6 Dos And Don’ts When Sending Online Invoices

Maggie Flynt

Jul 23 2018

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Sending invoices properly is essential to collecting unpaid bills effectively. Obviously, receiving timely payments is vital to keeping your income consistent, but proper invoicing is also an important aspect of maintaining a good professional relationship with your clients. Having clean and proper invoices will ensure that you get paid what you deserve while ensuring your flow of income remains steady as well.

That being said, invoicing is not as simple as creating an invoice in a Word or Excel document, but instead, requires more thought and information than you might think. Understanding what to include in an invoice and how to send it is the best way to keep your clientele and ensure your books remain clean.

What You Need to Know in Order to Invoice Properly

DO be clear on your invoices

Each line item should be listed individually with as much clarity as possible. One way to ensure that you are as clear as possible is to use an invoicing template from one of the best online invoicing sites online, such as FreshbooksHouseCall Pro, or Invoice2go.

You have to be completely transparent in an invoice, showing exactly what services you have performed and how much time it took in order to give your clients confidence in your business. Your client should never receive an invoice and be confused. Sometimes this means that you cannot use your industry language to describe a service, you may need to adapt and use the lingo of the client. Do not assume your clients know the industry jargon; it will help you maintain transparency to describe services in simpler terms.

DON’T send your invoices out irregularly

If you send out invoices erratically rather than using a scheduled time, your clients could become confused or frustrated. Waiting too long to send out invoices runs the risk of you having trouble collecting on the invoice.

Also, you need to be sure that your invoices do not contain any surprise fees added on. Changes from any estimate that you might have given should be explained over the phone rather than given by a surprise within the invoice. Consistency and transparency is how you can build a trusting relationship with your clients. Throwing in surprises when you send out an invoice is a good way to have your clients become irritated with you and could result in unpleasant escalations or even a loss of business. Be polite and consistent and your clients will appreciate your professionalism more.

DO be polite in your invoices

Some invoice generators provide good sample invoices that will have wording that you can build off of, but you still might want to adjust the wording to better represent your voice. Being personable and friendly will make you seem warmer and more professional, building a better rapport with your clients.

Use proper greetings and sign offs. Show your clients respect in your invoices. You should also be sure that all of your information is correct on the invoices, including your client’s name, address, phone number, and any other pertinent information that will identify your client. You can compare invoice makers to see which one might suit your individual needs the best.

DON’T give your clients too hard of a time if they are a little late on the invoice

Most people at some point have slipped on a date and you want to maintain a good working relationship with the client for any future transactions. If it becomes a routine issue then you can be more aggressive about following up with a client in the future.

DO keep a good log of all of your invoices

You need to be able to track what you have sent. Online invoicing software is essential to be able to efficiently keep track of all of your invoices that need to be sent and know what has already been sent.

DON’T Send the invoice to the wrong person

A few seconds of clarification before an invoice goes out could end up saving you an enormous amount of hassle and confusion down the road. Confirming with your customer who the proper contact is for invoicing is vital to ensuring you receive payments on time and maintain a good relationship with your customer.

If you send invoices to the wrong contact than you absolutely risk getting paid late, as there is no guarantee the invoice will ever be forwarded on to Accounting. Also, your customer may start to perceive you as an administrative headache because you will create confusion within their operation.

Above all else remember that repeat customers are the most profitable patrons for businesses of any type. If you can establish a professional and trustworthy relationship through efficient and effective invoicing, you can then focus on improving the actual service or product you are providing. Once you have your invoicing straightened out and a great system in place, you can focus on the other areas of your business that need your attention and avoid the stress of accounts receivable.

Final word

Remember, satisfied customers will be your best salespeople, bringing in new clients by spreading word of mouth of their positive experiences with you. Don’t let something as simple as invoices negatively effect your reputation. Put time into properly setting up your invoice software and process. A little due diligence and planning with your invoicing solution now could pay large dividends in the future. At the very least, you will avoid potential unnecessary and annoying escalations if you spend the time setting up a strong and administratively sound invoicing procedure.

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