An invoice is more than a tool for getting paid and generating receipts.
Well-built invoices are tools for record keeping, communicating with customers, and serving as a paper trail.
That’s why when you generate an invoice, it’s important to use software that integrates with your financial workflows.
Rather than creating one-off receipts, you can use your invoicing process to strengthen your relationships and save time.
Plan and personalize your invoices in a way that expedite your cash flow, reinforce your brand, and reduce your bookkeeping practices to a few simple steps.
Personalized Invoice Details
It is important to remember that invoicing is a tool for accomplishing two primary goals: getting paid and keeping a record of business transactions.
That’s why personalization is so important: your clients need specific instructions on how to pay your business. Generally, these instructions will be based on prior conversations that you have had.
Here are some basic personalization tips:
- Make sure that your customer’s name and contact information are clear so that all parties can match invoices to specific accounts.
- Ensure that payment terms are visible so that your customer knows how/when to pay you.
- Be sure to include multiple payment options, so your customer can send funds your way, with ease.
- Make it straightforward for customers to query their transaction histories.
When you’re building—and personalizing—your invoices, your goal should be to make it as easy as possible for customers to get the information they need. Here are a few articles that can guide you through the process:
- What Is an Invoice? This article provides a walkthrough of the building blocks that form invoices. You’ll learn about key details to include in your invoices, how to make an invoice, and tips to consider when creating your invoices.
- 20 Ways to Get Your Clients to Pay Their Bills Faster. One of the most uncomfortable and awkward conversations to have with your clients is reminding them to pay you. This article walks through helpful tips to help you get paid, faster.
- Choosing and Defining Invoice Payment Terms. This article provides a comprehensive guide to setting up payment terms so that your customers pay you without skipping a beat.
- How to Set up a Contract to Ensure Your Invoices Get Paid on Time. Late payments can wreak havoc on a business. This article provides a detailed analysis of how to set up your contracts so that your invoicing process goes smoothly.
The Importance of Invoicing Software
Many business owners put little thought into choosing invoicing software. At first glance, it may seem easier to create your invoice using spreadsheets or Word. If you only have a handful of customers and if you’ve been in business for less than a year, this approach might work. But as you build up your customer base, your accounting is going to pile up.
It’s important to recognize that accounting software does more than automate the task of creating invoices—way more. This software is often built on top of a database that integrates with multiple types of technologies. If you integrate your accounting software with your bank account, for instance, you’ll always have a real-time picture of your cash flow, making it easier to plan. You can also integrate your accounting software and bank account with systems for accepting credit card or electronic payments.
Your accounting software is a command center for running your accounting operations. Every time you create an invoice, you’re feeding that system. When you log into your accounting software, you’ll be able to track how long it takes for customers to make a payment, how many invoices are overdue, when payments are scheduled to hit your bank account, etc.
Rather than asking you questions, your customers can simply log-in to their accounts through the invoices that you set up.
This automation capability will free up time in your business, enabling you to develop comprehensive and cohesive records of your customers’ accounts. Give careful throughout to the software that you choose.
Personalized Invoices Reinforce Your Brand
Even though your invoice is a transactional document, it is still a valuable opportunity to reinforce your brand. In digital environments, especially, every interaction matters: you’re building a rapport with the person on the other side of your computer screen.
Keeping this in mind, remember that your invoices are extensions of your brand and company. Here are some tips to help you incorporate your brand into your invoice:
Build up your tone – Every business has human voices behind it. Make sure that humanity communicates on your invoice. The person on the other side of the screen will appreciate this attention to detail.
Be attentive to design – Work with a designer to determine the best colors, typefaces, and imagery that will convey the sentiment of your brand. A design professional can give insight on how to make your personalized invoice eye-catching and visually appealing. Thoughtful design will also help ensure that you’re drawing attention to the right details.
Build a rapport through comments – The comments section of an invoice is an ideal place to address the client by name. This is also space where you can convey your thanks. Be relevant and concise.
Use the comments section to:
- Thank the client for the work in a unique way. Mention your most significant takeaway from the project or why you enjoyed working on it.
- Express a call to action to give you more business. If you’d genuinely enjoy working on similar projects for the client in the future, say so and ask for the business.
- Include a helpful link. If working on the project relates to a blog post you have written or read include it. This shows you have a pulse on the industry and that your skills are applicable.
Personalize Your Invoices Easily with Intuit QuickBooks
If you’re ready to create invoices with personalization to boost your brand and improve your client relationships, online accounting software QuickBooks Self-Employed or QuickBooks Online makes it easy to get started with step-by-step instructions.
Experiment to find your ideal format. Add the design and message you want. And even use the software on your mobile device to send an invoice online, any time, from anywhere.
Use the responses you get from clients to optimize future invoices. Tips you shared in the comments section that garnered an email response from a client can be updated to fit the different industries you work in. A referral you sent that worked out for one project may be perfect for another. When you use a software tool that allows for quick updates, instant personalization can keep you current with clients and deliver the most valuable information.