Have you ever heard the phrase, "In the World of Business, Cash is king"? Well, it's true. If there were a ruler of the business world, cash would be it, sitting up there all high and mighty on his throne made of the skulls of his enemies, holding a sceptre and looking rather pleased with himself.
Without cash, you can't move ahead with new projects. Without cash, you can't pay your staff to keep working. Without cash, your office lights wouldn't come on, the coffee machine wouldn't steam, and you wouldn't be enjoying your forth Rogan Josh of the month while doing your invoicing at your desk at 9pm on a Friday night.
You want to have more of that precious kingly cash sloshing around in your coffers or out doing productive things for your business, and less of it stuck in client's bank accounts waiting for them to decide it's time to process your invoice. It stands to reason that the faster you get paid for the work you do, the more you're able to put that cash to good use.
We understand this. Hence getting businesses paid faster has been a huge focus for both Xero and WorkflowMax over the last few years. And now we've got demonstrable proof that our system - online invoicing via the cloud - is working.
What is Online Invoicing?
Well, you probably know this already, but for those at the back of the class sticking pencils in their ears, online invoicing is one way of sending invoices to your clients. Instead of mailing your customers a handwritten or printed invoice, you email them a link to an invoice that is stored online. In this invoice, a customer can see all kinds of important details, including:
- Payment status
- Payment history (for progress payments)
- A Pay Now button for accepting payments online.
You can see exactly what the customer sees, and when invoices have been paid, the details are loaded into Xero. A PDF copy of the invoice is automatically saved and recorded, so now you've got that invoice on file. And you haven't had to do a thing.
One of the huge advantages of online invoicing is the fact that it is recording when invoices are sent and payments are made in real-time. So the time between money coming in and business records being made is eliminated automatically. Suddenly, you've got a much more accurate idea of exactly when you're getting paid.
At the same time, you're now accepting payments online. This is vastly easier not just for you (no more waiting in line at the post office with a cheque) but for your client (who can just click "Pay Now" and be done with it instead of adding your invoice to an every-increasing avalanche of papers on his desk.
The client can also see any other outstanding payments they may have forgotten about, meaning those are probably going to get paid faster, too.
Xero have spent several years building their robust online invoicing system. This functionality connects businesses with their clients directly – both data and money flow faster and more effectively. This is where the Internet and cloud accounting is really changing the way people do business.
This graph shows that online invoicing has been reducing the average amount of time it takes a business to get paid from six weeks down to four weeks. And the trend line is continuing to drop. So online invoicing really does improve payment speed.
More tips for getting paid faster:
- Discuss payment terms before you get started
- Keep detailed records of inventory and time
- Make the invoice clear and easy to understand
- Set appropriate payment terms
- Add overdue fees – this will usually set a fire under your client's pants!
- Address the invoice to the person paying
- Invoice as soon as possible
- Keep on track with debtors
What Else Can Online Invoicing Provide Businesses?
Well, if you're in the type of business that bills by time, you could use WorkflowMax alongside Xero to take advantage of some of our invoicing features.
For example, it might previously have taken you a whole day to extract information from employee timesheets done in spreadsheets, and to write that information up in your invoices to clients. You'd finally have an invoice, but you wouldn't know what profit you were making, how that invoice was tracking against your quote and, if you were losing money, on exactly what aspect of a job you lost it on.
But, with a click of a button in WorkflowMax, you can see all the hours worked against a job, how they stack up against your quote, and exactly what profit you've made on a job. You can then use our invoicing tool to create your invoice. You don't have to enter the details again – just choose which information from WorkflowMax you want to show, and BAM – instant invoice. It will even show your company branding.
And, if you've integrated WorkflowMax and Xero, when a client pays the invoice, the job will get signed off in WorkflowMax.
So online invoicing is pretty rad for businesses. Especially the way Xero and WorkflowMax do it. Are you using online invoicing in your company? If so, what are you loving about it? What other features would you like to see? If not, why not? Why not sign up for a free WorkflowMax trial today and see for yourself what all the fuss is about?