In a perfect world, you’d get paid immediately for your work. You’d finish the work and money would magically appear in your bank account, no forms required.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in that world. For decades businesses have been working (and struggling) with paper invoices. Today though, companies are ditching the carbon copies and using their smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps for a new kind of invoice.
Could an invoice app help your business? Discover the seven signs that show it’s time to get an invoice app.
1. You struggle with slow sales cycles
Does it take a week or longer to finish your sale cycle? That’s a drain on your cash flow and can be a strain on your business.
Using paper invoices could be a major factor in your slow sale cycle. For instance, if you’re a plumber visiting various homes for service calls, it could be hours or even a full day for you to bring your invoices back to the office. This lag contributes to your slow sale cycle.
With an invoice app, the same plumber could send an invoice immediately after his house visit. Once his form is submitted, it becomes immediately available in the cloud. Thus your billing department can access his work in real time, or you can email the invoice to your customer.
An invoice app can show measureable results: One customer of ours was able to shorten their sales cycle from 17 to 3 days.
2. You’ve sent incorrect quotes
Even the brightest people make mistakes. Einstein won a noble prize, but he also struggled in math at school.
In theory, making mistakes isn’t a big deal. In real life, they can have real consequences for businesses. If you send an underpriced quote, that math mistake becomes an extra cost on your bottom line. Send a quote that’s too large, and you might have an angry customer holding you on the line. No matter what, these mistakes undermine your business.
With an invoice app, the calculations can be done inside the app. For instance, your employee would fill out the hours worked, or parts used. The app will calculate the total cost. If you go with an invoice app, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that your invoices are accurate every time.
3. You’ve lost invoices
This one can be hard to see. With multiple employees and dozens of work orders or service tickets that may be coming back into your office, you may see all the bills you’re sending out. But how many could you be losing? One customer of ours realized they were losing 25% of their service tickets. That meant they were losing $10,000 a month! All because paperwork was slipping away.
They aren’t the only company that struggles to hold onto paper forms: PWC found that nearly 11% of documents are misfiled or lost. When relying on paper forms for billing, you could be missing many important billing opportunities. What would you do with 10% more cash coming in?
4. Your customers can’t read the carbon copy
Before paying, customers want to understand their invoices. That can be hard with carbon copies, or unclear line items. Instead of a quick turnaround, you’re forced to spend an hour on the phone explaining the invoice.
Switching to an invoice app will allow you to send uniformed invoices each time. Your customers can enjoy clear typed print, legible descriptions, accurate calculations, and even photos of the work performed for further clarification. Instead of hours on the phone, your customers will be able to understand all the work as soon as it arrives into their inboxes.
5. Your office is full of filing cabinets
More than limited office space, these filling cabinets are costing you money. One filing cabinet could cost you $2,000 a year! How many do you have? 2? 5? Business report that paper is taking up 35% of their office space. That’s a rising cost for storage.
More than costing you money, it’s also a drain on your employee’s time. Iron Mountain found that average employee spends 25% of their time filing, copying, indexing, or retrieving documents. What could you do with a quarter of their time freed for critically important work?
With an invoice app, you can bypass any need for paper forms. All of the information goes straight to the cloud. You can take back your office space, and enjoy more money in your bottom line.
6. You’re spending hours on data entry
We’ve all had to do this: write up all the information once. Then for your own accounting databases, you have to enter the information again. This redundant work allows more room for errors and costs you time. Perhaps you have one employee whose only job is this data entry. Either way, you’re spending thousands of hours on data entry just to get your invoices. It’s slow, prone to error, and costing you thousands of dollars.
A mobile app can save you from ever doing data entry. Once you’ve entered the information on your smartphone or tablet, all the information goes straight to the cloud. Need this information in Quickbooks or another accounting program? You can do a bulk download in various file types from CSV to Excel files. In minutes, you can have the information integrated into your own system.
Data entry that once took hours can now be in your own systems in minutes.
7. Your customers ask for multiple copies
How often has this happened: You’ve sent an invoice to a customer and you wait. And you wait. Two weeks passes and you call. But they never got it, or lost it. So you have to find the invoice, send it again, and wait. With follow up, additional invoices, your sale cycle grows and requires more work.
As easy as it is to lose an invoice between the car and the office, it’s just as easy to lose the invoice in your office or home. It’s not you or your customer: paper is simply easy to lose.
An invoice app can help reduce your work by making it easy for your customer to also stay organized. Instead of taking a half hour, you can easily search for the invoice in the cloud. You don’t need to bother with postal service or a fax machine, just email a new copy of the invoice out.
What if your customers had their own personal storage locker in the cloud? Every invoice you ever sent they could access anytime at no additional charge? With GoCanvas, this is possible. MyCanvas is a free service we provide our subscribers’ customers.
Invoice apps are saving companies thousands of hours a year. They enjoy faster sale cycles, more accurate quotes, lower administrative costs, and provide better customer service. If you’re tired of data entry, or searching for missing invoices, an invoice app could solve your problems. Even better? You’ll enjoy a stronger bottom line.