Often when work is completed sending your invoice is the last thing on your mind, but actually it should be on your mind all through the job, if you are billing for hours keeping good records as you go can help make the invoicing process a lot easier.
Make sure your billing is detailed, set aside time at the end of each session for this. I can’t tell you how many debts we have that are disputed over time issues.
If it’s possible, get your customer to sign off on your times especially if the job will go over a few days or weeks. Customers don’t like surprises on their invoices and my suggestion is that you keep them updated daily. If you can get your customers to sign a daily time sheet or if they are not present send the an SMS letting them know of your times, this way you both have a record.
Most accounting packages have time tracking, but I am sure there are apps that you could use.
Second but of equal importance is to keep detailed records of inventory, this is another area the causes disputes resulting in debts not being paid, so many arguments happen over the costs and amount of materials used on a job. Please record what is use and again get your customers to acknowledge these as you move through a job. Keep good records so at the end of the job you are not guessing what was used.
When you have completed the job get your customer to sign off that the job has been completed to their satisfaction. Use a dedicated job completion form that includes the clauses from your Terms and Conditions stating what the requirements are for a remedy if they are not happy with any element of the job. This form should also have a time frame in which they have to raise concerns and a process to which to raise these.
This is so important because many jobs that are not remedied quickly get left to fester and many never be paid and it may have been over one small element of the job.
I can’t stress how important having a disputes resolution process is for your business.
You can make it your administration person or bookkeeper responsibility to ensure jobs are signed off on and completed to your customer’s satisfaction.
So now it is time to send your invoice, as part of the finalisation of a job gather all the information and send it to your bookkeeper, I also recommend calling them and to discuss all the elements in the invoice. This can save a lot of time in the long run if there is confusion over element of the job being invoiced. You will also get clarity that your bookkeeper knows exactly what to put in the invoice.
Then send it off by email through your account package
Check that your Terms and Conditions have a dispute resolution process that suits your business.
If you supply a trade or service on credit, such as 7, 14 or 30-day payment terms, you need an effective contract to protect yourself from disputes and people who don't pay or pay late.
In the many years of running BCA Debt, we have observed five common mistakes businesses make! By changing these five mistakes, you can prevent your customers from becoming debtors and increase your cash flow.
5 Common Mistakes Businesses Make;
Not having good Terms and Conditions is a common mistake.
Your 'Terms and Conditions' should be the single most important document you create for your business? The words Terms and Conditions should bring to your attention just how important these documents are; they can set the direction for any business deal you enter, be it good or bad.
If you have ever experienced any of the following in your business, then it may be time to assess your Terms and Conditions.
Many businesses hope their bookkeeper, admin staff, or accountant will fix these problems, but they are not experts in the field.
Your Terms and Conditions are the blueprints of how your business operates, you, your staff and customers should intimately understand every aspect of them, this is how you prevent deals from going bad.
The reason I say this is because the majority of problems experienced during disputes and conflicts between a business and a customer are that there is no clear understanding of each other’s responsibility when entering a business deal. Often neither party is clear on the expectations of the job because the Terms and Conditions are not clear, or simply do not exist.
We understand that creating these documents is a very daunting proposition because most of the Terms and Conditions we have seen are in solicitor jargon, in a font that makes you feel they have sinister overtones.
Making it difficult to decide what is best for your business. These Documents are Important so don’t let all the jargon, small writing, and deception put you off. With a little effort, we can help you produce user-friendly Terms and Conditions for your business.
The simplest way to get started is to brainstorm all the things that frustrate you, both in-house and from your customers.
Put these together with your payment requirement and you have the beginnings of a good document that will help prevent customer becoming a debtor.
Fewer Disputes - Who wouldn't want that? We know that once a client has good Terms and Conditions in place they are less likely to experience disputes and non-payment.
We offer this program for individual businesses; it covers the credit management Policies, Terms and Conditions and much more. It will assist you in preventing your customers from becoming debtors and help to solve the problems listed above.
The credit management toolbox is a comprehensive suite of documents and policies custom designed for your individual business. If you supply a trade or service on credit, such as 7, 14 or 30-day payment terms, you need an effective contract to protect yourself from disputes and people who don't pay or pay late!
The credit Toolbox is for smart business people who want to move to the next level of professionalism and who are sick of customer disputes. It is for businesses that don't have any formal documentation and wish to put in place best practices.
We have seen just about every trick in the book.
That is the reason we have produced a Suite of documents for the Credit Management Toolbox.
At BCA Debt, many of the debts that come to us could be avoided if the business has in place the Toolbox we are offering.
Why risk any further loss of income and more financial pain? Could you be missing the essential elements all successful businesses use to safeguard their finances?
The really bad news is that your late payers are using your money while you may suffer cash flow problems. Let me help you create simple policies that your staff is empowered to use when quoting and accepting a new customer.
I can help you be clear on your terms and conditions, by writing in plain English, easily understood by you and your customers, including clearly defined dispute resolution processes.
Let's include clauses that put the cost of debt collection back onto the customer if they fail to pay you.
If you want to know the honest truth of how to prevent debts, the secret is in the use of these proven strategies.
To move to the next level of business professionalism and implement your debt prevention strategy simply fill out the purchase form for the Credit Management Toolbox and start managing your business the way other successful businesses including many of our clients have done.
5 Common Mistakes Businesses Make
1. Business does not have clear credit management policies.
2. The quoting process does not clearly define the outcomes of the job, for both the service provider and the customer.
3. Not knowing exactly who the customer is, and the exact name of the person paying the bill.
4. The terms and conditions are written in too smaller font.
5. There is no disputes resolution outlined, for both business and the customer.