With a variety of IT-based tools in the market, ranking and software vendor information platforms like CrowdReviews.com can help you choose the ones you truly need. Realizing full benefits from technology involves careful assessment of your needs in relation to the industry you are in, the direction you are heading and your immediate and long-term goals. Efficiency and productivity are the two main key benefits a business can get out of using IT-based tools. Your major business processes will surely benefit from it.
This article will discuss the impact of technology on the way businesses process transactions and secure payments from their customers. In today’s increasingly competitive market, leads are only considered customers at the time that the purchase is secured. The time within a customer’s journey to arriving at this is very critical, and a business must find ways on how to complete it through fast and efficient billing and invoice system.
How Inefficient Billing and Invoicing Impacts Businesses
Tracking your business’ financial activities is a crucial point in maintaining its capacity to operate efficiently and in line with its goals. The problem arises when the company is inefficient with its system of accounting, particularly billing and invoicing. Inefficient finance-related processes can cause a significant decrease in the overall profitability of the business.
On the contrary, though, Gartner Group is mentioning an “exponential effect” between operating cost and sales. It said that a 5 percent reduction in operating cost has almost the same impact as 30 percent increase in sales.
A number of issues arising from inefficient billing and invoicing are as follows:
- Profitability issues
There are a number of direct and indirect effects of inefficient billing and invoicing to businesses when it comes to profits. First, you deal with unproductivity. Errors in billing and invoicing may delay its processing and delivery, which puts you at risk of getting delayed payments from clients as well. You are also prone to inaccurate quotations since your system cannot display correct financial information.
- Cash flow issues
Continuous delays in billing and invoicing may introduce potentially harmful cash flow issues, which may affect your business operations all together. It may also introduce a collateral damage that affect your client trust. The value of your business is decreasing as this continues, damaging your image to the market. Prolonged inefficiencies may give birth to more as the cycle continues.
- Internal organization issues
As it produces a collateral effect, the consequences of the inefficiencies in business processes may lead to demoralization of your workforce. Your employees may get frustrated because of client feedbacks. Especially when working collaboratively, employees have no choice but to deal with the problem of the department as a team.
Another aspect to consider is the lack of process visibility. Without a systematic approach when it comes to financial processes, affected employees that don’t have direct associations to finance may not understand the technicalities of the situation, leading them to deal with the problem with their own perspective. Feeling helpless about the situation could add more to the frustrations.
- Integration issues
Integration is difficult in manual processes. Not only that it is tedious, it is also more prone to errors and data duplication. If only the project, accounting, billing and invoicing systems can work collaboratively by integrating with each other.
Benefits of Deploying Technologies in Billing and Invoice
Getting paid quickly is what a business wants, as it “seals the deal” in capturing the customer. But as the competition tightens and it is easier to shift to a competitor when met with delays and inefficiencies, technology- based solutions are what businesses resort into.
According to Billentis E-Invoice and E-Billing Market Overview for 2016, E-invoice is getting more popular in the North America, as its B2B volume experienced a 14 to 18 percent increase.
What is invoicing software in B2B transactions? Efficient billing and invoicing ensure that payments are made most of the time. This is beneficial for your cash flow so that you can continuously support your business operations. You can also have leverage among your competitors as your employees are motivated to do their work well because of the prevailing order and system within your organization.
Aside from those mentioned, here are more benefits of using electronic billing and invoice system:
- Simplifies data processing and reporting
Informed decisions give you a competitive advantage. It drives your business towards accelerated growth and development by serving clients in a way that satisfies them. Efficiency begets productivity, and with a robust billing and invoice software to use, you are sure that you always deliver client’s expectations and gain their trust in the process.
- System integration
Efficiency is also a by-product of a streamlined workflow management. For example, billing software with accounting is a powerful tool that helps both systems utilize the same data and maintain accuracy with the process. By integrating relevant systems within your organization, you can significantly reduce the time they devote to reconcile their data.
Business processes and systems like accounting software, ERP software, customer relationship management, billing and invoicing, and accounting are just some of the important integrations to take place within your organization.
- Minimize input errors and inaccuracies
Automation is also an important aspect of minimizing the inefficiencies of the billing and invoicing process. When software is used, it can be customized to deliver billings automatically based on the cycle indicated per customer. Quotations are also automatically generated based on data input, thus reducing the number of people doing manual versions. Having an automated system to process the invoicing process can reduce human-input errors.
- Improved visibility of processes
How does billing software work? An efficient billing and invoicing system automatically places you in a place of transparency; this allows you and the key people in the organization to understand the whole finance integration process that takes place in real time. You can easily view your KPIs using built-in dashboards so that you can act on opportunities and problems as they arise. It is also easier to follow the audit trail. Monitoring and tracking delinquent or delayed billings is also viable, enabling you to mitigate issues faster and implement solutions based on informed decisions.
- Improved process management
With the use of billing and invoice software, processes are more manageable, as the system can take care of the repetitive and tedious aspects, giving you time to focus on other more profitable areas of your business.
- Automated online billing
Why do you need to use billing software? Cloud-based billing and invoicing software solutions are capable of completing the tasks involved in the billing and invoice process. The software automates the invoice generation and can be configured to automatically be sent out to clients through email integration. You can also process value-added services like rewards, cash backs, discounts and other promotional. You can keep track of membership renewals and important due dates and inform your clients through their billing statements.
Why Should My Business Invoice and Bill Be Online?
Manual methods are now considered inefficient for the demands of this fast-paced world. Not only that it needs more time to accomplish, but it is also more prone to errors and data duplication. Now that the digital technology is here, you can take advantage of its fast computing capabilities and achieve improved efficiency with your processes.
Online invoicing not only makes the process execution faster and more efficient, but it also makes it easier to send invoices. You can also track your whole system’s activities and generate reports so you can make informed decisions.
Now that cloud-computing and internet technologies continue to penetrate the market and industries, we see how it brings advantages for businesses, especially in the aspects of efficiency and productivity. And these two can further be broken down into six advantages:
- Faster sending of invoices
You can either do this automatically or do direct invoicing to project-based clients. More advanced billing and invoicing software have mobile app integrations wherein you can also facilitate your invoices using your smartphone or tablet even while you are out of the office.
- Improved invoice tracking
It gives you more information during the time in between sending the invoice and waiting for the payment. You can view the status of your client payments and how the money is being sent to your cash flow system. You can also create automatic alerts and reminders for your clients prior to their due date. You can set it up in the way that it alerts clients of their delayed payments.
You can generate reports and view information in real time. You can also keep track of the transactions that transpired within a certain period and organize your audit trail. This can be valuable when issues arise or when you need to be subjected to compliance and regulation.
- Safe and faster pay-out
Efficient invoicing and billing ensures that you get paid faster because clients are reminded on-time. It can also support secured online payment services which your clients take advantage of.
- Efficient use of time and money
Automated solutions and accurate invoicing reduce your overhead and costs of mistakes to pile up. It also increases the time you can utilize for your other business priorities.
- Minimizes paperwork
You can integrate your billing and invoice software to your company’s centralized document management system and these can be archived and stored. Dealing with digital copies of your invoices and bills protects the integrity of your data.
More Tips for a More Successful Billing and Invoicing
Which invoice software is the best? While a good choice will lead you to a good investment, maximizing its benefits entails you to do some tweaks with how you manage your billing and invoice:
- Set up your system appropriately and make sure that client information within it is inaccurate and complete.
- Be consistent with sending billings on time.
- Send reminders and clear consequences to your clients about payments and delays.
- Take advantage of your software’s reporting features so you can remain on top of your company’s cash flow and finances.
Billing and invoicing software reviews from CrowdReviews.com will broaden your insight into the different benefits of using it as a business tool from a variety of vendors in the market.
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