Do you find that sending invoices takes you longer than you would like? You may have heard of ‘paperless’ invoicing but be unsure of how it works. After all, if you have clients that demand printed invoices, how could you ever become truly paperless? There are several steps to cut down on the amount of paper waste that invoicing generates. Going paperless is not only great for the environment, it also makes your task of managing, tracking and organizing your invoicing far easier. Here are the three most common ways that you can make the switch to paperless invoicing.
1. Cloud-Based Invoicing
Cloud-based invoice management solutions are rapidly gaining popularity among early-stage businesses as the invoicing company stores all the data on their own servers. This means that your business has no need to maintain back-up files on your premises. Cloud-based invoicing is based heavily around sending and receiving electronic invoices, or e-invoices, however employees can also scan and upload any paper invoices or bills they receive. Off-site workers then input and update this information electronically.
2. Invoice Software Packages
For early-stage business owners sick of keeping track of their finances on a spreadsheet, commercially available software packages such as Intuit’s QuickBooks Online offers a simple way for any business to move towards paperless invoicing. If you are often outside the office, it is highly convenient to be able to access and manage your invoices via your smartphone or any device connected to the internet. You can receive real-time information about your customers’ payment activities and easily track all invoices with your customers, vendors, and associates.
Invoicing software lets you create invoices and automatically send them, offering a welcome relief to business owners used to printing invoices and putting them into envelopes. You can give your customers a range of ways to pay so the software is about more than just tracking information. The latest software packages even let you scan bills and send them automatically to your preferred accounting software such as QuickBooks, bringing you one step closer to paperless invoicing.
Third-Party Invoicing Management
As some of your customers will likely still want or prefer printed invoices, your business may never be able to go truly paperless. This does not mean that you have to busy yourself with printing and stuffing envelopes, however. Many early-stage business owners find that they can save time and money by outsourcing their invoicing. Third-party invoicing tools mean that off-site staff can handle the entire billing process for you. Not only can you keep track of every invoice in real time but also external staff will physically print and mail invoices for you, if necessary.
As an early-stage business owner who is keen to get value for money, paperless invoicing solutions can reduce paper from their invoicing process and help the bottom line. Other important factors such as using custom invoice templates, integrating billing solutions and finding software solutions, should help you find a flexible solution for your business.