At the end of each job, it’s usually just one single, thin piece of paper that stands between the completion of a job and you getting paid — the invoice.
Other than a job well done, one of the most important parts of your customer process is the invoice. It can make the difference between servicing a customer once and servicing them multiple times. It can also minimize disagreements with the customer and get you paid faster.
Invoices are often both a touchy subject and dreaded task for plumbing business owners and their technicians. We’d be shocked if you didn’t have a handful of negative experiences where arguments started up over final charges or times where the invoice had errors and it had to be re-created. In both scenarios, there’s a sour taste in your mouth and time is wasted.
But what if your plumbing invoices weren’t thin pieces of paper but professional, electronic PDFs that clearly communicated the list of charges the customer is accountable for and could be sent directly to their email?
It’s a game changer for plumbing businesses that want to grow.
Professional, electronic plumbing invoices will:
- Cause less stress
- Minimize disagreements/problems with customers over payment
- Get you paid faster
- Encourage repeat customers
- Reflect your good business practices
- Reduce wasted time
- Improve your record keeping
Most often, certain business decisions or changes have pros and cons, but the decision to upgrade your invoice process holds only benefits for your plumbing business.
It’s possible you’ve got a good invoice system in place, but are you including everything you need to to completely set yourself apart from your competitors?
What Should a Plumbing Invoice Include?
Your invoice for each job should include the how, what, when, where, and whom. In other words, everything the customer needs to know to confidently and easily pay you.
Here are all the components for a professional invoice:
- Header and Logo — This is less for informational purposes and more for increasing the professionalism of your document.
- Payment Methods — What payment methods are available to the customer? Do you accept only cash? Do your technicians have a credit card processor? Is there a payment plan?
- Itemized Details — This is how you minimize issues by being clear about what you’re charging for: Which parts needed to be purchased? What was fixed? How long were technicians on-site?
- Total Amount Due — With the itemized items lined up, what is the total amount the customer owes you?
- Past Balance — Is there money the customer still owes you from a previous job?
- Due Date — When is the balance due?
- Contact Information — How can the customer contact you if they have questions?
- Billing Terms — Do you charge late fees? What’s your process for a declined card?
- Signature Line — By having the customer sign upon receival of the invoice, you can have proper documentation that they saw the invoice and are agreeing to what it states.
- Work Photos — It’s always a safe business practice to include before and after photos of the job and work completed.
Each of these components of a plumber invoice adds up towards the goal of delivering your customers clear, professional invoices that help eliminate issues with getting paid.
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Why It’s Important to Invoice Every Job
Depending on the size of the job or your relationship with the customer, you may be inclined to not go through the hassle of drawing up an invoice.
“The job was small, it took less than 20 minutes.”
“I’ve serviced Bill for years, he always pays on time.”
“Susie is a longtime family friend, I trust her.”
While it’s great that you’ve had quick jobs and good-standing relationships with longtime customers, these are not good enough reasons to not create an invoice. There is no “good enough” reason to not create an invoice.
Here’s why it’s important for you to always generate an invoice for every service request:
- You get paid
- Accurate record keeping
- Tax purposes
- Legal protection
- Marketing with your branded invoice
The safest and smartest plumbing business strategy is to always create an invoice for every job. If not, you could quickly get into slippery waters later over something you could’ve easily bypassed.
Benefits of Electronic Plumbing Invoices
These are the reasons hundreds of plumbing businesses have switched to electronic invoices and never looked back:
Communicates Professionalism to the Customer
There’s nothing that showcases your business’s professionalism and reliability better than a perfect electronic invoice.
Easy to Keep Track Of
Papers go missing all the time, but you can’t lose or misplace something that’s saved online. Electronic invoices are incredibly easy to keep track of for future reference, record-keeping purposes, taxes, and even legal disputes.
Fewer Human Errors
Naturally, the use of technology in your invoice creation leads to fewer human errors. More importantly, you don’t seem “silly” in the customer’s eyes because you spelled the word “galvanized” wrong or didn’t add up the total correctly
That’s not all! For the full list of benefits, check out our blog: Why Electronic Invoices Are the Way to Go to Retain Service Customers
Why Handwritten Invoices Are Holding You Back
There are two huge drawbacks to creating hand-written invoices: human errors and wasted time.
If you and your field techs still use handwritten invoices, how long does it take to generate each invoice? Let’s say it’s 20 minutes and let’s say your field techs complete 20 jobs each week. That’s roughly six and a half hours each week collectively that your team could spend doing something else (more service calls, online marketing, door-to-door outreach, etc.).
On top of that, how many times have you drawn up an invoice and something changed or you realized that you made an error? That’s even more time you’ve wasted re-creating something you just did.
Plumbing businesses that still use handwritten invoices are losing time that their competitors are maximizing. While you’re painstakingly creating invoices, your competitors are getting more jobs, calling their previous customers to check in, and growing their bottom line. Be the competitor, instead of chasing after them.
Best Way to Generate Electronic Plumbing Invoices?
You might be at the point where you’re thinking, “This all sounds great, but how? I’m not looking for something that makes my job more complicated and I don’t have time to do research or build an electronic invoice myself.”
This is where invoice software comes in — to allow you to create electronic invoices quick, hassle-free, and on the spot.
FieldPulse Plumbing Invoice Software
FieldPulse plumbing invoice software makes it insanely easy to generate professional electronic invoices. You don’t have to know anything about design, you don’t have to build a template, you don’t have to read a bunch of instructions, you don’t even have to use Google Docs — all you need to do is download our app and select the invoice option.
It’s that simple.
Curious why you should go with FieldPulse invoicing software over other options? Here’s how this software make your life substantially easier:
- Create Invoices On-Site or Wherever You Are — Immediately create invoices whether you are on-site, at the office, at home, or in the car.
- Zero Repetitive Manual Entry — Save and store invoice line items of labor rates, costs of common supplies used, and charges for certain equipment installation. Then, easily insert them into your invoices with just three clicks: new line item, select, and enter.
- Adjust Prices and Descriptions on the Fly — You can make the update the moment you find out about the change.
- Ability to Limit Workers’ Access to Documents — You can have complete control over which members of your team can create and/or edit invoices
- Totals Are Automatically Calculated — Once you add all of your line items (materials, labor costs, etc.) to the invoice, the app will automatically add it up for you.
- Attach Photos, Files, and Contracts — You can effortlessly and electronically attach other necessary documents to the invoice.
- Fix Errors Quickly — Within seconds, you can fix any errors and re-generate the PDF to reflect the changes.
- Take Payments and Signatures via Phone/Email — You can fully complete the transaction electronically with no waiting or printing needed.
- Integrate With Xero/QuickBooks — Our software easily integrates with helpful applications to make your processes even easier.
- Email Customer PDF — Once you generate the electronic invoice, you can immediately convert it to a PDF and directly send it to their email.
Make the Quick Switch to FieldPulse Plumbing Invoice Software
Integrating FieldPulse invoice software into your daily business operations is extremely easy. It just takes an email address
Not only that, you get to take it for a free test run for 14 days!
Ready to go?