Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tip #29: Customize Your Invoices to Get Paid on Time



We all want to get paid by customers on time. So why is it that so many businesses don’t take the time to create customized invoices? If you send a bill out that doesn’t have your company contact information, company logo or even payment options, how is it you expect to quickly receive payment?

We all lead busy lives, including your customers. So, the easier you can make it for them by providing multiple methods to contact you with questions or multiple payment options, the quicker you will likely receive payment. If you use QuickBooks, it even gives you the option to create multiple customized invoices and name them so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel each time. If you’re not using QuickBooks, the system you do use likely has this option. If not, you can always use programs like Word to create a nice, easy-to-understand invoice.

So, what should be included on an invoice? Here’s our guide for the minimum information that should be included:
  1. Your company logo
  2. Your business name, address, phone, email and website
  3. Name, address and phone of company receiving the invoice
  4. Invoice number
  5. Date invoice sent
  6. Date invoice due / payment terms (i.e. Net 30 days)
  7. Description of the goods (be specific about quantity, type, etc.)
  8. Balance due
  9. Payment instructions (If credit card is an option, provide space for the customer to write in credit card information and mail or fax to you.)
  10. Don’t forget to include the word ‘invoice’ or ‘bill’ so there is no question

If you take the time to customize your invoices, you should reap the benefits of quicker payments.

RCI members have access to QuickBooks tips on the member side of the RCI website. Just go to ‘Past Education Sessions’ under the ‘Education’ tab and then scroll down to the 2011 Fall Regional Education Sessions to find the link to QuickBooks and Tax Tips. Plus, members have access to QuickBooks support. If you need help, call the RCI office and schedule an appointment with the RCI QuickBooks expert, Chelsea Abercrombie, CPA.

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