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How to Keep Track of Customer Payments

Keeping track of customer payments is a lot more complicated than it might seem on the surface. In theory, it should be easy enough to match every incoming payment with a customer and an invoice reference. However, when you’re dealing with hundreds upon hundreds of invoices, errors can easily be made. This is without mentioning the sheer amount of time and the number of staff required to stay on top of such a flood of invoices.

So, how to keep track of customer payments in an easy and efficient way? Fortunately, there are plenty of resources, including apps and various types of software designed for doing exactly this.

In this post, we’ll take you through how to track customer payments using different resources.

How to track customer payments: why is it so hard?

If you’re still using paper, keeping track of customer payments is likely to be a complicated business.

It requires that you send physical copies of invoices in the mail, wait for them to be received by the customers, who then double-check the invoice for accuracy and send it back to you by mail.

All this can take weeks, if not months. Plus, if the customer fails to note the invoice reference on their check, then somebody in accounting will need to waste time chasing up missing information in order to match the payment to invoice.

All in all, this is a very outdated, messy method of tracking customer payments.

However, even if you operate electronically, if you’re not using any software to make the process streamlined, then things can still get complex.

For example, if you receive a payment via bank transfer, it can take time and effort to match that payment to the relevant customer and invoice.

Moreover, the above scenarios only refer to the receiving of payments. By mail or email, it’s difficult to keep track of pending payments, or late payments. There’s also no way of knowing whether or not an invoice has even been seen by a customer. It can be a time-wasting process of deduction trying to find these things out. However, if all this information was in one place and automated, an immense amount of time and energy could be saved.

Initial steps

The first step to facilitating better tracking of customer payments is to move everything onto an online space. Compared to paper invoices and payments, working on an online space only allows for greater transparency and uses far less physical resources.

The second key step is to find a cloud-based Accounts Receivables (AR), app or software which has essential features for simplifying the AR process. In doing this, you will create an easily accessible and navigable archive of incomes and payments. You can also make communication with your customers regarding invoices a lot more straightforward.

How to keep track of customer payments app

There are certain apps available which can help making tracking customer payments a lot easier. Client Payment Tracker is an example of one such app which permits you to manage sessions, attendance and client invoices. It also creates monthly reports.

Customer payment tracker for Excel

If you’re making the decision to ditch paper invoices, then you might be wondering if there is a customer payment tracker on Excel. Fortunately, there is an invoice tracker template available on Microsoft Excel.

In using this, you can keep track of your AR, payment dates, customers, outstanding amounts and more.

Software to keep track of customer payments

As well as apps and Excel templates, there is also a lot of software to keep track of customer payments.

Top rated examples of such software include Scoro which allows you to set up automatic payments and generally fine tune your entire invoicing process. There’s also QuickBooks which helps to manage your finances in one place, and FreshBooks, which has resources for invoicing, time tracking, and expense-tracking software.

We can help

GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 70,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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