So much time and energy are exhausted making your business venture more efficient in every way. After all, time is money, so your efforts here are warranted. Automation makes everything run faster, with transactions happening, all around the world every second of every day. With such an emphasis placed on speeding up every process to serve our need for instant gratification, it’s no wonder that we must become more efficient with accounts receivable to survive in today’s competitive business environment.
Inefficiency in Accounts Receivable contributes to a large amount of income loss in any business. At its core, inefficiency is caused by having unclear credit terms with your clients. By implementing inconsistent collection policies and procedures with them, you set yourself up for failure from the beginning. A lack of understanding of your clients is likely at the root of the problem. Or it could be that you have suffered from a lack of clear, consistent communication with them.
In our automated world where everyone is a number, it is hard to remember the fundamental rules about extending credit to those you do business with by providing goods and services and billing out the cost over a net 15/30/45/60/90-day payment plan. You have to evaluate your clients based on the 4 C’s of granting credit: character, capacity, capital, and conditions mean that your client possesses the willingness, ability, resources, and status to pay.
Consistent Client Communication is Key
Surprisingly, Accounts Receivable is less about paperwork and more about relationships. Clear, consistent client communication is necessary to ensure your income stream continues uninterrupted and with good flow. A good relationship starts with simply knowing your customer. Other ways include processes for improving cash flow by reducing negative float or the amount of time during which payments received remain uncollected due to processing time either on your end or with the financial institutions involved.
Regardless, your goal is to speed up the time it takes to process invoices. There are ways to do this, like shortening credit terms. You can invoice more promptly. You can also offer discounts for early payments. You can also improve efficiency in the time between your customer’s payment and your collection by improving direct payment links with electronic payment methods.
Automating plays a significant role in making all of your efficient dreams come true. Using online systems, connecting to the ”Cloud”, using computer tracking systems will create the framework for faster invoicing. There is just no reason not to use the best kinds of software that are user-friendly and inexpensive to buy and upgrade. If you are still using paper invoices in triplicate, you are wasting a lot of valuable time that you could be using to enhance your relationships, grow your business, and expand your community impact. No matter how you choose to strive for efficiency in your invoice processing, you can always keep some of these tips in mind.
Encourage a Good Relationship
It is a quantifiable fact that having a good relationship with your client encourages faster and more reliable payments from them. Therefore, it is vital to your success to work for transparent, healthy, communicative relationships with your clients. Make sure to communicate your needs for payment upfront. You can’t blame a customer for neglecting you if you failed to mention your expectations ahead of time.
Set Payment Terms and Agreement
Make sure to have a payment policy in place, known to everyone you do business with. The policy should be posted on your website, on your invoices, and even on signs in your retail shop. You have seen the fine print on your sales quotes: payment due upon delivery or in 30 days. Set up the policy and enforce it with reminders and late fees.
Use a Clear, Consistent, Detailed, Regular Billing and Tracking System
Everything from how you handle your accounting to what the invoices look like should be evaluated for how well they communicate with your client. A consistent numbering system and the ability to track invoices are essential. Every invoice should be sent promptly and regularly. Follow-up reminders should be friendly and polite. Keep things simple, classy, and concise. Again, clear communication wins the day on this.
Automate Your Processes with A Focus On Security
Whether you use QuickBooks or a data software right from the computers in your office or you hire out everything from accounting to human resources, using the latest and greatest technology to handle your accounts receivable will only benefit your business. Progress means staying on top of the newest storage, transfer, and security protocols to keep things safe and easy to locate. Lost or compromised client data results in a loss of trust and, ultimately in a loss of clients.
Consider Alternative Payment Collection Terms
There are so many ways to ensure better cash flow in your business by considering incentives to encourage on-time payment. Asking for payment up-front is one way to eliminate delayed receipt. You can also request to collect upon delivery. Another way to have guaranteed income is to have clients make regular monthly auto payments. You can offer special payment plans and offer incentives for early payment as well. Make it easy to make payments, be it online payments, pay-by-phone, or auto-debits.
One of the most effective ways to process invoices faster is to hire out the printing & mailing of them to a third-party printing and mailing specialist such as Towne Mailer. Getting all that print gear out of your office space will free up literal square footage while handing over your invoice printing and mailing to a dedicated expert will free up your mental and creative business space so that you can get back to doing what you love the most, instead of folding and stamping your life away.
The print quality will be much better than what you can achieve in-house, the timeliness of the mailing is faster than what you can do with your staff. Outsourcing also saves you money, so your print and mailing costs will likely go down. Between the equipment you no longer have to purchase and maintain and the high inventory of paper goods and ink you have to store, outsourcing your printing and mailing can save you a bundle. Once you choose to begin outsourcing this important aspect of your business, we assure you that you will never want to go back to doing it yourself.
How Can We Help
Located in Missoula, MT, we have over two decades of experience helping our customers get paid faster by getting invoices out at a record pace. With a team of 20 printing and mailing specialists pumping out documents every day, we have a seasoned workflow that can’t be beaten. Our capacity is only outshined by our commitment to the finest service in the industry. We do what we do best and that is all we do. Our mission is to relieve you of the burden of handling your printing and mailing so that you can focus on what it is that you do best. For us, that is what we call a win-win.
Reach out to us to handle all your printing and mailing with expert precision. Guaranteed to be mailed within 24 after approval, we are the number one way you can speed up the time spent on processing and mailing your invoices. When you team up with one of the best printing and mailing specialists in the country, you increase your chances of success in every way. We are more than just your local printer. We are your printing and mailing business partner. Contact Towne Mailer today for your free, no-obligation quote on your next project.