Making the Transition to E-invoicing
There has been constant movement in the business world to increase efficiency in every conceivable way. One of the key objectives in recent years has been to reduce the use of paper in the office environment. Not only does paper cost money, but the printing ink is also notoriously expensive. Then, when you factor in the ever-rising cost of postage, you can see that there’s a very compelling argument to switch to electronic communications whenever possible.
Adopting E-invoicing is one of the most obvious ways of doing this, and it brings with it a number of other advantages, especially when you are using the most advanced small business invoicing software.
Why switch from traditional invoicing to online invoicing?
While it might feel like creating a paper invoice is a quick and simple thing to do, this is deceptive. In terms of the actual time it takes to produce and send a paper invoice the actual financial cost to a business can be as much as $15 each. That’s $15 you may as well take off the amount that the invoice is for. This, in a nutshell, is why more and more businesses of every size are starting to rely on automated systems to carry out this very important task for them.
One only has to look at the numerous disadvantages of paper invoices to see why they are far from ideal for today’s business needs:
- There is a considerable cost attached to their creation and preparation
- Paper invoices needed to be filed and stored, taking up valuable office space
- The cost of posting invoices is constantly rising
- The payment options available with paper invoices often involve additional fees
- Posted invoices can be lost en-route, leading to delays in payment
- Dealing with client queries about invoices is time-consuming and can be expensive
How to make the switch
Once a business owner has bought into all the reasons to use E-invoicing, making the transition is a reasonably simple process. Critical to this is making the right decision about which particular online invoice software to use. By choosing the right one that includes all the necessary features, you will start to see the benefits almost straight away.
The best invoicing software can carry out many tasks automatically above and beyond producing invoices and handling customers’ payments. For example, many can be used to produce quotes in advance. Then, if the price is accepted and the work goes ahead, the quote can be quickly converted into an invoice with minimal time and effort needed.
So what features should you be looking for in the right E-invoicing software for your business? Here are a few pointers.
Simplicity: The best programs are simple and intuitive to use, needing little or no training.
The right price: It’s important to factor in how quickly any software will have paid for itself and this will depend on how many invoices you send out each month.
Payment flexibility: Making payment as frictionless as possible will improve your cash flow so you need a system that works with online payments.
Invoice Tracking: Seeing whether a client has received an invoice and has opened it is important information that you need to have.
Payment reminders: Chasing payment can be time-consuming so it’s a good idea to choose a program that automatically issues payment reminders when they are due.
Integration and Migration: If your business uses other accounting software then it’s useful if your E-invoicing software can be integrated with it. It should also be able to migrate data to other programs like Microsoft Excel.
To sum up
There’s no doubt that E-invoicing is the way forward if a business wants to make itself as efficient as possible. But choosing the right software is vital to maximizing that efficiency so taking some time to examine the options available is sure to pay dividends in the long run.