So, you’re thinking of moving your business’s invoicing process to an electronic system?
Invoicing software can help take the strain out of many financial activities — making creating, sending and tracking invoices a total breeze.
What’s more, invoicing software can also help you get paid faster than you would by manual invoice, by offering customers a better experience with quick and easy ways to pay.
However, not all invoicing software is created equal, and choosing the wrong software could significantly set you back. At best, sub-standard invoicing software will fail to provide any of the considerable advantages of electronic invoicing. At worst, it could actually create more problems than you had with your prior, manual ways of working.
Sub-standard invoicing software will fail to provide any of the considerable advantages of electronic invoicing.
So what does a great e-invoicing platform look like?
Which features are must-haves? And what are the common pitfalls to avoid?
To help you find the best invoicing software for your business, we’ve written up this simple invoicing guide. In it, we’ll cover why e-invoicing offers benefits above and beyond manual alternatives, and what you need to consider when choosing a software solution.
First up: why should you switch to electronic invoicing?
We get it: you’re a business owner with a hundred things to do each week. You haven’t got time to mess around with making changes to your workflow unless it’s going to pay off in a big way.
But the thing is, freelancers and small business owners live and die by the level of service they offer, and invoicing software solutions are a crucial element of that service.
It’s a win: win. Invoicing software helps you deliver a great after-sales experience — providing clients with an invoice that’s simple to pay — whilst eliminating the labor of creating and sending each invoice at your end, too.
The outstanding partnership you provide to clients or customers should extend well after the work or purchase is completed — especially if you want to continue working together or have them recommend you to others.
And really, it’s a win: win. Invoicing software helps you deliver a great after-sales experience — providing clients with an invoice that’s simple to pay — whilst eliminating the labor of creating and sending each invoice at your end, too.
Sounds good, right? So let’s dive into the details
What does great invoicing software look like?
If you’re thinking about switching to e-invoicing, then allow us to help you cut through the noise and focus on features that really matter.
Here are the top 5 things to consider when choosing invoicing software:
1. Is it a cloud-based solution?
Why is it important to choose a cloud-based invoicing solution? One word: flexibility.
Cloud-based invoicing software allows you to create and access invoices from anywhere, anytime. If you really want to, you can check which invoices have been paid on your way to work in the morning, and create and send invoices from bed in the middle of the night.
And the best cloud-based solutions are optimized for all devices — be that smartphone, tablets or PCs. So you don’t need to be sat in front of your computer to draw up and send off your invoices.
Cloud-based invoicing software allows you to create and access invoices from anywhere, anytime.
Forgotten to request a big payment? No stress! Simply log on to your cloud-based invoice software from wherever you are and tick that job off your list before it slips your mind (again!).
2. Does it support multiple currencies?
If your business has an online presence, then you have the opportunity to attract clients from all over the world. Why restrict yourself to clients in the US when there might be people in Europe or further afield interested in what you offer?
By choosing invoicing software that supports multiple currencies, you open your business to the world by accepting global payments just as easily as if you were sending an invoice to your next-door neighbor.
Ideally, you should look for invoicing software that allows you to send invoices in multiple currencies as well. This makes for a much better experience for overseas customers — if they see their native currency on the invoice, then they know exactly what they owe you.
3. Can customers pay online?
Paying an invoice is most customers’ least favorite part of the process, so it’s a good idea to remove as much friction as possible.
Think about how you send invoices today: do they need to be printed off and returned? Does a customer have to copy your bank details into their banking portal to transfer money? Do you ask clients to send a check, or other form of physical payment?
If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of the above, chances are you’re making the payment process too difficult for customers, and too delayed for your cash flow.
Great invoicing software should support easy, online check-out. No printing, no copy and paste, just a simple payment link.
Enter: electronic invoicing.
Great invoicing software should support easy, online check-out. No printing, no copy and paste, just a simple payment link. After all, this is what customers have grown to expect when paying for goods and services — if you can provide an experience that matches what they get from sleek e-commerce brands, you’ll find your invoices are paid without delay.
4. What level of protection does it provide?
This is perhaps the most important consideration with invoicing software: how safe is it to use?
You’ve spent a long time building trust with your customer base. And you don’t want to be responsible for their sensitive personal and financial information falling into the wrong hands.
So how can you ascertain how safe your invoicing software is?
Before making a decision, ask yourself:
- Who will be able to see the invoices I send? In most cases, there are only two parties who should have access to your invoices: you and your customer. Choosing a reputable invoicing software provider will ensure your invoices are delivered securely, with no outside interference.
- How secure is our data? Sloppy data protection leaves you and your customers vulnerable to fraud. And a data breach would be really bad news for your hard-earned reputation. That’s why secure data handling is one of the chief advantages of electronic invoicing — read your provider’s small print to understand how encrypted your data will be.
- Are my customers’ transactions secure? If your invoicing software uses a payment platform with robust security, like Stripe, then great — all payments are secure! If you can’t find any information about the payment platform, or it’s hosted by a name you don’t recognize, then it’s worth a little further investigation. Moreover, there’s no need for you or the software provider to store any of your customers’ sensitive financial information, such as credit card number or bank details — and doing so isn’t secure.
5. Lastly, does it make invoicing and reporting as simple as possible?
You may come across some invoice software solutions which are all-singing-all-dancing platforms, bloated with features, an over-engineered design, and a price tag to match.
But is that what you really need?
It’s far better to keep things simple — focusing on the tools you need to create, send and track your invoices, and get instant financial reporting when you need it.
For example, the most you’ll pay for Perfect Invoice is $9 a month, and if you pay annually this goes down to $8.25 per month! How have we managed to offer such a competitive price? By honing in on what our customers genuinely need, and providing just a sprinkling of additional features along the way.
To see how Perfect Invoice can help streamline your business finances, and improve your client relationships to boot, then try it for free right here.