6 Benefits of Electronic Invoicing for Your Business

Manual invoices could be holding your business back. After all, they’re unreliable, take too much time to create, and simply feel archaic compared to today’s digital working habits.

Thankfully there is an alternative.

Many businesses are now adopting electronic invoicing instead — seeing satisfied customers, and improved profitability as a result.

So, is it time you made the switch?

Running your own business is all about maximizing resources and making the most out of your precious time.

This is true for all business owners, but freelancers need to be particularly aware. Time spent creating and delivering manual invoices could be better spent working on paid projects, and a couple of late invoices and delayed payments could have dire consequences.

That’s why the future of invoicing for freelancers and small businesses has to be electronic.

Here are the 6 benefits of electronic invoicing for small businesses:

1.    Electronic invoicing helps prevent fraud

Invoice fraud is a huge risk to small businesses. And one in seven SMEs has fallen victim to an invoice scam in the last 12 months.

But what is invoice fraud exactly?

Imagine you send a manual invoice to a customer via an email attachment. It contains details of the service you provided, the amount you’re charging and the details of how the customer can pay you.

This is normally the details for your business bank account, or perhaps your personal account if you’re a freelancer. Now imagine some chancer hacks into your email and intercepts the invoice to change those account details to their own.

You end up with a disgruntled customer and no payment for a completed job.

The customer is none the wiser and pays in good faith. You won’t find out what’s happened until you chase the customer for payment, only to be told that the invoice has already been paid. You check your account and find no payment, but the customer is adamant they paid and they’re not likely to pay again simply because your email was intercepted. That’s your responsibility as the business owner.

You end up with a disgruntled customer and no payment for a completed job.

This happens more often than you would care to imagine and is one of the biggest financial risks to freelancers and small businesses.

But enter the electronic invoice: with e-billing, the information flows straight from your computer to your client’s. With no email chain, there’s very little window for fraudulent activity. So you can rest assured your financial information is in the right hands.

2.    Electronic invoicing helps protect your reputation

As well as preventing fraud, e-invoicing can help protect your reputation as a business.

Being able to send out professional-looking invoices quickly will let customers know that you are running a slick operation that they can trust. E-invoicing platforms allow you to brand your invoices and use templates to lay everything out in a way that’s easy for customers to understand.

Also, you can assure your customers that their payment details are completely secure thanks to the high levels of encryption that e-invoicing platforms use. Nothing will hurt your reputation more than allowing your valued customers to have their account information compromised.

3.    Electronic invoicing saves time

Did you know that e-invoicing could save you up to 5 minutes per invoice sent?

Now that might not sound like a lot, but if you send out several invoices a day you could easily be wasting up to half an hour.

Over the course of a week, that becomes 2-3 hours.

E-invoicing could save you up to 5 minutes per invoice sent

Look at that over the month, and you’re potentially wasting as much as a day and a half of business time!

If you were able to use that time to do billable work, business development or any other revenue-generating activity, just think how your earning potential would skyrocket.

4.    Electronic invoicing provides real-time access

The real-time economy is growing. And if you don’t jump on board soon, you might just get left behind.

‘Real-time economy’ refers to the use of instantaneous digital invoices and payment systems. Businesses get a granular view of their finances, with invoices sent and paid in real-time. This is made possible through cloud technology, providing a centralized point for all your billing information.

No more waiting days for checks from customers to clear. And no more running your operation based on your cash flow figures from last week. With e-invoicing, businesses can stay up-to-the-second on their finances and if decisions need to be made that could impact profitability, all the necessary information is just a click away.

Your customer is much more likely to pay that invoice in the moment, whilst they are still singing your praises. Leave it until later that evening or even the following day, and you’ll probably experience a delay.

Speedy invoicing also has benefits if you are dealing directly with customers, too. For one, you can call or email a customer to confirm they are happy with the work you’ve done, then immediately follow that up with the invoice.

Your customer is much more likely to pay that invoice in the moment, whilst they are still singing your praises. Leave it until later that evening or even the following day, and you’ll probably experience a delay. After all, they’re back into their normal routine, the memory of the fantastic work you did for them has faded, and that invoice could sit there — unpaid — for days.

5.    Electronic invoicing is better for your customers

Not only is e-invoicing better in almost every way for businesses, it’s much better for your customers, too. Remember: instant feedback and slick interaction are staples of the modern customer experience.

The easier it is for someone to pay you, the less likely they are to put it off.

Think about the other services your customers are using. Netflix, for example, provides a huge catalog of films and shows that customers can watch on any device in seconds, with just a swish of the finger.

Customers have been conditioned to expect all their interactions to be as seamless as this, and e-invoicing allows you to do this for them. Using a platform to deliver invoices will allow customers to access them on any device with ease.

The easier it is for someone to pay you, the less likely they are to put it off.

6.    Electronic invoicing enables greater automation

Another hallmark of the modern customer experience is minimal person-to-person interaction.

Of course, many would argue that a move away from close customer-supplier relationships is a bad thing. But, nevertheless, that’s the trend we’re in.

E-invoicing helps to minimize the amount of interaction needed between you and your customers after your service has been delivered. This allows both parties to close the transaction easily and quickly, while leaving the door open for further communication if the customer wants to keep in touch.

How to adopt e-invoicing in your business

Using a trusted platform is the best way to embrace e-invoicing — and all the benefits that come with it. This is how you’ll save the most time, enjoy the greatest protection for your business and give your customers the best possible billing experience.

Perfect Invoice offers a full invoice management platform for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses and anyone else who sells products or services online.

Our intuitive interface is easy to use. And, because we use the cloud, you can access all your information from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop to stay on top of things wherever in the world you are.

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