Streamlining your invoice payments can improve your cash flow and help you get paid promptly. Learn how to get paid faster by using templates, accepting multiple payment methods, setting up auto-pay, and using invoicing software.
Small business invoicing has never been easier. Independent businesses have access to tools, apps, and software that can streamline the invoicing process so that you can receive payments faster and with less effort.
For clients, streamlining the process for invoice payments also provides a better experience, especially when businesses accept multiple payment methods, easy online payments, and auto-pay.
In this article, you’ll learn some invoicing fundamentals and best practices, as well as ways to streamline your invoicing for quicker payments, better cash flow, and an overall better and smoother experience for both you and your clients.
- Invoicing essentials
- Use online invoices and templates
- Offer multiple payment options
- Allow auto-pay and set up recurring payments
- Follow up with clients about late payments
- Use invoicing software
- Streamline your invoices and clientflow on one platform
Invoices are documents sent to clients indicating the total payment due for services rendered or soon-to-be rendered in the case of retainer fees. A basic invoice will indicate the fee and information on how to pay. Most invoices also include more information, such as a breakdown of services performed, accepted payment methods, and information on late payment policies.
Make sure your invoices are clear and easy to understand. The total due should be easy to understand and payment instructions clear.
Invoices should have the following information:
- Invoice number
- Date and billing period
- Your business address
- Total balance due
- Remittance address to send a payment
- Payment terms, such as due dates and late payment fees
- Multiple ways to pay, such as online payments or platforms such as PayPal
Once you’ve sent the invoice, keep track of payments and late payments. Follow up with the client if necessary to send them a late payment notice.
Streamlining your invoicing can be beneficial for your business in several ways. When you set up auto-pay, you have recurring payments coming, which improves your cash flow. You will further Improve your cash flow by automating your payment reminders and late payment follow-ups.
Make your invoices clear and avoid using jargon or irrelevant information. The total balance due should stand out and payment instructions should be easy to understand.
1. Use online invoices and templates
Ready-made online templates can save you time and energy that is better spent on your core business. As an independent business owner, paperwork may be the last thing on which you want to spend your precious time. You can use invoice templates to get started invoicing. Templates are available for numerous types of businesses and can be customized for your business and your brand as well.
Online invoicing platforms can make invoicing efficient by filling in information from previous invoices, which speeds the process. Invoices can be sent by email as PDFs you or through an app that alerts clients of the invoice. Notifications are sent to you when clients pay their invoices. You can see invoices and track payments and communications on the go on an Android or iOS app, as well as online on your desktop or laptop.
2. Offer multiple payment options
Accepting multiple payment options makes paying invoices easy for customers. Your invoice will state your business address and the payment remittance address, if different from your business address. This is where clients can send checks if they want to pay by check. While payment by check used to be the regular practice, many clients now prefer paying online with credit cards, debit cards, and digital wallets.
Accepting credit card payments from all the major credit cards is a sure way to offer your clients an easy, secure, and popular way to pay their bills. Clients may also prefer making direct bank transfers, so make sure to allow ACH transfers as well. The goal is to make the invoice payment process easy and convenient for your clients. This way, you can get paid and your clients can appreciate the easy and hassle-free process that will encourage them to continue doing business with you.
3. Allow auto-pay and set up recurring payments
Automatic payments, also known as auto-pay, are an easy way for clients to pay for regular services without having to log in and pay or send a new check each month. An example is a cleaning service that regularly cleans someone’s house or office. An automatic recurring payment is easy for both the client and the cleaning business.
All types of businesses can benefit from setting up recurring payments for ongoing services rendered. This guarantees steady cash flow and reduces the chance of late payments since the payments are scheduled.
4. Follow up with clients about late payments
Communicating your late payment policies starts before you even enter the business relationship with your client. You can include a clause in your online contract about late payments. This clause clearly establishes your expectations and lets clients know what happens if services provided are unpaid or paid late, including late payment fees assessed.
If your client doesn’t pay, stay professional but firmly reiterate your late payment policy. Send reminders to pay the bill. Follow up with your client in a personal way to not come across as too stiff or impersonal. Your clients may be busy with other things and may have forgotten to pay. They may pay when they are reminded that there is an overdue fee and they may want to avoid a late payment charge.
5. Use invoicing software
One of the best ways to streamline your invoicing is by using invoicing software. On a platform such as HoneyBook, you can easily send documents such as contracts and invoices. Names and addresses can be saved and reused for repeat or recurring clients. Track payments and save conversations with clients.
Send contracts, proposals, invoices, and payment reminders on the go with the HoneyBook app for laptops, phones, and tablets. Set up recurring invoices and automatic payments, which makes it easier for both you and your client. All of this is possible thanks to online clientflow platforms.
Streamline your invoice payments and clientflow with one platform
As an independent business owner, you have access to a variety of tools to help with client billing. On HoneyBook, choose from a list of online invoice templates to easily get started with your invoicing. Sort the templates by industry or pick the one best suited to your business. Customize the templates to express your branding and your messaging when you send contracts and invoices.
With HoneyBook’s clientflow management platform, you can send contracts, proposals, and invoices to your clients quickly and easily online. To manage contracts, payments, conversations, invoices, and more, log into the platform from your tablet, laptop, or phone. Additionally, clients can easily pay their invoices on the go using apps on Android or iOS devices.
With HoneyBook invoices, you can:
- Make custom invoices or use invoice templates
- Securely collect payments online using SSL encryption
- Save time by pre-filling an invoice with information from a prior invoice
- Set up auto-pay and recurring payments
- Accept credit card payments and ACH bank transfers
- Send payment reminders and late payment follow-ups
- Get notified in real-time when your clients pay invoices