In the past few months I have shared some ideas about reducing your bookkeeping costs. For the most part, we have discussed how to just about eliminate your expenses related to paying your bills and reconciling your bank accounts. This month we are going to turn the tables and show you how to reduce the time it takes to send out your invoices and get paid faster!
The most significant thing we did several years ago was to stop sending invoices by mail and to send them by email. This increased our cash flow by days because the invoices were received by our customers sooner and all but eliminated the excuse that they never received the invoice – all we had to do was resend the email and wait to confirm they received it.
More recently we eliminated several steps in the process. We relied a lot on Docusign to obtain electronic signatures from our customers and to send regular reminders that their invoice was not paid. We were able to free up time for our staff to do more productive things and in many cases get paid right away!
Here’s how we did it.
Until the past 30 days, this used to be our procedure:
- Prepare the invoice
- Print the invoice to a pdf file
- Save the pdf file to a folder on Dropbox
- Go to the Docusign website and sign in
- Upload the invoice and credit card processing form
- Apply a template
- Check the wording on the Docusign email
- Verify that the template and both the invoice and payment form matched where signatures were needed
- Send the Docusign email
- Wait for the invoice to be signed and retuned with the approved credit card form
- Login to our credit card processor
- Enter the credit card information including name an address of the customer
- Submit the payment and receive confirmation it was paid
- Print the confirmation to a pdf file that included all other transactions for the day
- Reconcile the transaction report to invoices created in our accounting program. This often had to be done more than once because American Express processes on a different time schedule than VISA
Wow – we considered that automated!
Here are our new procedures:
- Prepare the invoice
- Send the invoice by email from within the accounting program – the customer receives a link to pay the invoice immediately and when they do, we receive an email notification that it is paid
- The payment is automatically downloaded and matched to the invoice in our accounting program
Want to know more about how we did it and how this can save you thousands of dollars each year? Contact us – we would be happy to help you