For a home-based business, invoicing can be an arduous task given that a sole entrepreneur often wears many hats. Finding time for non-creative work is a tough sell except when we remember that no revenue comes in until our customers are invoiced.
With some discipline, management and good invoice software, you’ll be able to face invoicing in a timely manner to keep cash flow steady and your business growing. Here are some tips to get you started.
Home-based businesses especially need to stay on top of invoicing.
Stay on Top of Bookkeeping
It’s so easy to put off tasks like invoicing, but as your to-do list grows and your inbox piles mount, the works seems overwhelming. Keeping on top of bookkeeping is key to getting it done in small bits. Set aside a sacrosanct time each week to work on bookkeeping, and it will seem a manageable function of your business.
As anyone who works alone will attest, days just get busier and busier as they stretch toward evening. Try to start work a little early one day per week and get the bookkeeping off your plate before the day begins. You’ll also be mentally fresher and will feel good all day with the sense of accomplishment from being current.
Good Invoice Software
The latest software for invoicing goes far beyond just creating a nice template and recording the entry in your accounts receivable ledger. Industry leaders such as QuickBooks have integrated invoicing with functions that save time in the total bookkeeping process. Any home-based business will have more time for marketing and sales when invoicing is integrated into the QuickBooks platform.
- Calendar for Tracking Due Dates
With invoicing that links into QuickBooks calendars, due dates are now easily tracked. Never send invoices late or wonder why invoices are not paid. You’ll also be able to schedule the bookkeeping work time in your calendar to stay on top of your accounting.
Since there are so many distractions in a home office taking attention away from bookkeeping tasks, one-step data input means more chance of accuracy. QuickBooks is able to transfer customer or sales transaction information without multiple entries.
- Customized Invoices
QuickBooks’s simple templates allow you to customize invoices for particular product lines or market segments. You can also manage outstanding balances in a few steps, applying partial payments, for example.
Upselling is easy with QuickBooks invoicing. You can direct market new products, alert customers to upgrades, and provide details on service programs.
- Online Invoicing
QuickBooks can be tied into your email program for easy online invoicing. You can also convert estimates to invoices in just a few clicks, and there are options for recurring billings. You can also batch your invoices to make the process quicker.
Reports generated through QuickBooks invoicing software not only helps organize customer invoicing, it also gives you a better handle on your business. Many entrepreneurs may see sales numbers as strong, but actually collecting revenue is key to sustaining a business long-term.
Your piggy bank will fill up quicker if you invoice regularly!
Integrating these few simple tips into your accounting management will make invoicing quick and easy. Soon, you’ll see improved cash flow, an important aspect of any home-based business.
Sarah Boisvert is an author who writes about business topics including entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, and finance. She also covers new technologies in manufacturing such as 3D printing.
Photo Credits: Ambro via FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Stuart Miles via FreeDigitalPhotos.net