Common Yet Easily Avoided Invoice Management Mistakes
If you run a business, small or large, online or off, and you deal with invoices in any way, then invoice management is something that you need to do – and need to do well. Proper invoice management means ensuring that your invoices are paid on time and that a steady flow of revenue is coming into your business. Some of that revenue will eventually be banked as profit but far more important is the revenue that sustains your business and allows its day-to-day running to continue uninterrupted.
As you might have guessed, the alternative to poor invoice management is cash flow issues, and these can creep up on you gradually and suddenly. Invoice factoring company FastFACTR says that improper management is one of the main reasons why business clients need to rely on their services.
Naturally enough, there is plenty of good advice out there on how to go about invoice management properly. There is also a range of best practices that can help you prevent invoice problems before they even occur. However, this advice is broad, diverse, and much will depend upon the type of business you have, its size, and who exactly you are invoicing (whether that be business clients with a B2B enterprise, the wholesale companies that provide your stock for B2C, or even the customers themselves if you provide a service or some other product that is normally paid for via invoice).
Accordingly, what might prove a little easier than outlining all this advice could be to define some of the most common invoice management mistakes. And not only the most common, but the ones that are actually pretty easy to avoid. That they are often not avoided is evidence of a general ignorance regarding invoice management. But before going on to that, it might be wise to look a little closer at what invoice management, in essence, actually is.
What Is Invoice Management?
Invoice management refers to all aspects of the billing process, from forming invoices, designing them, and distributing them to clients. It is also arranging payment dates across the month in order to avoid uneven payment schedules and the resultant cash flow issues. Additionally, it is also arranging the different payment methods for different clients and ensuring that overstocking does not become a problem.
As you can see, it covers a lot. As mentioned then, the best first step is to identify and avoid the pitfalls which, inexcusably, still affect millions of businesses.
Common Invoice Management Mistakes
Here follows the mistakes you can stop making today:
Not integrating Billing Platforms
Sometimes you cannot actually integrate the billing itself – different customers and clients prefer to be paid in different ways – but you can certainly integrate all your billing onto one payment platform. Failure to do so is simply adding complexity where you can do without it.
Using Standard Invoice Templates
This might not cause any actual payment problems, but it is sure to make this aspect of your business completely forgettable and unremarkable. By using custom invoice templates, you can seriously stand out, which is always an imperative.
Failing to Automate the Billing Process
The technology is now more than capable of doing this easily and effectively, and so it makes no sense to not automate your billing process. The invoices can still be entirely customized and particular to each client, but they can be created and distributed automatically, which frees up significant time and resources.
These are invoice management mistakes that are made all the time, but there is no reason why you need to make them too.