5 Simple Ways to Make Invoicing Painless
It’s monotonous. It’s administrative work that managers didn’t sign up for. If employees loath the weekly ritual of filling out timesheets, then managers might dislike this mundane but vital task even more.
Billing isn’t something that managers race to work on in the mornings, saying to themselves “I can’t wait to get to the office and spend eight hours approving time and expenses!” But everyone understands that clients need to receive an invoice first before they can pay for any work or services.
Here are five ways to make the boring and repetitive task of billing a little more tolerable:
Automate reports for projects billed by the hour
Do your employees still use spreadsheets to record time and expenses? If so, your managers most likely have to wade through one spreadsheet per employee before creating an invoice. If there are multiple employees on a project, that means a manager must gather information from multiple spreadsheets before tallying total hours worked and expenses incurred for a project. Needless to say, this can be rather time consuming.
Using BillQuick, a designated employee, say project manager or reviewer, can run pre-billing reports that contain all the vital information about a project – including unapproved time and expenses – without gathering data from multiple sources. You can even automate the report generation and delivery process using an add-on, BillQuick Agent. To top it all, you can use the Automatic Billing or Memorized Billing feature in BillQuick to schedule the billings automatically. It then sends a notification to the assigned processor when an invoice is processed.
Train your employees and designate a responsible person
Firm owners or partners occasionally need to assist with the billing process from time to time. But to get the pain out of the invoicing process, an owner needs to invest some time to train managers or even designate someone with the ‘billing’ role take on the bulk of the billing process.
In BillQuick, you can set up roles and security to designate an employee as the responsible person for processing invoices. Instead of having to poke your head into a manager’s office to ask, “Have you sent that invoice out?” BillQuick will remind the assigned manager of the submitted time and expenses that need approval for billing.
Set up billing schedules
Guarantee that every invoice is sent out on time by setting up a billing schedule at the beginning of every project. The Billing Schedule feature in BillQuick allows you to set up expected billings over the life of a project. When working with fixed-fee projects, you can schedule bills of different amounts to be processed at different times or create bills based on a percentage of the overall contract fee to be sent to clients on dates that you specify. For projects billed by the hour, you can generate a billing schedule based on project milestones.
Discuss invoicing during pre-planning phase
The entire invoicing process doesn’t truly end until a check that you deposit in your bank account officially clears. To make sending your client an invoice – and subsequently getting paid – as painless as possible, make sure the client understands and agrees to your billing schedule during a project’s pre-planning phase. Any disagreements over the timing or form of payments should be hashed out now and not in the middle of a project.
Don’t automate your relationship
Just because BillQuick lets you automate a project’s entire billing cycle doesn’t mean you should avoid discussing the topic with a client. Pick up the phone and keep in touch with your client throughout the duration of a project. Ask if everything is satisfactory, including the agreed-upon payment schedule. Make sure to set up automatic payment receipts with Thank You notes to show your appreciation to clients that pay on time!