How to invoice properly
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Photo Credit: Alwyn Ladell via Compfight cc

 Invoicing is an essential part of ensuring you maintain your business’s cash flow. If you  carried out the correct procedure when you opened the account then you should be able to invoice accurately as you will have the correct name and address.

Be clear on your invoice with regards to what you are actually invoicing for. Make sure your collection policy is clear and outline how you will collect the money.

Be prompt; very often invoices are not raised for several weeks after the work has been carried out, this isn’t good practice. Not only will this affect your cash flow it will look unprofessional and may affect your credibility with that particular client if you were to try and win repeat business in the future.

It is essential to make it as easy as possible for your customer to pay, offering a range of payment options will mean you are far more likely to get paid on time. For example you could accept credit card payments online across your website, making it extremely fast and convenient for people to pay you.

Consider offering a discount for accounts that are paid up front, or an early settlement discount if the invoice is paid earlier than stated in your terms of business; there are companies that will take advantage of this and it will help your cash flow considerably. It is also important to remember the Late Payment EU Directive which was introduced in March 2013 which enables you to charge late payment fees on commercial transactions for overdue invoices.

Do not let the outstanding invoice remain unpaid, be persistent when chasing the outstanding invoice and contact the individual or company to confirm they have received a copy of the invoice a couple of days before the balance is due to.

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