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Invoicing Tips & Tricks From a Master Bookkeeper

 By Mariah Venus      Email Mariah

Branding

Your invoice is often either the first or last indication of your brand, depending on whether you bill before or after service. You should trademark your invoice in common with your business. Not only should it include your actual brand logo and contact details, but it should match your company image in tone, terminology and character. Most accounting software systems (such as Xero or QuickBooks) and invoicing tools (such as  FreshBooks or Harvest) have invoice templates that are modifiable to accomplish a great deal of business branding within your invoice templates and even have multiple options for templates. For instance you may want different invoice styles for recurring invoices versus one time sales.

Content

The content of your invoice is vital to getting paid. It not only tells your client how much to pay you, but why, when and how. All the major items that should be included in content are listed below:

  • Client details - client name, contact info and details about project or job - these will often auto feed from your accounting software,  or specialized invoicing tool providing the data is complete and the template includes it.
  • Services, items, fees and taxes - most invoicing modules will allow you to create "items" with pre-entered descriptions, prices and mapping to specific types of income.  This can be very valuable and time saving if you offer specific services, items and charge scheduled fees.  Use quantities and different items to really give your clients details about what you have charged them.  Make sure to use terminology that is clear to your client and in line with your business brand.
  • Terms - be sure to include not only the date of service and invoicing, but also the terms for payment so that the client knows when to pay you!
  • How to pay - the easier it is to pay you, the faster the client is likely to pay.   
  • Invoice number - this is really valuable information to both you and your client. It provides much needed tracking information to make sure you get paid, and so they can make sure they have paid you!  Be sure to use a number system that makes sense to you and is easy to incorporate into your accounting software or invoicing system.  Most invoicing systems will auto create invoicing numbers but are somewhat modifiable in the number format.
  • Notes - An invoice is a great opportunity to tell your client  that you appreciate their business, encourage them to give feedback -- or even notify them of upcoming sales, events or changes. In actuality, you can make your invoicing solution a promotional tool!
 

We'll have more invoicing tips and tricks to share next week! Subscribe to our posts to get updates sent to your inbox, or check back frequently. 


Is basic bookkeeping really basic?

Managing the bookkeeping for your business – it doesn't sound so bad at first, right? But when you dig deep into everything that goes into managing your business finances, it can be daunting. It turns out that bookkeeping is time consuming and complicated! Some have used the term tedious, and this For Dummies article "Basic Bookkeeping for your Small Business" goes as far as to use the term “drudgery” when describing the duties that go into small business bookkeeping.

The For Dummies article gives an overview of bookkeeping with the goal of getting you started.

There are six bullet points in the article:

  • Prepare source documents for all transactions, operations, and other events of the business.
  • Determine and enter in source documents the financial effects of the transactions and other events of the business.
  • Make original entries of financial effects into journals and accounts, with appropriate references to source documents.
  • Perform end-of-period procedures.
  • Compile the adjusted trial balance.
  • Close the books.

When you look at these six bullet points you might think "Hey, that’s not so hard!"

But the truth of it is that bookkeeping is a sensitive task. It can be time consuming, especially if you’re not experienced at it. It needs to be done by someone who is trustworthy, and the actual work needs to be kept in a safe and secure place. Most important of all? The numbers need to add up, especially when tax time comes around!

So what are your options for managing your business finances? You can hire a new, trustworthy, experienced employee to work on your books, or you can outsource the task to a bookkeeping or accounting firm. What you really need is someone who understands your industry, what you do as a company, and the best way to work with you – all important factors to make sure that your books are done correctly. Working with a quality bookkeeping service will help simplify your life and ease the process of running your small business, enabling you to focus on what really matters – making your business successful!

Watch this quick video to learn more about how BKE

can help alleviate your bookkeeping pain.