Invoicing software is a tool used by businesses for easy and efficient billing and invoice management. It deals mainly with the collection part of a financial transaction.
As an automated system, it offers several functionalities that help make the paying process simpler and more convenient for businesses and their customers. It is a central platform that can perform all invoicing-related tasks including but not limited to the generation, management, and sending of invoices. This does not only help ensure proper flow of cash, but it also helps streamline the accounting process
Electronic, digital, or online invoicing speed up finance-related transactions because it simplifies the process. Businesses no longer need to stay stuck with manual procedures, which does not only take up a lot of time but can also lead to billing errors and other such problems.
Although there are still a lot of businesses using the manual invoicing process, there is a steady increase in the number of companies transitioning to the electronic method. These organizations recognize the advantages of using the software, particularly in terms of time and expenses saved.
The traditional invoicing process starts with the listing (typing) of the billable items followed by the printing of invoices. It is then placed inside an official-looking envelope before it is sent to the customer via snail mail. It takes a lot of time, especially since there is a possibility of the invoice getting lost or misplaced in the post office. So the customer will receive the invoice late and the payment, therefore, will also be late.
This process also involves some spending. From the paper to the printer, to the envelope and the postage and mailing fees, the expenses can pile up. Using invoicing software, on the other hand, does not require businesses to go through a lengthy process while also spending more than the budget. There’s no need to pay for printing and stamps; everything is entered into the system and the invoice gets sent to the customer in a matter of minutes, with just a few clicks.
For others, the most important aspects of invoicing software are its features and functionalities. The main functions of the system for finance-related tasks and businesses fall mostly under the accounts payable sector of accounting.
Invoicing software allows businesses to get hold of all the information needed to create an invoice. The usual details include the customer’s name, the list and quantity of items, the total amount, sales tax details, and discounts (if there are any). In the manual process, the invoice form is already printed so it cannot be personalized or customized.
Using the electronic invoicing system means starting from scratch, so users can choose which information to include in the invoice. It will then be easy to add to the company’s logo and contact info. It is even possible to indicate the client’s name while creating the invoice so there won’t be any need to write it down later on.
Also, users do not have to keep creating invoices. One can choose to use a template and then simply fill in the required information in the fields provided.
For repeat customers, a general invoice can be created for each and then all the billing information is entered only when the invoice is about to be sent.
As soon as the invoice is sent, customers can immediately get a copy of it via an online portal.
Free invoicing software Stripe offers highly customizable invoices that allow businesses to personalize templates according to their preferences and in ways that complement their brand.
With the electronic invoicing system, customers will no longer have to wait for the mail or go somewhere to retrieve the invoice. Also, they won’t need to go to the bank to pay. They only need to access a customers’ online portal and they can do everything from there—receive the invoice and then send their payment.
Most invoicing software solutions even allow customers to pay in whatever their currency is. The system works with a number of currencies. Also, it is possible to send invoices and payments to foreign language-speaking customers because the system supports multiple languages.
Another feature businesses should be happy about is the software’s integration with some online payment systems like PayPal. Aside from online payments, there are also those like Wave that provide options for bank and credit card payments.
Tracking and monitoring financial movement is easier and more efficient because free invoicing software solutions automatically create reports. Square Invoices, for instance, has a real-time tracking feature that allows businesses to generate reports.
These reports contain essential information regarding invoices and payments, including details about late-paying customers, how many unpaid invoices there are, as well as the number of customers who pay early or on time.
Data received from these reports help businesses better understand not only how they should facilitate their transactions but also their customers’ payment attitudes. They can then make informed decisions regarding billing and invoicing when the need arises.
For businesses that are already well-established and for large enterprises, the paid version of invoicing software is almost always the number one choice. For small and medium businesses and startups, the situation is a bit different and they prefer to go for free invoicing software.
This will not be a problem though as there is a lot of free invoicing software that comes with a full list of features and functions. Online systems like Stripe, Square Invoices, and Wave offer more than just the basic functionalities needed for efficient invoicing.
So, whatever benefits big companies enjoy when using paid invoicing software, the smaller businesses also enjoy them even if the one they are implementing is a free system. These SMEs and startups may even be a step above the bigger businesses as they do not have to worry about where to find the money for the software fee. All they have to think about is how soon they can download or get the software so they can start creating invoices.
An example of a major benefit offered by both paid and free invoicing software is the streamlining of the tedious billing and payment process. Instead of spending a lot of time manually completing the invoice, finance personnel can simply use the software to create the invoice. All that needs to be done is fill in the missing information and the form can then be sent to the customers’ online portal.
No long procedure and complicated requirements are needed so the time spent for completing the task is shorter. The work done is also more efficient. As such, the process is faster—customers get their invoices on time and they send their payment on time as well. It is a good way of improving customer service and relations.
For businesses, this also means no more need to worry about late and missed payments.
Since the process is simplified, the same thing can be done to expenses. Businesses will no longer need to hire additional staff for the invoicing tasks, so costs are significantly lessened while cash flow increases.
Free invoicing software gives businesses the freedom to customize or personalize their invoices. So creating a professional-looking invoice and accounting document is easier. This allows companies to follow through with their branding objectives. Free online invoicing Stripe offers users several options for customizing invoices, including color selection, logo incorporation, and the addition of a personal message of thanks.
Businesses that go electronic or online will enjoy the shift to the “almost paperless” process. All the storing, sorting, and filing can be done online so finance personnel won’t have to deal with tons of paperwork—and waste a lot of time. There will then be more time to focus on other important financial issues.
Finally, free invoicing software provides stricter security features to businesses and to customers as well. The system comes with reliable protection against online pirates, hackers, and scams. Invoices that are sent via email (as attachments) or through snail mail are more susceptible to security breaches and hacks.
Free invoicing software is an ideal platform for simplifying billing and invoice management. This invoice system removes the barriers to an efficient payment process. The long, complicated tasks and procedures will be replaced with an automated process that does not eat up a lot of time, which is often the cause of delayed or missed payments.
With improved cash flow, businesses become more efficient and productive thus improving performance and increasing profit.