2 min read
If you provide professional services, keeping track of invoices and payments can sometimes be an afterthought. However, they’re an essential part of maintaining a steady cash flow for businesses of any size. If you find keeping on top of all the paperwork a daunting task, here’s the good news: today’s technology can help. Here’s how to make tracking invoices and payments easier.
Why is tracking invoices and payments important?
In an ideal world, you would send an invoice to your client and get paid on time, every time. Realistically, things go wrong during the billing cycle. You might forget to send an invoice or submit one with incorrect information that needs correcting. Your customer might misplace their invoice or forget about the payment due date. For all these reasons, it’s important to set up an organized system for tracking invoices and payments.
Learn how to track invoices and payments with software programs, and you’ll keep all documents safely in a single platform. You and your team will be able to access files from the cloud, with a central dashboard showing paid invoices, outstanding invoices, profit, and expenses. Prevent receipts from going missing, avoid manual errors, and reduce costly delays in payment with resulting cash flow issues.
How to keep track of invoices and payments: the basics
Whether you opt to use software or a manual system, invoice tracking begins with accurate invoice creation. Before sending invoices to customers, you should be sure that all descriptions and details are correct. Double-check your dates, payment methods, and bank account numbers. Due dates are particularly important. If these are incorrect, it could lead to late payments.
Accounting software makes this easy with pre-built templates and stored customer databases. They automatically generate new invoice numbers each time and send payment reminders to both you and your customer.
Part of invoice tracking involves flagging late invoices as soon as they become overdue. With this information you can send a courtesy phone call or email to the client asking for payment and marking results in the system.
Apart from tracking invoices and payments, software also generates profit and loss reports as well as other financial statements. Take note of patterns over time, adjusting your sales and invoicing strategy as needed.
How to choose the best invoice payment tracker
Invoicing software comes in many different formats, but most will share some of the same key features to look for. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the best invoice payment tracker for your business:
Is it cloud-based? Ideally, you will be able to access your files on the go, including from mobile devices.
Is it accessible by multiple parties? If you have a separate accounts receivable department, you’ll need software that supports more than one user.
Does it integrate with third parties? The best software is customizable, working together with payment processors and apps to track payment coming in from multiple sources.
Does it offer the latest security features? Good invoice trackers will keep payment details safe from cybercriminals. This should include anti-malware protections and multi-factor authentication.
Does it fit your budget? The cost of invoice and payment trackers can vary widely. Many have tiered pricing systems that can scale up with more invoices and users as your business grows.
GoCardless integrates with a wide range of invoicing software that ticks all the boxes mentioned above. We partner with Xero,Salesforce,Zuora, and more, so that you can manage invoices and payments all from a central dashboard. Send professional invoices and accept payment directly from customer bank accounts using ACH direct debit and Instant Bank Pay features. Payments are collected automatically on the day they’re due. By automating your invoicing and payments system, you’ll have more time on your hands to focus on growing your business.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.