Tradespeople and contractors use paper invoices to take payments. It’s the way it’s always been done.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s the best approach – far from it. It turns out that paper invoicing has all sorts of downsides. Plus, these days, there are numerous alternatives.
Here are some reasons to quit paper invoicing and try something more advanced:
Paper invoicing can be problematic because of errors. Not only does the admin have to enter payment details correctly, but they also have to route it to the right people. And the conventional mail-based delivery system isn’t always accurate.
Moving away from invoicing reduces errors by making the process automated and digital. Audits are more straightforward to conduct, and missing payments are easy to chase up. Administrators don’t need to enter payment information into a separate Excel spreadsheet.
Stopping paper invoicing may also lead to improved security. You are better able to keep tabs on who receives invoices, preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.
Invoices can be problematic from a security perspective because they contain important payment details, such as bank account numbers and sort codes. Documents can also harbor confidential information about business relationships between firms, making them even more problematic.
Stopping paper invoicing can also improve accessibility to invoices. Companies can quickly retrieve customer payment information when they transition to electronic systems. Storing, retrieving, and accessing information is considerably more straightforward when paperwork isn’t involved.
Another reason for stopping paper invoices is faster payments. Customers may pay more quickly when requests arrive in digital forms.
For example, your business could use something similar to a payment gateway for ecommerce. Instead of getting customers to make payments separately, you can instruct them to do so at the time of invoicing.
This works through a clever use of technology. Digital invoicing providers now let you include payment options on e-invoices. All customers need to do is click the link and make their payments. Just like conventional payment gateways, it is fast and secure.
Quicker Dispute Resolution
Switching away from paper invoices may also improve dispute resolution. Invoices can provide more details and reporting features that make it more straightforward to process problems at the business and customer ends.
Better Legal Compliance
Digital invoices may also make it easier to comply with regulations. Businesses can send out standard invoices to all their customers that meet their statutory duties wholesale. Including company branding, account information, addresses, and price breakdowns is simple when using non-paper approaches.
Improved Time Efficiency
Another benefit of stopping paper-based invoicing is improved time efficiency. E-invoicing eliminates the need to print documents, manually place them in envelopes, and send them to customers. You can whip up invoices almost instantly and send them to clients electronically without incurring any additional costs.
Reduced Environmental Impact
Finally, reducing your firm’s environmental impact is another reason to stop paper invoicing. Going digital prevents the cutting down of forests and reduces materials, transport, and distribution expenses.