When your business sends a lot of invoices, keeping track of the status of all of them can be a tall task. Without adequate follow up, payments become past due and you’re left scouring your emails or calling customers to see where an invoice stands.
Upgrading your invoice delivery process by utilizing a solution that allows you to send and accurately track the status of all your invoices will have you feeling like an all-knowing accounts receivable wizard. And who doesn't want that?
What is an online invoicing portal?
Online invoicing software can help you generate invoices for the products or services you provide to customers while also recording each step of the transaction process.
A solution that helps you create and send invoices can reduce much of the strain on your accounts receivable team. Solutions that include a customer-facing portal help customers know exactly what they owe and enable them to gain better control over their accounts.
Wondering if an online invoicing portal is right for you? Keep reading to find out what implementing an e-invoicing solution entails, how utilizing automation can take your strategy even further, and the impact this has on your business.
How do I know if I need an online invoicing portal?
Check the following that apply:
- You find it hard to communicate with your customers about ongoing invoice disputes
- Your AR process is tedious and slow, and you find it difficult to complete all your tasks on time
- Your clients are constantly asking you to resend invoices, supporting documents, and more details
- Your DSO is going up and payments are continuously coming in late
- Your stack of outgoing invoices and mail keeps increasing and you’re losing track of certain documents
If you identify with any of the above, then your invoicing process could use an upgrade and an online invoicing portal may be a good place to start.
When deciding if an invoicing portal is necessary for your business, there’s really only one way to look at it – what do your customers want? If your customers want an easy and efficient way of receiving invoices and tracking their account standing, then an online portal is your answer.
The benefits of an online invoicing portal
Implementing an online invoicing portal has several benefits for your company and accounting team.
1. Real-time visibility
With online 24/7 access for both your business and your customers, it’s easy to find any information you need anytime. Your customers can clearly understand what they owe and will feel more prepared to make their payments when they’re due.
2. Insight into customer behavior
With your customers’ account history at your fingertips, your team can better understand their patterns of behavior. Which customers tend to pay late? What notification cadence seems to do the trick? What payment method do customers prefer? These insights help with knowing the right time to interact.
3. Elimination of manual processes
An online invoicing portal eliminates the need for paper invoices and all the manual effort that comes along with that process. A better understanding of your customers’ payment behavior also reduces manual effort as collections calls can be minimized to only customers that can’t or won’t pay. Beyond saving on the time and cost of printing and sending invoices you also minimize the risk of error—which can be pricy since a single error from paper-based invoicing can cost over $50 to fix.
4. Quick dispute resolution
In AR, as in life, disputes are often caused by miscommunication or lack of information. When customers can access their complete account history and current invoices on demand, many disputes can be avoided before they become an issue. With the time you save by eliminating manual processes, you’re also able to spend more time communicating with your clients and making sure their needs are met.
5. Customization options
Many e-invoicing solutions offer options to customize invoices to fit your brand. The more robust solutions can also support multiple invoicing formats, giving customers the ability to choose the best delivery method for them. The more convenient you can make receiving invoices for your customers, the more likely you are to be paid on time.
When to use an AR automation platform for online invoicing
Invoicing is only one piece of the accounts receivable puzzle, as your finance team is well aware.
Implementing a solution that pairs invoice presentment capabilities with automation for back-office functions such as cash application, collections management, and task management drives your team’s efficiency beyond what you could expect from a pure e-invoicing solution.
The main drivers that should motivate your team to invest in invoicing software are of course to make processes simpler for your team, but also to create a better experience for your customers. Solutions that offer a customer-facing portal with tools for easy communication between you and your customers can make a big difference in improving your customers’ billing and payment experience. With an industry-leading end-user adoption rate of over 80%, we at Versapay know a thing or two about that.
The easier it is to do business with you, the faster you get paid—and isn’t that every AR team’s goal.