Last editedJul 20232 min read
Whether you’re starting a new business or thinking of expanding from a B2C to a B2B model, invoicing is an important part of getting paid. This is particularly important when collecting B2B international payments, which come with an additional set of considerations from currency exchange to taxation. In this guide, we’ll cover how to get started with business to business invoicing, both locally and across borders.
What is B2B invoicing?
Business to business invoicing, or B2B, involves the process of asking for payment when selling to another business. The supplier provides goods or services to the buyer, after which time the supplier issues an invoice requesting due payment. Because B2B business transactions often involve recurring wholesale deliveries, this process is usually automated with online invoicing.
Whether issuing an invoice manually or through B2B invoice software, the document must show basic information including:
The supplier and buyer contact details
Description of goods and services
Cost of goods and services
Full amount due
Payment methods and due date
Why should you use B2B e-invoicing?
Creating and issuing each invoice by hand might work for small businesses or freelancers. Yet as your business grows, it makes much more sense to automate the process. The term e-invoicing describes the process of sending these invoices electronically to request payment.
There are clear benefits to B2B e-invoicing:
1. Faster payment collection
Send invoices automatically as soon as goods are delivered. Use B2B invoice templates to generate an accurate invoice in seconds, then send it to your trading partners with a single click. This speeds up the payment collection process for improved cash flow.
2. Improved workflows
Cut down on the time your team spends manually processing B2B invoices. This frees up hours in the day to spend on product development, marketing, and other activities to generate new growth. The best B2B invoicing software integrates easily with your existing platforms to streamline and optimize workflows.
3. Reduced payment failure
B2B e-invoicing increases successful settlements with secure payment methods. Many platforms include customer portals where they can log in to choose their preferred method to settle the bill – cutting down on the amount of time spent chasing up late or missing payments. Options like GoCardless even let you pull funds directly from the customer’s bank account on the day it’s due, taking all guesswork out of the equation. And with the Success+ automatic retries tool, you can reduce payment failure and involuntary churn.
Special considerations when invoicing for B2B international payments
Online invoicing is the way to go for most B2B transactions – but what about when they take place across borders? Cross-border payments come with their own set of irregularities and challenges to consider.
With a domestic B2B invoice, you can offer a wide selection of payment methods. Yet some, like direct debit payments, involve extra hurdles when dealing with banking systems in more than one country. Look for invoicing solutions like GoCardless that collect international payments using the local bank debit option in multiple countries to cut the red tape and cost. Currency conversion and international banking fees can also be an issue to consider, particularly when you’re dealing with high-value wholesale transactions. Look carefully at all costs before signing up for an invoicing service.
In terms of B2B invoicing challenges, currency rate fluctuations might mean that your remittance and payment don’t match exactly. Fortunately, good international accounting software can take care of these discrepancies to reconcile accounts.
When creating your invoice, make sure you’re adhering to all country-specific requirements. Some countries use a specific format, while others require e-invoicing for all B2B transactions. Double-check any documentation for taxes and verify compliance with all international consumer protection laws.
The best B2B invoicing software will automate this process for you, adjusting invoice templates according to regional regulations. You can then integrate with a partner payment gateway to make sure that invoicing and payment collection go hand in hand.
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.