07.28.2021 | Posted by Erik
Invoicing Do’s and Don’ts Learned by an Accounts Receivable Outsourcing Firm
When it comes to invoices, most customers intend to pay you on time. But any number of obstacles can get in the way.
As an accounts receivable outsourcing firm, it’s our experience that making it easy on your customers is half the battle when it comes to getting paid. Here are our do’s and don’ts for invoicing your customers.
DO send invoices on time.
Many companies still enter data, process purchase orders, and mail invoices by hand. Manual processes are time-consuming and prone to human error, often causing companies to struggle to send their invoices on time and consistently.
Outsourced A/R takes this burden off of your accounting department’s shoulders, making sure your customers receive their invoices on time and increasing the odds that you get paid faster.
DON’T issue invoices to the wrong contact.
Sounds straightforward, right? Still, we see companies fail to send invoices to the right person all the time.
It’s natural to get excited when gaining a new customer, but many times companies will list the sales contact on the account and call it a day. If you don’t take the simple step of learning your accounts payable point-person for a new customer, you may end up issuing invoices to the wrong person—and risk them going unpaid.
DO keep account information up-to-date.
People flow through organizations all the time. Maybe your A/P contact got promoted, switched departments, or left for another company. Or maybe your customer set up a new intake process and the contact changed on their end.
Touch base with your customers periodically to make sure their account information is accurate and up to date. Make sure your invoices go to the right person—the right way. On that note…
DON’T ignore your customer’s specific invoice requirements.
Every customer is unique. Whether they require physical copies, all invoices sent to a dedicated P.O. box, or something else, these simple conditions can determine whether you receive payments on time or not.
Think of it from their perspective: they put processes in place to simplify their workflow. Anything that doesn’t fit into their process either falls to the back of the line—or out of the process altogether.
In some cases, customers will even hit you with a fee for falling out of compliance with their invoice requirements. We’re an accounts receivable outsourcing firm for clients serving all sorts of end-customers—including big box retailers. At that level, if you don’t follow their long, detailed conditions to a tee, they’ll push the cost back on you to the extreme.
That’s why companies trust us as their outsourced A/R partner: to not only streamline processes and collect payments, but to eliminate costs, too.
DO make sure your invoice matches the service or product provided.
Inaccurate invoicing: another symptom of manual accounting. Whether it’s an unclear product or service description, overcharge, or flat out error, many companies struggle to send correct invoices.
Inaccuracies, regardless of size, take longer to confirm. Between fixing mistakes and waiting on your customer’s AP department to manually approve your invoice, these inaccuracies can increase aging and slow down re-orders. Remember, AP departments process a wave of invoices every day. If they come across an invoice that’s difficult for them to process, they’ll likely avoid it.
DON’T list your customer’s DBA instead of their corporate name.
Companies use DBAs all the time. However, on paper, these names don’t carry the same weight as their corporate name. If you neglect to list your customer’s corporate name, you jeopardize your chance to recoup your losses in the off-chance you have to take your customer to court for non-payment.
Always send invoices with the corporate name. You should be able to find it on their credit app.
DO make it easy for your customer to pay you.
And finally, give your customer what they need for smooth, simple payment. After taking all the steps to make sure your customer receives the invoice, don’t add more hurdles. Offer them multiple payment methods (written out on the invoice) and clearly list your “Remit to” address on the invoice.
Hire an outsourced A/R firm that simplifies invoicing processes.
We’re an accounts receivable outsourcing firm that understands the value of customer service.
When you understand where your customer is coming from and take strides to lighten their load, you’re much more likely to get paid faster. We’d love to help you help them.