16/04/2024

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Invoice tips round-up: Essential advice to help you get paid on time

Invoice tips round-up: Essential advice to help you get paid on time

Dealing with invoices is a key business admin task to manage.

From creating your invoices to sending them out and chasing them if they’re late, it can be a time-consuming process.

But get it right and you’ll get paid on time, meaning your cash flow will be in a good place and your business can function effectively.

To help you when it comes to dealing with your invoicing processes, we’ve selected a series of Sage Advice articles covering the likes of what needs to be included on your invoices to dealing with unpaid invoices and how to avoid having difficult conversations with your customers and suppliers.

Here’s what we cover:

How to write an invoice: What needs to be included

When it comes to creating invoices, one option is to use cloud accounting software that allows you to use invoices that can be customised for your business.

You could also use an invoice template, and again tailor it for your business.

However, if you decide to create your own invoices from scratch, you’ll need to know what information to add.

This article will help you with writing and creating your own invoices.

From adding the correct information (making sure your company name and address is added, for example), to being clear on what needs to feature if you’re a sole trader versus a limited company, and even what’s required if you’re creating a VAT invoice, there’s plenty to learn and adopt.

This article covers the following:

  • What should be included in an invoice
  • Different kinds of invoices
  • Common invoice payment terms
  • Common invoice payment methods
  • Sending your invoice
  • How to send your invoice
  • How to get paid on time

Learn more about what to include on your invoices.

8 ways to get invoices paid without any awkward conversations

When it comes to dealing with late payments, awkward conversations are likely to come to the fore.

Having to make that tough phone call (or email) to a supplier who is late in paying an invoice can be an uncomfortable experience.

But your business needs the money to avoid cash flow issues, so it’s something that needs to happen.

However, what if you could get your invoices paid without having to opt for a tricky chat? This article can help you adopt a series of tactics that will make your life easier.

From offering numerous ways for your customers to pay you, to setting up regular payments and syncing the time you send your invoices with the payment runs of your customers, it suggests a few things you can try.

This article covers the following:

  • How to avoid difficult conversations
  • Create an ‘accounts@’ email address
  • Know who’s who – and who controls payment
  • Sync with payment runs
  • Invoice immediately
  • Offer many ways to pay
  • Know when invoices are read
  • Make invoices clear, accurate and attractive
  • Set up regular payments

Learn more about getting invoices paid without awkward conversations.

How to recover an unpaid invoice

Spending time chasing unpaid invoices?

No doubt it’s draining your energy while taking you away from running your business.

However, it’s an important task and if your customers are late in paying you, that could have a detrimental effect on your cash flow.

Of course, there might be a good reason why someone is late in paying you (didn’t receive the invoice, dealing with their own cash flow problems, etc), so it’s best to deal with the situation tactically but efficiently.

This article has a series of steps for you to follow to recover those unpaid invoices.

This article covers the following:

  • What do to do when your invoice hasn’t been paid (and the steps to take)
  • The 3 options for debt recovery for a small business or individual

Learn more about recovering unpaid invoices.

6 important steps to combat unpaid invoices and get paid

Still on the topic of unpaid invoices, accountant Sian Phillips talks about her experience in this area and she shares some advice on how you can deal with the challenge of getting paid on time.

Sian acknowledges that chasing payments can be daunting, however with the right tactics in place, she says you’ll have a better chance of reducing the need to have those awkward conversations that would otherwise be your go-to option.

This article covers the following:

  • Ensure the invoice has all the relevant information
  • Put your full bank details on all invoices and statements
  • Pick up the phone and speak to your customers early
  • Keep a journal of all calls and responses
  • Amend your invoice issue date (two parts to this point)

Learn more about dealing with unpaid invoices.

Free professional invoice templates

Looking for invoice templates to use for your business? Look no further.

These professional invoice templates from Sage are free, easy to use (they’re Word documents) and you can customise them so you can add the information that’s required.

And there are VAT-compliant version too, in case you need them.

Learn more about the free invoice templates.

FAQs on invoices

What is an invoice?

An invoice is a document showing details of any goods or services sold and requests an amount payable for these services.

Learn more about invoices.

What is an invoice payment?

An invoice payment is a scheduled payment a customer makes toward the balance of goods and services rendered.

Learn more about invoice payments.

Final thoughts on invoices

Chasing payments can be a real challenge, something that definitely takes its toll.

And no doubt, you’d rather spend time building your business than doing that.

By understanding how to create and send your invoices, while following up on them in a timely manner, not only will that help you with your business admin, with a bit of luck, it’ll make your processes a lot smoother too.

Professional invoice templates

Getting paid on time is vital. Download our set of professional, VAT-compliant invoice templates to make sure you make a good impression and get paid faster.

Get the invoice templates

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