges. Pro tip: Online payments or EFTs are suitable for many e-Commerce businesses.
  • Keep It Clear: Leave no room for confusion! Make sure that the salient information is easy to read and even easier to identify.
  • Keep Up To Date: Schedule time for your invoicing and do not delay or procrastinate. Delays in invoicing result in payment delays, which – as we’re sure you know – aren’t great for that all-important cashflow!
  • Keep It Easy: Check in with your suppliers and clients to make sure that your payment processes integrate well with any systems they have in place, or take note of how it may affect you. Prime invoices so that payments are always easy.
  • Keep It Smart: Follow regulations, keep clear records, and when in doubt, start with a readily available template!
  • Keep It Top Of Mind: Invoices are YOUR responsibility. Communication with clients, discussing unusual delays, and reaching out for receipt confirmation are the basics of keeping your due payments important and remembered.

Where Do I Start?

The best place to start is by making sure you fully comprehend what an invoice is and what it entails. Your invoice is essentially your proof of instruction to make payment.

Terms You Need To Be Comfortable With

Know the difference between these terms:

Invoice: A formal request for payment or proof of transaction

Purchase Order: A written request for goods or services for which there is an intent to buy

Receipt: Proof or confirmation of payment made

What Do I Include In My Invoice?
The basic requirements for an invoice are:

  • Invoice Number: Essential for accurate record keeping, being able to retrieve information for a future date, and being able to discuss sensitive transactions with confidentiality. Pro tip: Keep things consequential!
  • Your Company Name: Validation of whom the payment should be made to and a reflection of your brand.
  • Date and Payment Terms: Important information that is legally binding, since it represents a contract of goods or services delivered in lieu of expected payment.
  • Postal Information and Address: Billing information and contact details are vital to supporting the process of making payments and clear contractual terms of the parties involved.
  • Descriptions of Goods/Services Rendered, and the Amount Charged: Clear, identifiable information on what the exchange or transaction is/was.
…Here’s What Your Invoice Says About Your Business.

Does It Matter How It Looks…?

Realistically, invoices are pieces of paper (digital or physical) that represent money owed. When money is involved, people generally want to feel a sense of trust and value.

If your invoicing – which is an extension of the way your company and brand is represented – looks untidy and disheveled, it makes your entire company seem untrustworthy and unprofessional. Not many people would be happy to part with their money for a company that doesn’t put in at least the minimal amount of effort for their invoicing.

The impression created by your invoicing is lasting and plays an important role in building long-term relationships with your clients. Best practices for invoicing dictate that it must be legible, neatly laid out, and look professionally put together as we’ve explained above

The short answer is…yes and no.

Do I Really Need To Do All This Paperwork?

Yes, it is an incredibly vital part of doing business, and you will be required to keep clear records of your business sales which also feeds into your taxation and accounting duties.

No, you do not personally have to do it – that’s why we exist.

Let ALP Peak take on the outsourcing of your accounting and invoicing burdens. No more complex calculations, mountains of undone paperwork, or time spent away from your core business functions. We do the paperwork and keep everything up to date, while you enjoy actually running your business!

Start your one-month FREE TRIAL today, with no strings attached.

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