As part of the #cashflowkit and a month dedicated to helping the UK’s businesses get back in control of their finances. We asked top Xero add-on, Chaser to give us some of their expert advice on invoice chasing. At Chaser, they’re nuts about getting invoices paid on time. They’ve put together their top three best invoice practices for us to form part of their partnership and contribution to the #Cashflowkit.
Before we start (and in what is a pretty obvious indicator of what is to come!), we need to issue a quick Chaser edict:
If you have work that you have finished and are able to invoice for; stop reading this and go and issue your invoice. NOW
Glad we got that out the way, because being proactive in issuing your invoices really helps get them paid on time. The sooner your customer receives your invoice, the sooner they can process it for payment.
1: Begin with the end in mind
Don’t give your customer an excuse not to pay your invoice. Not providing the necessary payment details is serving up a big, juicy excuse for your customer to do just that.
It never ceases to amaze us how many invoices we see without payment details on them. Always make sure your bank details are up to date and on all invoices. Especially if your details have changed, don’t reissue invoices with the old details.
If you accept cheques, and definitely if not(!), state that on your invoices.
If you’re selling overseas, make sure you provide international bank account details so your customer is able to pay you (here’s a summary from HSBC about what these look like).
It’s not glamorous. It’s not groundbreaking. But it is the most important of our 7 habits. Without it, your invoice simply will not be able to achieve its purpose of getting paid.
2: Build on Solid Foundations
The wise man built his house on rocks, and the foolish on sand, so the parable goes. There’s a reason we all still know that story, and that’s because the importance of a solid foundation is eternal.
Terms and conditions (Ts & Cs) are an invaluable foundation for your invoices. We’ve all had opportunistic customers try to push the ‘I thought it was 90 days’ line, so set your payment terms in stone. Get your customers to sign them, either physically or digitally, before starting work together. Clearly set out your payment terms. Your invoices will thank you later!
3: Be all present and correct
Your invoice needs to tick a lot of boxes in order to be able to get paid on time. None of these boxes are hard to tick, but they can easily be overlooked. So be sure to include the following key points;
- Payment terms – e.g. 30 days
- Invoice date – So they know when the 30 days started, and when the payment is due.
- Your VAT or sales tax number – your customer will need this to process the invoice for their own accounting purposes.
- The correct descriptions and prices for the goods or services sold.
Once your invoice has been fully paid by your customer. It has achieved its purpose in life; it’s reached its Shangri-La.
Firstly a huge congratulations. Getting invoices paid is no mean feat and by doing so you’ve made a really positive impact on your business’ cashflow.
The final thing to do is to say thank you. This is a great goodwill builder that can only favourably predispose your clients to paying your future invoices on time. This email is also a great opportunity to flag any other unpaid invoices to help them get paid.
And with that your invoice can ride off into the sunset! It has achieved its purpose of getting paid. And it has laid the foundation for future invoices for that customer to get paid on time as well.
For more great advice from Chaser on how to manage invoices and avoid late payment and to hear tips from our other cashflow experts The Wow Company and Float download our #cashflowkit.
Who are Chaser?
At Chaser, our mission is to build Earth’s best products for chasing customers to pay their invoices on time. We understand how much it hurts when customers don’t pay their invoices on time. We know from our Qualified Accountant and Finance Director experience that polite persistence pays when it comes to invoice chasing. With Chaser, you can automate the process of chasing up customers over email with a one click connection to your existing Xero account.
The phrase we use most at Chaser HQ is…
“What would you do if doing this personally?”
We know that if your chasing emails are obviously automated, they are much less likely to get your invoices paid. Emails from Chaser look and feel like regular emails from you to your customer.
Start your free trial today – up to 90 days, or 30 successfully chased invoices!