What Invoicing Features You Need When You Have International Clients
Whether you run a small online store or are a tech entrepreneur, sending bills is a daily task. While billing domestic clients is smooth sailing, international invoices demand more attention.
Without a global invoicing software compatible with overseas clients, many problems can impact your earnings including the following:
- Legal liabilities due to poor adherence to international taxes
- Misunderstandings due to lack of multi-lingual support
- Lacking Terms of Sale (TOS) clarity every time you send a bill
- Difficulty tracking total expenses
- Smaller receipts if you don’t account for fluctuating foreign exchange fees
To complete overseas billing efficiently without wasting resources or time, you need a platform capable of sustaining interconnectivity with multiple clients around the world.
Features To Look For
From managing billing in multiple currencies to customizing invoices for multilingual clients, a good invoicing software solution saves you the hassle of manually inserting tax by country. Above all, these features keep you on top of tax audits while ensuring complete control over your accounting processes.
Keep reading to take a closer look at the essential features you need from an invoicing software to streamline payment from overseas clients.
A good software solution must offer options to personalize the bill in the native language of the client. It’s helpful for mitigating confusion or misunderstandings about the TOS that the clients may encounter. Choose a software that includes the languages used by all your clients.
Invoice Ninja is one solution that offers compatibility in 16 different languages. FreshBooks is an alternative that offers over 14 languages while QuickBooks offers five languages for invoicing international clients.
With the option to bill in multiple currencies, software solutions must also offer the function to directly add expenses in different currencies. It helps to sum up the total expenditure in one place while saving time that might be otherwise spent on manually doing currency conversions or data entry. Managing business-related expenses, including reviews of outstanding revenue, and total profits becomes easier with these features.
For example, services like FreshBooks deliver an easy-to-use dashboard that keeps a tab on the total expenses for managing multiple currencies. It also lets users set a unique currency for every expense they add.
Having the ability to handle the currency of your country as well as that of the international client is crucial for seamless payment processing. While a few platforms require you to create separate invoices or accounts when using multiple currencies, others offer automatic currency conversions when billing international clients.
Out of the total 180 fiat currencies in the world, most software supports around a hundred currencies. Check the total number of legal tenders supported by the shortlisted software before signing up.
Here are the top three software solutions ranked by the total currencies they support:
- Xero: 160 currencies
- Invoicely: 150 currencies
- Invoice Ninja: 95 currencies
Multiple Gateway Capability And Integration
Determining a mutually agreeable payment method with foreign clients such as wire transfer or e-payments is the first step. Next, check the compatibility of the payment gateway offered by the selected software.
To ensure seamless payments from overseas clients without any hiccups, choose a platform with the ability to integrate with multiple gateways.
Here are the top gateways for countries around the world:
- US: PayPal, Authorize.net, Stripe, 2Chekout, and Amazon Payments
- UK: PayPal, SagePay, Stripe, PayVector, and HSBC
- Canada: PayPal, Moneris Solutions, Beanstream, and Stripe
- China: WeChat Pay, 99Bill, YeePay, Union Pay and China PnR
- India: PayUMoney, PayTM, Citrus Pay, PayPal and PayUBiz
- Europe: Ingenico, Stripe, Skrill, 2Checkout, and Vapulus
- Australia: Braintree, eWay, 2Checkout and PayPal
- Africa: Skrill, Paystack and Flutterwave
Whether you’re an ecommerce store or a freelancer, platforms like Invoice Ninja offer payment gateways that are popular in multiple regions such as US, Canada, South America, UK, EU, South Africa, Australia, and Asia. Keep an eye out for software with payment gateway integrations that works for both you and your international clients.
International Tax Considerations
Overlooking international taxes on overseas billing might lead to irreparable financial and legal damages. For example, the US doesn’t impose any value added taxes (VAT), but sales taxes may be needed depending on the state. Meanwhile, most European Union members such as Sweden, Austria, and Netherlands add VAT. Likewise, Asian countries like Thailand and mainland China also include VAT. Similarly designed taxes that are labeled differently include India’s Goods and Services Tax (GST), and Japan’s Consumption Tax (CT).
Thus, one needs special accounting packages or lawyers to handle overseas invoices. On the other hand, a global software solution can calculate overseas taxes automatically in just a few clicks.
The following lists the three best invoicing software packages that make it easy to process taxes for international clients.
- QuickBooks is convenient for editing and managing VAT codes and rates as they offer an ‘inclusive of tax’ setting.
- Zoho Books is good for small businesses that need to automate their international taxes.
- Quaderno is a good platform for businesses established in the EU, Australia, Canada and Singapore with a need for overseas tax support.
With the above features, you can start invoicing clients from multiple countries. However, with a few extra features you can streamline the process too.
Here are three bonus features that make a platform perfect for billing overseas clients.
- Default Language Assignment: Many platforms like FreshBooks and Invoice Ninja let you assign a default language by the client so that you don’t have to pick one each time you send a bill.
- Contact Management: With platforms like Xero offering CRM integrations, managing every client alongside their complete payment history becomes less demanding.
- Reporting and Tracking: Whether you want to track expenses or time, software like Tipalti and QuickBooks offer in-depth reports associated with your receipts and spending.
The Best Invoicing Software For International Clients
Finding the right software for working with overseas clients without hassles requires careful analysis of the features offered by each platform. It saves you time and resources besides digitizing all your documents in one accessible place.
While Invoice Ninja is a good solution if you have several overseas clients who need multilingual support, the versatile dashboard on FreshBooks makes managing several currencies effortless. The editing and organization of VAT codes on QuickBooks is excellent if you’re an SMB with a sizable number of overseas invoices distributed regularly.
To sum up, the task is to pick the invoicing software with features that fit the budget and requirements of your client while matching your own business needs.