Table of Contents
- 1 Invoicing Clients Inconsistently
- 2 Not Pursuing Debtors
- 3 Making Payment Difficult For Clients
- 4 Leaving Company Branding Off of Invoices
- 5 Sending Invoices With Billing Errors
- 6 Not Having Clear Terms For Payment
- 7 Sending Invoices to the Wrong Person
- 8 Including Surprising or Hidden Fees
- 9 Avoiding These Invoice Mistakes Will Help Your Business Run Smoothly
Every day, we make roughly 35,000 choices. That means, statistically, we’re bound to make some mistakes along the way.
While we’re all human, your business’s invoicing is one place where you want to be fully attentive and conscientious.
Invoicing mistakes can cause problems for both you and your client, and can even cost you business in the long term.
Let’s take a look at eight of the most common invoice mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
Invoicing Clients Inconsistently
When you’re sending out invoices for products and services sold, you want to do this promptly. When you’re billing for repeat services, it’s best to send them on the same day every week or every month.
If your clients don’t know when to expect their invoice, this can cause problems for both them and your business. When your clients know when their invoice is coming, you’ll be less likely to receive delayed payments.
Not Pursuing Debtors
Sending out invoices is only half of the battle. If you have open invoices, your business’s ability to grow can be seriously hindered.
What is an open invoice, you ask? An open invoice is an invoice that hasn’t been fully paid. It’s essential to remind clients with open invoices that there is a payment due.
It’s important to be organized about your invoicing process so unpaid invoices don’t simply fall through the cracks. By having a calendarized schedule of when you send out invoices and follow-up emails, you can ensure that getting paid is as smooth a process as possible.
Making Payment Difficult For Clients
Even if you do absolutely everything else right, making it difficult for clients to pay will lead to more open invoices.
It’s essential that your invoicing process be geared towards making paying you as easy as humanly possible. If your payment process involves too many steps, complicated instructions, or antiquated payment methods, you can expect to have some delayed payments every month.
Think about it, is it easier for you to pay your credit card bill online, where the process is simple, or to pay that service business that you have to mail a check to? When you make payment easy for your clients, you’re ensuring that you’ll get paid on time, more of the time.
Leaving Company Branding Off of Invoices
You might not think that it’s that important to include branding on your invoice. Actually, though, there are a number of reasons why this is an important part of any invoice.
First, having your brand on your invoice makes it so your client can identify it right away. Your client will be less likely to pass over your bill in the pile when they can easily recognize what it’s in relation to.
Second, adding your branding to your invoice makes your business come off as much more professional. This could make them more likely to use your services again in the future.
Sending Invoices With Billing Errors
You should take the same care in creating invoices as you take in providing the best product or service you can. If there are mistakes in terms of monetary or itemization discrepancies, your client will likely see this as unprofessional and might look to bring their business elsewhere.
When you send out invoices with errors, it’s possible that you could charge less for your services and get shorted on the bill. If your error makes it more expensive than it should have been, your client might think the worst and change suppliers based on believing you’re dishonest.
Not Having Clear Terms For Payment
People who receive invoices are not necessarily knowledgable about specific bookkeeping terms. Terms and dates for payment should always be written out in as clear a manner as possible to avoid confusion.
Sending Invoices to the Wrong Person
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in invoicing.
While this might seem like a simple error, it could certainly make your client see you as inattentive, unprofessional, and even incompetent.
Including Surprising or Hidden Fees
Having hidden fees or surprising fees should not be a part of your business model. This is an issue that needs to be dealt with way before the actual payment stage.
Have you ever received an invoice that had a number of extra fees tacked on that you had no idea about? It’s a terrible feeling, and the last thing you want to do is make your clients feel that way. They will likely feel like you’re trying to scam them out of more money, and you shouldn’t be surprised if they don’t trust you with future business.
It’s fine for there to be additional charges for your services, but clear communication is key. You should make sure that all charges are made known upfront so there is no confusion or surprises.
Avoiding These Invoice Mistakes Will Help Your Business Run Smoothly
While some of these invoice mistakes might only seem like minor slip-ups, they can actually lead to much larger problems. Having an invoicing system that is watertight will mean that your business is more successful and your clients are more pleased.
Anything you send anything to your client, you want them to see a professional, on-the-ball brand that they’re happy to do business with. When you aren’t attentive to your invoice process, there’s a high likelihood you’ll make one of these mistakes.
Did you find this article about invoice mistakes helpful? If so, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more informative and useful content!