Nothing is more important to optimizing your company’s cash flow than your billing and invoicing process. Billing should be well-defined, reliable, and timely in order to avoid customer confusion and ensure you’re getting paid for all work performed and products sold.
In the previous posts, we took a look at the most common billing blunders. Those pitfalls were exacerbated by having manual processes for capturing time and expenses, getting approvals, and calculating invoices. Conversely, having a centralized business management system helps automate the billing process and overcome common challenges.
Today, we’ll share top 5 billing practices for realizing optimal cash flow:
1. House all billing information in a system that can easily audit, track, and automate billing.
Between different rates, agreements, and the mix of services and products, billing in a technology company is complex. A centralized business management system can pull together information from all aspects of your business to generate accurate invoices.
Tip: ConnectWise takes the input from Sales, Service, and Project management and generates invoice demand so that everything is invoiced accurately.
2. Maximize recurring revenue with automatic payments.
Getting customers onto service agreements with recurring revenue is the best way to stabilize and improve cash flow. Set up ACH or credit card payments with your customers. It’s convenient for them, and it will reduce your volume of aged accounts receivable.
Tip: Remember, do not store credit card numbers in ConnectWise or any other business management system. Use a PCI-DSS compliant payment system for these transactions.
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3. For big projects, request down payments to reduce risk and improve cash flow.
When a project requires a lot of work or you’ll need to spend a lot on products, collect a down payment to help cover the cost and protect against the risk of getting stuck with the full liability.
Tip: ConnectWise enables you to create special invoices for down payments on projects.
4. Review invoices for accuracy before sending.
Mistakes on invoices can damage customer trust, or at the very least, cause customer frustration when they either overpay or are sent an additional bill. Have managers review every invoice before it’s mailed or emailed to a customer.
Tip: In ConnectWise, use automated routing rules in combination with status updates to ensure service managers, project managers, and account managers approve invoices before delivery.
5. Improve the appearance of your invoices.
Invoices are a key touchpoint with your customers; make sure they look professional and visually appealing.
Tip: Customize your favorite invoice template in ConnectWise with your logo and choose to display specific information about the services delivered.
These 5 tips can help you establish a smooth, automated billing process to improve cash flow and maximize recurring revenue. It all starts with getting a good billing system in place and putting your best foot forward with customer invoices. Stay tuned for 5 more billing best practices.
Capture more time and increase cash flow with tips from The Ultimate Guide to Profitability.