With sound and effective billing practices, companies can collect accounts receivables more promptly and reduce their default and non-payment rates all while increasing cash flow. The key to establishing billing practices that work is to identify repeatable principles and processes that yield predictable results, then implement them across the organization.
Here is a short list to guide you in establishing ironclad billing practices, with pointers on mistakes to avoid and best practices you can implement right away:
Be Crystal Clear. The number one mistake that professionals and companies make when generating bills is being unclear about exactly what is being charged, and the rate(s) at which it is being charged. Provide customers with a fully itemized description of all billable services. Do not group disparate items together to save a line or two of space on the bill — it will only create confusion and delay payment.
No Extra Padding. If you are a professional who charges clients by the hour — as is the case with many law firms, for example — it is essential that you play by the book. Never pad your billable hours by exaggerating the amount of time you spent on a task. This could invite an audit if you repeatedly receive complaints, which could have major repercussions on your career going forward.
No Secret Codes. Incorrect coding is a common problem in the world of medical billing, but it can affect billing departments in all industries. If you rely on the use of specific codes to bill customers for products or services, make sure that all employees are properly trained and take the time to double-check the codes they’ve entered. Repeated mistakes in this area can cost your company a lot of time and a lot of money.
Direct Directions. Does the recipient know exactly when the bill is due and exactly how to pay it? Are there clear steps for recourse in the event that the customer has questions or concerns?
Go Long on Software. Today, there are so many different types of spreadsheet managers and billing software options on the market that it’s virtually impossible to justify generating bills manually. These programs not only save time, but they also greatly reduce errors — a win-win situation for management professionals looking to control costs and enhance organizational efficiency.
Wondering what an ironclad invoice looks like? Wonder no longer by downloading the template below!