Your Customers Want Electronic Invoices
You’ve been handwriting estimates and invoices for years; it’s been getting the job done well before the prevalence of smartphones. But simply getting the job done is not enough anymore. Are you wasting precious time, making mistakes, and disappointing customers? Learn why handwritten invoices simply don’t cut it in today’s digital world. All-in-one business management software with electronic invoices for mobile phones and computers can alleviate many of these issues you face on a daily basis.
Handwriting invoices simply takes a lot more time than creating electronic invoices. Between manually writing basic customer information such as their name, phone number, and address, and manually calculating tax on a per-item basis, handwritten invoices require you to rewrite a lot of information that can be done automatically with an integrated management system. When creating an invoice using an invoicing application that’s integrated with a customer relationship management system, the customer’s basic information is automatically inserted into the invoice so there’s no need to rewrite it. Also, your company’s basic information and any terms and conditions you set can be automatically filled into the invoice as well. Once you start adding invoice line items, simply mark which items need tax applied to them and all of the math is done automatically. Do you have commonly used invoice items with a set price? All of your invoice items can be stored in an invoice item list for quick insertion into the invoice. No need to remember all of the details of your items and services, and no need write them out. With a few taps, you can easily insert the pre-defined items into your invoice. When it’s ready to go, you can accept signature if necessary and then send a PDF of the invoice to the customer’s email address or phone with the information already filled into their customer profile. It’s that easy and it’s that fast.
Whenever there are multiple items, complicated tax applications, and discounts, manual calculations become tedious and prone to error. Not only do you run the risk of undercharging for your services or overcharging your customers (which they will not be happy about), incorrect calculations can cause errors with your accounting as well. Electronic invoicing applications do the heavy lifting for you. Simply enter the line items and select which to apply tax to and all of the math is automatically calculated and broken down for you. No need to check your work or fear that there’s a mistake.
What happens when you do catch a mistake or there’s a change in the service provided, prompting a change in the invoice? Do you try to erase or scratch out your mistake and modify the existing paper invoice or do you start over creating a new invoice from scratch? While you’re typically left with either a messy paper invoice or wasting time recreating the paper invoice, modifying an existing electronic invoice is easy since calculations are automatically updated and new PDFs can be generated with the push of a button.
While handwritten invoices can get the job done, they’re not how your customers want to be presented an invoice. Not only are they are often disorganized and hard to read, but they also consume the customer’s time waiting for you to draft the invoice and they lack traceability for the customer. Unless you’re a calligrapher, handwritten invoices are messy and unprofessional. Sending the customer a digital estimate or invoice to their email address or phone allows them to easily search and locate the invoice whenever needed. And as described in another article about proper documentation, having digital traces of your signed estimates or invoices can save you from disagreements as they can be easily referenced and confirmed in your email. Overall, digital invoices not only save you time and mistakes, but enhance your professional image to your customers.