Finance, budgets and cashflow
How professional accountants help small businesses
FINANCE, BUDGETS AND CASHFLOW
An invoice is more than a way to get paid. Well-built invoices are tools for record keeping and communicating with customers. And if you use an invoicing system that integrates with your accounting software, they also serve as a seamless paper trail.
Efficient, personalised invoicing can:
strengthen your relationships with customers
boost your cash flow
reinforce your brand
cut the time you spend on bookkeeping
Many businesses start off creating invoices in Word, recording them in a spreadsheet. This approach might work at first, but as you build up your customer base, your accounting is going to pile up.
Accounting software does more than automate the task of invoice creation. It allows you 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.
However you create your invoice, there are a few key things you need to consider:
Make sure your customer’s name and contact information are clear so it’s easy to match invoices to specific accounts.
Give clear payment terms so your customer knows how/when to pay you.
Offer a range of payment options, so your it’s as easy as possible for your customer to settle up
Your invoice is a transactional document, but it’s also a valuable opportunity to reinforce your brand. Every interaction with your customer matters and your invoices are extensions of your brand and company. Here are some tips to help you incorporate your brand into your invoice:
Consider your tone – Every business has your voice behind it so choose your language carefully. From the way you thank a customer to your sign off, it all adds up to an overall impression.
Focus on design – Your invoice should reflect any branding your company already has in terms of colours, typefaces, and imagery. It shouldn’t overwhelm the main message and purpose of the invoice. If you need help, think about a design professional.
Add something extra – Use the comments section of an invoice to thank your customer by name. Keep your messages relevant and concise. You might decide to:
mention why you enjoyed working on the project
express an interest in working on similar projects
include a link to a relevant blog post to show that you’re up on industry trends
If you’re ready to create personalised invoices that will boost your brand and improve your client relationships, you’ll find step-by-step instructions on the QuickBooks Community pages along with more top tips and guides to using incentives to encourage prompt payment.
Remember you’ll be able to send an invoice from your phone, any time, from anywhere without any delays. Use any feedback you get from clients to improve future invoices – it’s easy to update your template in QuickBooks.
Did you find this article on creating an invoice useful? The QuickBooks blog covers a wide range of business-related topics designed to help you manage your business?