How to Effectively Streamline Your Time and Billing Process
July 6, 2021
Every accounting firm is probably familiar with the time billing process and how it can easily turn into a nightmare as you work on completing it. Even filling out invoices can also be quite a tedious and time-consuming process. What’s worse is that there’s no guarantee that your client will even pay on time.
Despite having an accounting firm management software, you still encounter these challenges every time the deadline is right around the corner. What you need is to take a look at your own billing process and make some improvements here and there. Here are some easy ways to make your time and billing process easier.
Set Your Terms Up Front
Everything begins when you gain a new client and go through the whole onboarding process. It’s at this stage that process improvements should be implemented to help you down the line. Start by sitting down with your client and agreeing on a set of terms concerning billing and payment. You can draft up a document that clearly states your decisions on the following terms:
- Is it going to be billed by the hour or by the project
- What your fee is going to be along with any additional fees
- What the project’s due date is
- What are the types of payment you will accept
- What penalties can be charged if the bill is past due
Finally, you should also discuss the timeframe in which the client is expected to pay the invoice. All these details are a good starting point if you want to streamline your process.
Minimize Billing Errors
Making sure you bill your clients correctly should always be at the top of your priority at all times. However, invoicing errors are all too common in the accounting industry despite how important it is. Whenever you make these errors, it creates distrust and confusion between you and your clients. The best you can do is minimize these errors by utilizing your tools for automation, such as your accounting practice management software. These tools should help you compile costs and quotes, track billable time, and generate invoices from other saved information. Automation also lessens the need for manual input and computation, which is often the cause of these errors.
Revisit the Design of Your Invoice
The design of your invoice isn’t just for show, as it actually affects how you process your invoice and how your client takes it. Take some time to revisit your invoice and make sure it’s easy to understand for your staff and your clients. Get rid of hard-to-read fonts and give important details more space and emphasis so they can be read easily. A clear and uncluttered invoice is more likely to get paid instead of put off.
Be Specific with Your Payment Due Dates
Being vague opens the door to late payments. Everyone, including your customers, needs a deadline. Instead of using phrases like “Due 30 days from receipt” or “Due on receipt.” Instead, use a specific date that is clear and concrete to avoid any confusion. Just be sure it’s a date that’s several days past when their bill will be arriving in their mail. This gives your clients a little breathing room to settle the payment.
For any small accounting firm, billing can be quite a tedious task to accomplish. The only way to lessen the burden is to ensure that your billing process is pretty straightforward and efficient. These tips should help you revisit your time and billing process and make minor improvements to make things easier for both you and your clients.
Firm360 is the answer to all your billing and processing dilemmas. We offer an intuitive platform for accounting professionals that basically has everything you need to get your job done. From client management to time and billing, Firm360 helps you streamline your practice and make it more efficient than ever. Book a demo today and discover the many features of our accounting firm management software.