Top ten invoicing mistakes

It is easy to make small mistakes without realising it. However, these mistakes could affect your business more than you realise.

From causing disputes and late payments, to making you look unprofessional and careless. So here are the top ten most common mistakes when invoicing and how to prevent them.

1. You aren’t sending out invoices immediately

After providing your services, send the customer an invoice straight away.
The more time you wait, the more likely your customer is to delay paying you.

We find it helpful to send all post with recorded delivery so that you can see when it has been signed for.  Alternatively, you can e-mail invoices and request a read receipt confirmation so that you can see when it has been opened.
This is much faster and reduces the risk of being lost or undelivered.

2.You aren’t making your payment terms obvious

If your credit terms are not in a place that can clearly be seen on the invoice, there is a high chance that your debtor won’t pay on time – if at all!

We recommend that you clearly provide an exact date that the payment is due to avoid further confusion. If you were to write ’30/60/90 Days’, there is always the chance that your debtor will try to claim that they thought they had more time, as there is no clear start or end date.

3. You used the wrong address

When dealing with multiple customers and businesses, it can be easy to mix up any two addresses.
Not only can this be embarrassing for your company and potentially cause a late payment, but it could also leave you with a costly legal fee for breaching confidentiality between clients.

4. You used the wrong name

When trading services and making transactions, it is common that you might be corresponding with a company administrator or sales executive etc. rather than the person who will actually be paying the invoice.
It is important to make sure you address the correct payee to ensure quick payment.
You can always ask your correspondent who would be the best person to address the invoice to if you aren’t sure.

5.You’re not checking the figures

Any numerical error could lead to a costly and time-consuming dispute. Make sure you double check things like placement of points ‘.‘ and commas ‘,‘ and currency marks.

6. You haven’t proofread

Some customers will look for any excuse to delay payment and errors on invoices can give them a reason for dispute. Make sure you proofread to ensure there are no mathematical errors or other mistakes. It can be helpful to read out loud or have someone else check over it for you.
Sending out invoices with errors can make you look unprofessional and careless. This may be detrimental to your business’ reputation!

7.You’re invoicing with added fees

Adding fees that haven’t been discussed with your customer beforehand will most likely lead to a dispute. No one likes having to pay unexpected fees, and this could result in them refusing to pay at all. If additional charges incur, be sure to let your customer know first.

8.You only provided one payment option

Always try to offer multiple payment methods to suit your client’s needs as this will increase the chance of being paid on time and in full, as well as reducing the potential reasons that your customer may not be able to pay.

9.You aren’t keeping copies

Disputes regarding payment are common, so it is best to cover yourself by keeping copies of your invoices. You may also need them for your own reference at some point in the future.
We recommend keeping invoices in a safe file, with digitally scanned copies for back-up.

10.You aren’t following up

It is always a good idea to follow up invoices. With every customer, there is a risk that you will reach the due date and chase up your client, only to find that they have not received your invoice or they have queries regarding payment. Many clients may even use your lack of contact as a means to delay payment.
By following up invoices, you eliminate the possibility of this happening.

For advice and more information on how your customers can pay on time click below. We hope our top ten invoicing mistakes will get you started on the right track.

Get customers to pay on time