When it comes to invoicing, it is essential that you are able to keep an accurate record of invoices sent out to clients. Not only does help to ensure you get paid for the work you do, but also enables you to complete your tax return at the end of the year without getting into a pickle.
Why consider electronic invoicing?
For small businesses, electronic invoicing makes perfect sense for the fact it will save you time. Time is what most business owners and certainly electricians struggle with so electronic invoicing will free up time to do other important business tasks such as marketing. What type of software you opt for is up to you, but whichever type of invoicing programme you opt for, you will save time and money and run your business more effectively.
Some Free Electronic Invoicing Websites
It's amazing what you can get for free these days and you will be surprised just how good some of the free online invoicing websites are too. Most will do everythign you need but you may find paying a small fee is worth it to ensure the best possible service:
The old paper based or traditional system is also more expensive. The cost of paper and ink plus the postage can quickly add up and there is no guarantee your client will receive the invoice. Electronic invoices can be sent instantly via email. Electronic invoicing is not expensive to set up – some programmes can be set for free. Express invoice is one such programme – you can send invoices for free and set up a clients list. It is possible to upgrade and purchase the programme for a small one off fee which opens up the full programme features. Other invoicing software is subscription based which allows you to invoice in return for a monthly fee. Such subscription programmes often include other items such as quotes, estimates and a diary.
In times gone by a book keeper would have been responsible for compiling each invoice and working out the figures accurately ensuring the VAT and other expenses were accounted for and billed correctly. This leaves a lot of room for human error especially after a hard day and you have no book keeper!
Electronic invoicing has pre filled fields which ensures you won't forget important detail and can be updated and amended in seconds.
If you don't have a printer can you imagine how boring it would be writing out a template each time you wanted to send out an invoice? Electronic invoicing would be worth it's weight in gold!
Getting paid quickly
Small electrical contracting businesses rely on good cash flow to survive. It is essential that invoices are paid in a timely manner especially when the work has been completed to the clients satisfaction. Electronic invoicing clearly lists payment options allowing your client to make payment instantly using one of the methods shown. There will be no waiting around for cheques to clear or cash which could get lost.
Electronic invoicing can also be done in seconds and sent to your client at the touch of a button. Many electricians send the invoice before they drive away from their clients home it is so simple and straight forward.
Produce duplicate invoices at the touch of a button
Electronic invoicing programmes allow you to save the details of each customer you enter into the system. This means that for repeat custom or on going work, your clients details can be retrieved within seconds and another invoice sent out. This saves the time of having to enter customer details every time an invoice is produced. All you have to do is select the products or services being charged for and the invoice programme will automatically calculate the taxes, due date and when the payment is received.
It is worth including a line or two to explain to the customer how to make payment whether this is a direct bank transfer, card payment or by PayPal.
Does electronic invoicing really save electricians money?
Electronic invoicing makes perfect sense if you run a small electrical contractors or work for yourself. For the outlay of invoicing software or a small monthly subscription, you will get your money 'back' within a short time of using it. By the time you have calculated the outlay of paper, ink (plus printer), envelopes, postage and your time in producing the invoices themselves, you will be quids in very quickly.
Anyone who is not using electronic invoicing is missing a trick and you are throwing money away as well as wasting valuable time you could be using on getting more work!