Gone are the days when you had to hire accountants to manually handle your billing and invoicing. This is the era of computers and automation, and things have become pretty easy.
Today you can find a number of online software applications that can Automate Accounting processes – and more. But take note, not all of them can match up to your expectation or organization requirement. You need to take some time out to research the most appropriate one.
Choosing a billing and invoicing software for your business is as important as your business itself. If you are looking for tips to make the right choice, this article is for you.
1. Identify your needs
Ask yourself what exactly you want out of the billing software.
- Do you want a simple application to keep track of the payments or are you looking for a one-stop solution to all your billing, invoicing and tracking needs?
- How big is your business? Do you own a large organization or have a small startup? How many people will be handling the new software?
- Do you want to keep the application separate or integrate it with your other systems?
Choosing the software becomes easier once you determine your needs.
Every business comes with a unique set of challenges and needs, so does your business. When you are choosing a billing and invoicing software, make sure the application allows for creating customized templates and invoices. What’s the point in going digital when you cannot tailor it your business? The software should be flexible to include processes specific to your billing and invoicing.
3. Plan your Budget
You will need to come up with a budget for billing and invoicing software. An online/cloud-based software will need you to pay a monthly or yearly fee, with some providers even offering attractive discounts for payments made one-shot.
Software providers also offer different packages, with a certain set of features included in each. Compare the features of each of the packages, identify the appropriate one for your business and then go ahead with the purchase. While the standard or basic package is sufficient for a very small startup, most of you expanding your operations will need the premium packages. Never mind, as long as the investment helps you grow.
4. Should streamline financial processes
Decades back, billing and invoicing lacked organization, and processes went haywire, even with the best of finance personnel handling them. Buying an innovative and customizable billing application will enable you keep your entire financial procedures planned, organized and streamlined. What’s more, with fully functional online invoicing software, you can even cut down on the staff. This means, you can achieve efficiency with the least personnel!
Simply hire a small bunch of people that are familiar with the computers and accounting tools. These people can track the pending invoices and do the needful to increase cash flow.
5. Should sync with multiple currencies
The world is getting smaller with smarter technologies. Businesses are diversifying and reaching out to global customers.
Suppose you are one such international business or plan to scale up your operations across borders in the future. In that case, you better get a billing software that aligns with multiple currencies right now. This allows you to effortlessly bill global clients, receive payments in different currencies and provide receipts.
6. Security feature
Manual billing and invoicing always come with risks. Anybody can just peep into your processes and tamper your bills. You could also loose invoices to make things worse. This doesn’t mean all automated computer billing applications are secured. When you have made up your mind to buy an invoicing software, get your people familiar with the tools to check for the security features.
An application with high business-grade security features is best recommended. The billing software you buy should give no room for tampering bills or creating false records.
7. Check additional features/services
You need to train your people whenever you add a new application to your system. Keeping this in view, determine whether the new billing software you are going to buy is user-friendly.
- Find out the additional or hidden costs if any. Several providers do not reveal their full, all-inclusive price when you ask them for a quote.
- Get full information on data backup and restoration. This is very significant since it involves the financials.
- Check with your software provider whether the application can be scaled up as you expand your operations.
- Will the provider offer customer support, in case your system encounters problems after installation?
These are some basic features you need to check when choosing a billing and invoicing software.
Besides the functionality and ease of use, you should also consider the aesthetics when choosing online billing software. The bills and invoices should be built with attention to detail, covering every aspect involved.
Additionally, they should look pleasing and come with a brilliant clarity. The aesthetic feature enables you to get recognition and build a reputation, much required to gain a competitive edge.
9. Credit/Debit card processing
Card payments are the order of the day. Customers today want virtual service, including allowing for virtual digital payments. The invoicing software you buy should make way for card payments, providing utmost convenience for your customers. This feature benefits you as well, since payment collection including recurring payments become a lot easier.
10. Financial Reports
It would be great if your invoicing software can gather data and generate financial reports. This allows you to see how well your organization has performed over a period and plan corrective measures wherever needed.
Most well-designed billing software applications can generate customized monthly, and annual financial summaries as well let you keep track of expenses, pending bills and invoices. This helps you analyze your financials from time to time while it supports project management, time tracking and better planning.
Keep the above tips in mind when buying a new billing and invoicing software. The same applies if you are upgrading your existing system. With a secured and efficient billing platform, you can develop a brand identity in no time.