Woman hands with bills and mobile phone

How to accept mobile invoices: A guide for small businesses

Many small business owners struggle to get paid—in part, because the process of making and receiving payments is a challenge.

If you’re a photographer, you likely ask for a deposit before you begin work. To receive that deposit, you need to issue an invoice, email it to your customer, then wait to receive your funds.

One way to eliminate all of these steps is to enable mobile payments.

What are mobile invoices?

Mobile invoices are invoices sent from your mobile device, enabling you to request payments on the go.

Using QuickBooks Payments, you can generate an invoice and accept payment via credit card on your phone. By using mobile invoicing software, you can easily bill your clients, track your invoices and monitor payments using an easy-to-manage system that does most of the work for you.

Imagine how much time and mental energy you would free up if you could collect your deposit on the spot or over the phone. Setting up mobile payments is easy if you’re using QuickBooks Online  accounting software, which seamlessly imports your invoice payments directly into your accounting dashboard.

Here’s what to think about when setting up your mobile payments system:

Benefits of mobile invoicing

Mobile invoicing can simplify a number of workflows in your business, help you get paid faster, and establish more predictability with your finances.

You’ll also save time and require less people-power to stay on top of your accounting.

1. Central location for client information

Never lose a client’s address or other pertinent details again. By using a mobile interface, you can input client data directly into the invoicing software using a mobile phone or tablet. Some programs will store your information locally on your mobile device, while others will store it in the cloud. But wherever your data is stored, mobile invoicing software enables you to keep all of your pertinent client details with you at all times.

2. Instant billing

While you can automate the sending of invoices using most accounting software programs, one of the best things about mobile invoicing is that you can create an invoice the moment the job is done and send it out for payment, saving you time and the headaches of snail mail or other alternatives.

3. Integration with your accounting software

Most accounting software programs that help manage your business’ financial records can integrate with mobile invoicing. For example, QuickBooks allows you to automatically enter invoices and estimates from its mobile app, eliminating the risk of double entries. This makes for smoother and more accurate expense management.

4. Capture signatures and generate receipts

Most mobile invoicing software also enable you to capture signatures by having yourself or clients sign with a finger or stylus on the mobile device. This can be useful for receiving approval on an estimate or for adding your signature to a bill before sending to the client for payment. Additionally, receipts can be easily generated, making it easier for you to keep up with your accounting paperwork.

5. Centralized, automated invoice tracking

If you choose software that supports cloud storage, then all of your invoices and estimates will be stored remotely, making it easy for you to keep records. Storing records in the cloud also frees up local memory on your own mobile device while ensuring that your information can be accessed from any of your authorized devices.

Other integrated options include adding pictures or notes to different client records, both of which can be especially helpful for tracking progress on a project or keeping track of client meetings. Additionally, programs like QuickBooks can sort your invoices into separate categories (e.g. open, paid, overdue), giving you a quick snapshot of the state of your billing. So at the end of a billing cycle, you can easily note who you need to reach out to in order to request payment.

How to get started with mobile invoicing

To start sending mobile invoices, you can use tools like QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Payments. If you plan to accept payments from your smartphone, a mobile credit card reader makes it easy to accept credit card payments on the go.

If you’re a QuickBooks customer, the GoPayment app syncs all of your payment data to your books. You can use mobile invoicing as little or as much as you’d like.

Typically, mobile payment solutions will give you a card reader for free. GoPayment’s card reader accepts chip and magstripe cards, connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, and is lightweight and portable. You can upgrade to accept Apple Pay and Android Pay.

You will not need to pay upfront fees.

Most platforms offer pay-as-you-go models, with a small percentage and flat fey. For instance, QuickBooks Payments charges 2.4% + $0.25 per swipe, dip, and tap. For keyed entries, processing fees are 3.4% + $0.25 per transaction.

You can make mobile invoicing a routine part of your business or use the technology for one-time transactions—whatever’s easiest.

Final Thoughts

As mobile technology allows you to work with customers where they are, small business owners should research which of these technologies can benefit their businesses.

Integrating mobile invoicing into your accounting procedures is a great way to not only save time, but also streamline your processes and get paid faster.

Managing your business from anywhere with your phone will help improve customer experiences, manage your cash, and grow your venture

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