Gone are the days of long, tedious invoicing, with data entered in spreadsheets by hand leading to invoices with errors. Today's accounting and invoicing software makes life easier for businesses, providing innovative features that make end-to-end management of the invoicing process possible. With these tools, you can save time and money and, above all, have peace of mind.
How to choose invoicing software
What elements should you take into account to get the most out of this tool? Let's take a look at the essential features that will make your accounting workflow smoother and your cash flow more secure.
1. Quote creation
A quotation is often the starting point of a business relationship. Your invoicing software must therefore create accurate, useful estimates in a few clicks, then allow you to send them directly via the platform without opening another program (such as email).
Each estimate must include information about you and your company (name, address, VAT or business code, etc.) as well as information about your prospect or customer. It must also describe the service in detail, with the proposed price, VAT, and general terms and conditions. As you can imagine, with a powerful, effective data automation system, your quotes will be created and completed in seconds!
2. Quick and easy invoicing
Just like quickly-created estimates, your invoicing software is there to save you precious time by easily issuing invoices. A truly effective invoicing tool will let you convert your quotes into invoices, or simply create a new invoice from scratch. The important thing is that the invoice number is correctly incremented, and that all the important information and other mandatory data appear. Then you can send your invoice directly to the customer from your software.
Make sure that your software complies with your country’s laws for the creation of this type of document. Also, don't forget to include the payment terms on your invoice.
3. Managing VAT
Thanks to the ingenuity of invoicing software, VAT can be calculated and generated automatically. This means that you will know exactly what you have to pay to the government.
To do so, simply enter your VAT information when creating your user account and enter the applicable rate according to the services or products sold.
4. Follow-up system
If a prospect hasn’t yet responded to a quote, or if a payment is late, one important functionality is key: contact follow-up. Any effective invoicing system must therefore clearly highlight late payments so that you can send a personalised reminder in the blink of an eye and close unpaid invoices as quickly as possible. Some programs are capable of detecting unpaid invoices automatically, and can therefore send reminders without your intervention.
5. Monitoring operations and the chart of accounts
Closely connected to the previous point, your invoicing software is a valued ally for monitoring your business and keeping an eye on customer payments. With the help of this virtual partner, you can see the amount that has been invoiced and collected, or average payment times via a clear and intuitive dashboard. With advanced features, you can also calculate profit margins
In addition, some hybrid software packages offer the option to transform their invoicing software operations into accounting entries and create and export accounting journals. And if your invoicing software has accounting features, you can also enter purchases and expenses, and link your software to your bank account. The idea is not to replace your in-house accountant or chartered accountant, but to give him or her simple, centralised access to data and receipts while minimising errors.
6. Electronic signatures
Do you have quotes or order forms to sign, or to have signed? Improve your productivity with an electronic signature function integrated into your software. Legal and binding, electronic signatures avoid the time-consuming back-and-forth exchange of physical documents between you and a customer. Clearly, an integrated electronic signature option significantly shortens the sales process!
7. Online payments
There is no need to go through intermediaries to pay your invoices if you opt for software that offers an online payment option. Go for centralisation! In general, payment times via an invoicing software are considerably reduced.
8. Customer support that is easy to reach
We obviously want your experience with invoicing software to be as smooth and pleasant as possible. However, at the beginning or even further down the road, it’s natural to have questions about its use.
To quickly get answers, your tool should make it easy to contact the company's customer support (or after-sales service) via a chat feature integrated directly into the software or another type of intuitive messaging system. This will ensure you get an ultra-fast response, obtain valuable advice, and make the most of your software in the future.
9. Fool proof security
Invoicing software must comply with strict technological security standards to avoid errors and the possibility of fraud. So, before you choose the tool that will be your invoicing ally, you should make sure that it is certified and complies with applicable anti-fraud laws. This way, you will be sure to have documents that comply with current legislation, for total peace of mind!
10. Bonus: cloud-based invoicing software
Are you looking for software that doesn't require installation and can be accessed from any device, anywhere? You’ll love the cloud-based convenience of SaaS (software as a service) invoicing platforms. With a SaaS option, you can get unlimited access to your accounting database from any type of device, anywhere in the world, with improved security for your data, and a high-performance backup system that bypasses the technical issues of an application on your hard drive.
Now you know which features to look for when choosing invoicing software—the kind that will undoubtedly improve productivity and organisation. There are also other tools that can make invoicing even easier! Want to learn more? Contact us to make an appointment with one of our experts and discover the full potential of Sellsy invoicing software.