In order to get paid, businesses and freelancers must issue invoices. But sometimes even the most organized billing processes hit a few snags. Invoices go unpaid and late notices are ignored, leaving businesses struggling to pay their own bills. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the number of unpaid invoices.
Accept Multiple Currencies
If you deal with overseas customers, your accepted currencies could be a problem. Your clients want to pay, but they first have to convert the funds to the amount that applies to them, then find a way to pay in that currency. Traditionally, this has meant changing the currency manually, which means businesses had to not only keep up with which clients were located in which countries, but they also had to figure up the amount due and instruct clients on how to pay from where they are.
Be sure you choose a billing system that works with your clients regardless of where they are. This includes calculating the amount due in that client’s currency and charging based on the tax system in that area. When this is handled by your invoicing system, all you have to do is set the country and the software will handle the rest.
Include Specific Due Dates
When you have a “due by” date in your invoice, your customers have a deadline. Simply putting wording such as “total is due in 30 days” isn’t as effective as having a date. Confusion means bills are set aside to deal with later and later never comes.
Some businesses have found it more effective to specifically state an amount before and after that deadline. This would emphasize the price before the due date, as well as the inflated price that will kick in after that due date. Clients are more likely to pay if they feel as though they’re getting a better deal by doing so.
Nothing can delay payment like questions about charges on an invoice. Instead of listing out vague charges, be as detailed as possible about what each line item covers. If you track your billing, attach a sheet that describes each charge in detail. Your clients will have access to the information they need, reducing delays and speeding up payments.
To speed up payment, you should also make sure each of your invoices includes the information your clients need to get payments to you. This information will probably be provided on the front end, so add it at that time to avoid forgetting about it. Make sure all billing numbers and related purchase order numbers are easy to find on the invoice and include any applicable account information that will help your clients get the money to you.
Trust a Professional
If you can, you should turn invoicing over to the experts who know how to handle it. Often they’ll be more effective in getting you paid than you would be. They can set up automatic payments and track your books to know exactly who is paying and who isn’t.
Professionals can also help you deal with late payments. When a late notification is sent by an accounting expert, clients will likely take it more seriously than if you’d simply nudged them with a polite reminder email.
If you’re frustrated by late payments and non-paying clients, these tips can help. Review each of your invoices and make sure you aren’t slowing payments down by leaving off pertinent information or keeping due dates vague. You’ll improve your cash flow to help you better pay your own bills.