If you don’t raise an invoice, you won’t get paid. Invoicing should not be seen as a back-ofﬁce administrative nuisance. Rather, it is a vital ﬁrst step in achieving healthy cashﬂow.
Can you answer yes to all these questions?
- Do you raise an invoice immediately after you have supplied the goods or service?
- Do you make sure that everything the customer requires appears on the invoice?
- Do you have an effective accounting system and have you considered using dedicated accounting software?
- Do you have a process for investigating and resolving disputed invoices immediately after the query is raised?
- Do you log the details of disputes so you can fix any avoidable root causes?
- Do you keep documentation relating to disputes as evidence in case the problem escalates?
- Do you keep a record of the customers that dispute invoices so you can spot any who do so regularly as a way of avoiding prompt payment?
- Do you ensure your sales invoices are fully compliant with IRAS requirement for GST if you are registered?
Five top invoicing tips
1. The sooner you ask, the sooner you can get paid; send invoices by first class post or, better still, by email.
2. Get invoices right first time; raising credit notes and reissuing invoices takes up resources and time better spent elsewhere. It also changes the payment due date.
3. Ask customers what they need on the invoice in order to approve it simply and quickly. Include at least the following:
- Your full name and address
- Your GST registration number
- Invoice date
- Correct customer name
- Correct customer address
- Delivery address (if different)
- Delivery date and method
- Customer purchase order number
- A clear description of the goods or service supplied
- Accurate quantities, prices, discounts and total amount due
- Payment terms and due date
- How payment should be made with bank details (including sort-code and account number from bank statement)
- Invoice number or other reference to be quoted by payer
- Payment terms and due date and the reference to be quoted if payment is by direct credit.
4. Have a system for resolving disputed invoices promptly, especially if a customer is using a small query to withhold.
Could you answer yes to the questions above? Will you change anything now?