Billing and invoicing

Proper invoicing and billing help you collect more revenue.
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Collect payments FAQs

A large part of running your business includes collecting payments. Invoicing and processing payments is easier than it's ever been with the use of modern online payment processing technologies.

How can I accept online payments? How is my rate determined?

Many companies offer online payment processing. Payment processing fees can add up quickly, so it's important to carefully research processing companies before you make a choice. Certain companies offer the same flat-rate to everyone whereas others may offer you lower rates depending on your situation.

Your rate may be affected by,

  • How long you've been in business
  • Your credit rating
  • Volume of sales
  • Average transaction size
  • Type of business

To find the best rate,

  • Take your time and carefully research your options
  • Plan to spend time on the phone with sales reps
  • Compose the questions you will ask the rep
  • Call numerous processing companies

Don't allow yourself to feel pressured from the sales representative. Try to stay on track by asking them specific questions about how much they would charge you for processing, including all types of fees. Do not sign anything or give out your Social Security number or EIN until you are ready to make a decision.

How can I get paid sooner?

Getting paid quickly is often influenced by the payment options you offer. You'll be paid more quickly if it is convenient for your client or vendor. Some ways to speed up payments include,

  • Avoiding Net 15 or Net 30 option if you can
  • Offering ways that your customer can pay at the time of service (online or via smartphone)
  • Considering adding a way that they can pay directly from the emailed invoice
  • Consider offering an ACH payment option for quicker payments with lower fees
  • Enforce automatic, recurring payments if possible
  • Implement a process for ensuring invoices are correct
  • Consider offering a discount for early payments

I'm a freelancer, how should I bill my customers?

Luckily it is rather easy these days to create professional-looking invoices and accept payments from clients. If you use an online accounting service, they likely provide a way for you to create invoices with a way for your customers to pay directly from the invoice.

Here are a few freelancer billing tips,

  • Charge late fees
  • Avoid Net 15 or Net 30 terms if possible
  • Consider adding mobile phone payments
  • Ask for a deposit or retainer agreement
  • Research your clients before accepting their work
  • Clearly outline your payment terms in writing
  • Consider billing at agreed upon milestones

How can I process payments on-the-go?

Nowadays you can process payments nearly anywhere. You can process payments using a mobile or Wi-Fi connection using your mobile phone or tablet. Usually, the card reader is provided for free as part of a payment processing agreement. Using this technology, you can accept payments anywhere and clients can sign on your screen to approve credit card payments. Some mobile processing services offer flat rates whereas others may offer negotiable terms.

Should I offer an early payment discount?

If you can, why not? Many offer a few percentages off the total for early payment. A common situation would be you'd offer two percent off the total if they pay you within ten days rather than 30. You write this into your invoice as 2/10 Net 30. You should explain the discount to your customer when you make the sale to help entice them to pay early. If your profit margin is slim, offering a discount may not be worth it.