As a small business owner, invoicing is an essential part of your day-to-day operations. Issuing invoices to clients for work you've done ensures that you get paid. While invoicing is clearly critical to ensuring a steady income for your company, it can be a tedious and time-consuming task.
After a day of overseeing operations, the last thing you may feel like dealing with is paperwork. As a result, you may push off invoicing. However, this delays when you'll get paid and can create cash flow problems for your company. Delaying invoicing simply isn't the solution.
An invoice app can help. These innovative technological tools help small business owners streamline the payment process, alleviating administrative burden and enhancing efficiency. Some invoicing solutions can also be integrated with other tasks and functionalities, from expense tracking to automated time tracking. Read on for a quick introduction to invoicing tools.
How Do Invoice Apps Work?
Invoicing software allows you to create personalized invoices and send them directly to your customers or clients via the software platform. This technology eliminates the need for extra emails and attachments, saving business owners time and effort. Some invoice apps also allow you to track when invoices have been sent, received, or paid, allowing for easy financial oversight.
Most software further provides templates that you can customize according to your business, customer or client, and job. This further saves time and frustration. There's no need for you to stress about formatting a neat and professional invoice using other tools.
Further, some invoice apps can be integrated with more comprehensive payment processing systems and accounting software. This kind of billing software can simplify receiving and tracking everything from credit card payments to ACH payments to your bank account. More advanced systems also offer automation features, like aligning billable hours with payroll.
Why Use an Invoice App?
If you already have a do-it-yourself invoicing system in place, you might think that transitioning to an invoice app isn't worth the effort. However, invoice software offers some unique benefits. The right app can:
- Save time by eliminating the hassle of creating and formatting professional invoices
- Simplify money management by providing oversight of all invoices in a central hub
- Streamline business workflow by ensuring invoices don't fall through the cracks
Finally, some invoice solutions offer mobile apps and can be accessed via your Android or iOS mobile device. This gives you the ability to manage your business finances wherever and whenever, maximizing ease of use.
How to Choose the Best Invoicing App for Your Small Business
There are many types of invoice apps available to suit various needs. So, which one is best? The honest answer is that there is no one best invoicing software on the market. The right choice will depend on your unique needs as a business owner or freelancer.
From free invoicing tools to paid plans, you're sure to find a technology that fits your purpose (and your pricing needs). That said, there are a few key characteristics that you want to look out for as you shop around for accounting apps for invoicing. Here are some of the more useful invoicing features worth looking for.
Adequate Customization Options
Being able to customize templates allows for more detailed invoices. At the least, you want to be able to add your personal business details (name and address), customer name and address, and an itemized list of what products or services you're invoicing for and how much they cost. Ideally, you will be able to add a description of what each item is, in addition to the quantity and unit price.
You should also be able to input a distinct identification number for every invoice you create. This will simplify bookkeeping and tax filing, making it easier to find invoices when you have to wrap up your books. It also helps if you can input customized sales tax. Finally, it's great if you can align your invoice with the relevant purchase order number.
Possibility to Incorporate a Logo
Your business logo is a unique identifier. It reflects your brand and makes it easy for customers and clients to recognize your business. A strong logo can immediately remind your customers or clients of your company and what it represents. Think of a visual like the McDonald's logo, for example: People can immediately recognize the brand based on those golden arches.
You should have a professional-looking logo for your business and ensure that you include it on all business documentation — including your invoices. Some free invoice templates will allow you to simply upload a PNG or JPEG file of your logo by dragging and dropping it into the template. This added visual touch makes your invoices look more professional.
Ability to Auto-Calculate Prices and Balances
Some software templates will take care of basic math for you, auto-calculating prices and balances based on designated fields. For example, let's say you have an itemized list of goods or services on your invoice. You might input the line item along with a unit price and quantity. The total amount would then require multiplying the unit price by the quantity.
Some software systems will take care of this quick math for you. They can further tally up your itemized lines, giving you a grand total for your invoice — no calculator required on your part. This is yet another example of how invoicing software can save you time and effort.
A Notes Section
Even with detailed customization options, an invoice template may not be able to include all of the details relevant to the invoice. Having a distinct section to add notes can be useful. For example, let's say the invoice is part of a longer-term project that will require multiple invoices. You might include a project progress report in the notes section.
Construction work is a great example. If you're doing a building project, it can take months to complete. You might invoice the client in stages (e.g., after the flooring or roofing is complete). Alerting the customer via the notes section that they can anticipate additional invoices for future work to be completed allows them to prepare financially.
Direct Sending and Tracking Capability
An invoice template is useful and time-saving. While templates are handy, they still require you to rely on email (or, worse, snail mail) to share with customers or clients. Modern invoicing systems take this into account and allow you to transmit invoices via the invoicing platform directly. This spares you the trouble of having to print or download a PDF to then send over to the customer.
Look for online portals that allow you to send your invoices and track them. Some platforms also allow you to see if the intended recipient has opened the invoice or not. This makes it easier to know when and how to send reminders regarding unpaid invoices. For example, if the invoice remains unopened, a follow-up phone call might be the best route.
Create Effective Invoices in Seconds With Skynova
Skynova's invoice template can take the stress out of invoicing, providing you with customizable documents you can send directly to customers and clients via the Skynova system. You can then easily track which invoices have been sent and paid, allowing you to quickly identify when it's time to send payment reminders for unpaid bills. Past-due accounts receivable shouldn't be ignored.
This template is user-friendly and easily tailored to your needs. You can incorporate your own logo, provide project-specific details in the notes section, and update essential details like the P.O. number and sales tax. The invoice generator also automates calculations of totals based on your input of details like item number, unit price, and quantity.
You can even find industry-tailored templates for specific fields like plumbing, HVAC, auto repair, landscaping, and more. Simply select the template that fits your needs, customize it as required, and send it directly to your customer or client via the Skynova platform. With these kinds of user-friendly measures, Skynova helps small business owners find greater success.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as a general guideline and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant before implementing any new accounting tools to ensure you're maintaining best practice accounting standards.