While getting paid for the work you do should be the easy part, that's (unfortunately) rarely the case.
Certain hiccups can't be avoided, but there are definitely ways to make client billing less of a pain. Check out these seven tips to help you cut down on the time you spend on invoicing:
Trying to make sense of data scattered among different spreadsheets? You're not the only one. But if you want your business to maintain accurate records, it's time to leave them behind. A University of Hawaii study revealed that 88% of spreadsheets contain errors.
It's no wonder. In preparing to invoice, you often need to collect info from multiple places to verify the scope of client work you've performed. Then, you've got to get approval from managers and make time to reproduce that data for invoicing. This manual process is seriously error-prone.
If you had a smart tool that could track all of this for you automatically, it would highlight inefficiencies you might have in getting an invoice out the door and eliminate that opportunity for error.
One of the main causes of delayed client billing is having to export data from different tools and mesh them together in a spreadsheet or another system.
Getting through the task of invoicing and billing faster is a matter of connecting the moving parts. When all the relevant data is in place, reporting becomes easier. By integrating time, projects and billing, you can cut time and offer your clients more detailed and accurate invoices.
An efficient way of making billing easier is having everyone on your team track their work in one system. That means logging billable hours in a place where they sync with projects, billing and client records. Whether it's email, projects or tasks, having all pertinent information tracked makes reporting easier at the end of the billing cycle and reduces the amount of questions your clients have about their invoices.
While they're mostly used in the beginning and middle of the service delivery cycle, task assignments and scheduling are critical for streamlined client billing. When projects are planned, tasks can then easily feed into team schedules. As people get through tasks, they can log hours and add notes into the system.
The benefit of having integrated timesheets and tasks? For starters, your team will be motivated to log work as it happens. That's because the tools they use to stay organized will live in the same place where they record time for managers.
When employees enter time in the same place in which invoices are created, the billing process is a matter of crossing t's and dotting i's. Invoices go out faster when staff time entry, manager time approval and invoice creation happen in one centralized system.
Here are a few key components to look for in a timesheet and invoicing tool:
Every business manages accounting in different ways, so whether it’s through an accountant or accounting software, you'll need to make sure all of your client billing data transfers to your accounting system of choice. Having a client work management platform that integrates with accounting software like Xero, QuickBooks or other popular products makes your business financials more clear and accurate. See the full range of leading online services that integrate with Accelo.
Online payment processing is one of the most ubiquitous and convenient technologies out there today. The benefits of making it available to clients are quite obvious: Along with not having to deal with checks and mail, you can make it easy for clients to make payments and get your business paid faster. It's recommended to set up automatic late payment reminders so you don't have to keep track of which clients have paid and which haven't. This helps lighten the admin weight across your entire team, especially your accounting department.
Want to see how a professional services firm puts the above advice into action?
Read why Vector Business Solutions switched to Accelo for time tracking, project management, billing and more. Founder Susie Schade says they never get questioned about invoices anymore!