There's nothing more important in business than ensuring your accounts receivables (AR) are running smoothly. One of the challenges for AR is ensuring it's easy for your customers to pay you. If customers have trouble paying you, then they're unlikely to pay on time. If you make it easy for them, they're more likely to process their invoices in a timely manner.
So how can you make it easier for your clients to pay their invoices? Here are three suggestions that are quick and easy to apply to your invoices and recurring billing process.
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1. Clear and concise invoices
There are many reports in the press about how hard it is to understand certain invoices. Some countries, like the UK, have massive debates about how certain industries present their bills. For instance, having usage in one measure and then using a different equation to work out costing with several factors can confuse some customers. Why not use a simple system where charges are just based on usage?
It isn’t just how to present calculations. The final amount to pay should also be clearly visible on the invoice. This final amount should include all discounts, taxes and any other additions and subtractions that are necessary.
Ensure that any calculations shown on your invoice and the final amount are clear to see and easy to understand. It should be that anyone can pick up the invoice and know exactly what to pay.
2. Invoice delivery
The delivery method of your invoice is a particularly good way to make sure that it is easy for your customers to pay. If you deliver invoices via post, you may add additional steps between them receiving the invoice and being able to pay it.
Post can be very slow and any delays with the postal system can result in customers being unhappy that their invoices are late and that they’ve only got a few days to pay the latest bill. Alternatively, invoices could be lost and customers will get upset.
Instead, consider using a self service portal or email as the best ways to invoice your customers. These systems can be connected to payment systems, making the transition from reading the invoice to paying it simple.
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3. Offer multiple payment methods
Finally, ensure that you offer reliable and desired ways to make payment. There are numerous ways that you can collect payments from your customers and by offering a variety of solutions, you can please them as they can choose the option that is easiest for them.
All payment methods should be integrated within your subscription billing platform and you should also advertise how the customer can make a payment online. Having the payments made via your website helps you track who has paid and who has not, as any payment coming in can be identified according to the customer and invoice number. This allows you to chase late payers when you need to.
Accounts receivable is the life line for businesses of all sizes. To make your cash flow steadier you need to consider encouraging your customers to pay you quickly. To do this you have to make your invoices straight forward, accurate and easy to pay. Here are 3 common mistakes made on invoices that can cost you dearly.
If you achieve all three, you will have a greater chance collecting payments quickly and with ease. This will help to stabilize your revenue and cash flow and keep customers happy.