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Time to Get Paid: Guide to Creating and Managing Invoices

07 Mar 2020 Developer News
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Online businesses depend on invoicing to succeed. If you don’t have the skills required to make a proper invoice, you will have trouble growing your business. Once you have done all the hard work of bringing and converting a lead, you have to close the deal by sending an invoice that will be paid. Essentially, an invoice should be sent once you have already agreed on the terms of the engagement. If you have not, consider sending a qualified quote first. Now that the client is ready to buy, here is a guide to invoicing.


What to include

First, ask yourself what information the customer requires. Different types of services and goods require different approaches. In that case, you must choose the right kind of invoice. The customer broadly must know he or she is buying. You must clearly state the nature of the services or good. You also must ensure that the features of the product or service are highlighted in the invoice. If you have to send a quote before sending an invoice, you will use the same approach. You must also state the price of the good or service. Transparency works best when it comes to growing your business. You want your customers to know the exact cost before they pay for the service. Playing tricks with the invoice will lose you many customers. So, please do not do it. The terms and conditions of the sale must also be stipulated in the invoice. Why would anyone do this? It is the best approach for businesses that want to create a relationship. The terms should be favorable to all parties. Trying to shortchange a client in the terms and conditions will also kill the element of good faith. Indicate the timelines for the order delivery. To capture all the information, you may need a template that will give you enough fields to add all the information. You can also use online templates for the same. You can follow the link to get more info about invoice templates. Essentially, service invoice is not the same as a goods invoice.


Customize the invoice

Every business correspondence should proudly display the name of your company. Use the same approach to invoices. Customize them with headers and themed colors where necessary. Also, personalize payment methods if you can. They give customers the impression that you mean serious business. Customization is not just a branding opportunity. It is also an opportunity for you to set the tone of future business engagements with this client.


Manage your invoices

How do you manage your invoices?


Serialize invoices

Serialize them with unique and consistent numbering. Match the serial number of the invoice with that of the order. If you are using online invoice payment gateways, you only need to harmonize the numbers so that they run consistently without gaps. When you have serial numbers, you can check order status or even provide easy tracking for orders quickly. Can you track a request using the serial number? If you can, then your serialization is optimal. If you can’t, you have to review the numbering.



Mark invoices

Ensure you have a database of paid invoices, pending invoices, closed invoices, and any other category of invoices that might emerge from a business transaction.  If an invoice is paid, make sure it is marked that the invoice is paid. If you have already served the customer, make sure to log that information somewhere in your database. If you have shipped the product already, make sure you have also indicated in the database. Most online retailers and sellers end up with a confusing system that cannot track orders or even invoices. When that happens, orders are lost, and the overall reputation of the business starts to dip.



Make it accessible and secure

You are likely to use a lot of personal information to set up invoices. Current rules are stringent about how to handle customer data. Ensure that the databases are secure. You do not have to host the database online if you still believe that you don’t have adequate security. Guard your customer’s personal details.


Once the customer is ready to pay, all he or she wants is to see an invoice that contains all the agreed terms and conditions. If you can provide such an invoice, you will win the confidence of the buyer. They will not have a reason to refuse to pay the invoice. Instead, they will have all the rights to clear the invoice ASAP so that they can receive the service or product they needed.

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