While so many businesses have switched from paper-based invoicing to the online method of invoicing, there are still many businesses that utilize paper invoices, paper-based billing systems, along with paper-based payment processing.
Paper-based invoices are quite expensive, difficult to manage and takes longer to manage than online invoicing.
Paper-based invoices are invoices created using pen and paper while online invoicing are invoices created using cloud-based invoicing software like Invoice. In this day and age, invoicing is less and less paper-based. In fact, many invoices can be created and sent electronically over the web.
Why Quit Paper-Based Invoicing
Because of the time it takes to create, process, and send a paper invoice, studies have estimated that a single paper invoice costs a business nearly $15 (and sometimes up to $30) to complete. Because of this, many businesses have resulted in using online invoices in order to cut costs and speed up the billing process.
Listed below are some of the factors that make paper-based invoices a no-fit for growing businesses;
- The cost associated with preparation and printing of paper invoices.
- Costs associated with storage of paper invoices.
- Postage and shipping fees.
- Offering payment options such as debit, credit, which have associated fees.
- Undelivered bills or lost invoice and time associated with this.
- Customer service to handle calls and questions related to the invoices.
How To Transition To Online Invoices?
One of the foremost decisions a small business owner has to make is to decide on what online billing or invoicing software to use. It is extremely important to select the right and best online invoicing softwarethat matches your business requirements or that can be integrated to suit your business needs.
Most invoicing software are capable of many things such as creating invoices and quotes, managing customers and accepting payments. Quotes can be drafted and sent the same way as invoices and if your client accepts them, they can be turned into full-fledged invoices with a few clicks.
Here are some of the characteristics that a good online billing and invoicing software should have:
- Easy-to-use: How much disruption could a move to an online invoicing service cause my business?
- Cost: What is the cost of migrating or setting-up an online invoicing service for my business?
- Payments: Does the system provide an alternative method of payment such as online payment?
- Tracking: Does the system allow me to track the status of sent invoices to know if the client received and viewed the invoice or not?
- Client Management: Does the system allow you to easily manage clients?
- Reporting: Does the system give you a clear overview of all invoice status and can you send a reminder notice of invoices due for payments?
- Integration: Can the system integrate with established accounting packages that I may like to use for my business?
- Data Migration: Does the system allow invoice details to be exported to Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet document?