In a small business, it’s easy to be focused on driving new sales; closing deals is exciting, especially when you’re trying to grow. But, once business is won and the service is provided, the job is far from over.
Because many small businesses operate with part-time accountants, invoicing and Accounts Receivable (AR) may not be looked at on a daily, or even weekly, basis. But, there is serious risk to your business’s cash flow when your team isn’t staying on top of your AR.
To help you optimize this area of your business, we’ve identified four activities that will help to improve your AR, which in turn will improve your business’s cash flow:
1.Maintain Accurate Customer and Contact Preferences
First things first, maintaining accurate customer records and contact details is a crucial part of improving your Accounts Receivable process.
There’s nothing more frustrating than finding out a payment was made late because the invoice was mailed or emailed to the wrong address.
Ensure everyone on your team has access to your company’s customer database or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, so everyone can work together to keep customer info up-to-date. On Method:CRM, all contacts associated with a customer receive billing emails (unless you opt them out).
2. Invoice Customers Electronically
Whether you’re invoicing from QuickBooks Online or from a QuickBooks-integrated CRM, moving from snail mail to emailed invoices will get invoices to your customers faster. Your staff or accountant will also save time by not having to print invoices and stuff envelopes.
If you’re concerned about moving all customers over to electronic invoices, start slowly. Set the digital invoicing expectation with all your new customers when they sign on with you. Then, as your team becomes more familiar with this process, reach out to your older clients to let them know your company is moving to digital invoicing for a better end-to-end customer experience.
3. Offer Customers Multiple Payment Options
To get paid on time, offer your customers as many payment options as possible. Instead of having customers send cheques every month, offer them the option to pay via credit card or through online payment gateways, such as PayPal and QuickBooks Payments.
By offering more real-time payment options, you’re offering a more convenient way for customers to settle their balances and you’re not waiting on snail mail to get cash into your business.
4. Offer a Customer Portal
Give your customers 24/7 self-serve access to their accounts with a QuickBooks Customer Portal. Your customers can view their account balance as well as view, print and pay their invoices online, all without having to contact your team.
Setting up a customer portal that syncs with your QuickBooks account shifts some of the work to your customers while giving them a sense of autonomy.
These are just a few of the ways to improve your Accounts Receivable process to ensure you get paid in a timely manner. Even if you take just one of these suggestions, you’re ahead of where you were a week ago.
Optimizing your process doesn’t have to happen all at once and it won’t happen overnight. But, if you put daily effort into improving your AR process, you’ll start to reap the benefits of more money in the bank.
To see just how improving your accounts receivables impacts your cash flow, sign up for a free trial of Float today!
This is a guest post by Method:CRM, the no. 1 rated CRM software for QuickBooks Online! Check out more about them here.
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