How Invoicing Tools Can Put Your Business On Autopilot
According to Oxford University there is a 98% probability of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks losing their jobs due to automation in those industries in the coming years. If you haven’t automated most of your accounting and invoicing yet, then carry on reading.
If you are part of the ‘gig economy’ and work as a website designer, content writer or an SEO specialist, you probably know nothing to very little about accounting, bookkeeping and cash flow management. This may also be the case if you run a 50+ employee business. Managing these accounting and cash flow aspects are extremely important in order for your business to run smoothly.
In this analysis, we’ll focus on how painless and rewarding it is to put your backend invoicing operations on autopilot, which can help you focus more on the things that truly matter. Let’s start with the main benefits of automating your invoicing.
5 Benefits of Automating Your Invoicing
Cash Flow Management
Money in your hands today is always more valuable than money in your hands tomorrow. Invoicing clients at the right time means your payments are never delayed. If clients fail to pay on time, you can set automated reminders to collect unpaid dues. You’ll learn to answer questions like, what is my cash balance right now? How much cash am I expected to generate in 6 months? How much cash will be leaving my pocket in the next few days or months?
Accounting is boring… NOT
Accounting isn’t the most glamorous field out there. But when you add a dash of automation to it, this boring part of your business suddenly turns alluring. Tighten up your accounts receivable days, improve your top and bottom line and achieve operational efficiency. Automating the tedious work means you can have an informed opinion on your company’s finances without having to go through the accounting clutter. This means you can make better informed financial decisions for your business.
Digitize your accounting
There is no satisfaction in looking at a table full of accounting clutter. Do a favor to the environment and move away from overusing paper and store your accounting clutter on the cloud. A major driving motivation on why you may be freelancing or running an online business is so that you can work from any part of the world. With the digitalization of your invoicing and accounting, you can carry your accounting briefcase anywhere you go. All you need is a laptop or another electronic device and an internet connection!
A well designed invoice that you send on time showcases a modern and organized image of your company. Last impressions are lasting impressions. Billing and invoicing could possibly be your last interaction with your client. You don’t want to end that relationship by giving him or her a bad experience. ‘Customer Experience’ is one of the most searched term on Google and is likely to grow in the future. An invoice designed in Microsoft Excel or through an invoice maker that you found on the internet for free doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Value that relationship and end it on a high note.
If you want to search all the invoices a customer has ever received from you or want to know which client has historically always been late on his payments, then it’s possible to find out with certain great services and invoicing tools. This kind of analysis can also help you find loyal customers who never miss a payment and always pay on time. This will give you a chance to possibly offer them a discount or provide another benefit to improve your customer retention rate.
Now let’s look at some steps you could take to bring your business closer to autopilot:
Your Business Is 5 Steps Away From Being On Autopilot
- Test Drive a few Invoicing Systems – The internet is replete with tons of invoicing systems. Explore the world of invoicing, like a pirate searching for buried treasure, and pick a few services out there that can float your boat. You’ll find everything from free invoice generators to paid ones. Get inspired from a few invoicing templates and create an invoice that’ll go well with your branding and line of business.
- Communication Checklist – Once you have chosen your preferred system, prepare an email that clearly explains how your invoicing is changing. Don’t spook your clients by switching to new invoicing without informing them of how your invoicing interaction with them will go from now on.
- Test it out on a few clients – Pick a sample client size that is reflective of all the different types of clients that you have and test out the new system. This is called sampling and is a great way to test this new way of invoicing. Monitor the client feedback and find out how their experience has changed, for the better or worse. Try to understand if it was easy for them to follow your new invoicing practices and if everything was clear.
- Official Launch – Your final step in automating your invoicing is to confidently launch it to all your clients. Triple check all your invoices to all your clients in the first month before being confident that your invoices are error-free and that you have successfully achieved automation in a critical accounting aspect.
- Be Agile – Once your invoicing system is rolled out, analyze your key accounting/performance metrics and take some actionable steps. Find out your average days of receivables, your cost of customer acquisition, your lifetime customer value, your churn rate and other such metrics. Be agile and take important business decisions based on this data that’ll improve your company fundamentals. If you have dreams of expanding your business further, then these are the questions you will be asked when you make that elevator pitch to investors or other stakeholders.
If putting your business on autopilot is your vision, then an invoicing tool is just what you need. Your business would be on autopilot in its truest sense when you spend much less time on your backend operations yet every complex financial number is easily accessible at your fingertips.
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