Best Practices: Invoicing to get paid

Cashflow | Featured | Hot Tips | Opinion | Small Business | Tax, Accounting and Bookkeeping

By Colin Porter

A good invoice is your first step to making sure you get paid. Issuing an invoice should be the first thing you do after you have supplied your goods or service. Send it immediately via mail, email or in person and don’t forget to include your full terms of trade with your invoice.

At the very least your invoice should contain:

· Your full business name, ABN, business address and contact details

· Date of invoice, payment terms and invoice number

· Customer’s full business name, ABN and address

· Purchase order or reference number

· Clear description of goods or services supplied

· Details of quantities, prices, discounts and total amount due

· Specified due date

· Instructions on how to pay including your bank details

Ensure you have an effective accounting system to keep track of invoices, payments and payment requests. A detailed record can be used as evidence if the problem escalates and you’re forced to engage a debt collector or go to court.

Set up a process to resolve any disputes regarding an invoice so all your staff are following the same procedure and make sure you keep a record. A record will help you spot patterns and enable you to fix the root problem in your invoice or accounting system.  You should check your records regularly to see if the same customers raise disputes each time an invoice is issued. This will help you identify problem payers faster.


About the Author:

Colin Porter is the publisher of Dynamic Business and the founder and MD of credit reporting bureau, CreditorWatch. He has over 20 years experience as a business owner, specialising in general small/medium business issues, cashflow, credit management and online business. Follow CreditorWatch on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.