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360 Blog

The invoice grave yard.
June 8, 2015

One of my pet hates as a bookkeeper has to be the emailed invoice or even worse the downloadable invoice.

It is hard enough to get clients to gather invoices together for me to process all in one go, without having to get back to them and say what is missing. It clocks up time and inevitably costs the clients more money.

The issue really comes down to smart phones. We get an email in, check it out on the mobile, then say to our self “I will print it off when I get to the office”, guess what? No you won’t. I think we have all done it at some point.

One little tool I have used, and will keep on using, is an additional email account, which I ask my clients to address it as accounts@************ (and no the asterisks don’t spell out a bad word). I then tell them to get all their business invoices and statements sent to this account. Simple as always and everything is all in one place. Having your own accounts@ email can also give your suppliers the impression that your business is larger than it is.

As for the downloadable invoices I’m afraid there is no getting around this. Just make a simple list of the suppliers that bill you this way, and at the end of a month log on and download. If you are using this medium, to send sales invoices , please stop using it, as I would call it a barrier to payment. You don’t want to give your customer any excuse not to pay your bill on time.

  • Tip 1 create a paperless office, get Google Drive or a Drop Box account and save your invoices directly to them. Create a filing system in the cloud: Financial year> Electronic invoices > supplier order > name the PDF invoice with the number that appears on the invoice. Maybe also create a sub folder for all the processed invoices.
  • Tip 2 always make a copy of the invoice that is not sitting in your email account, either a hard copy or saved into your cloud back up. You never know when your email will suddenly get corrupted.
  • Tip 3 set a time in your diary, no less than once, a month to sort out your invoices. The longer you leave it the more painful your task will be, alternatively give access to the accounts@ email account to a virtual assistant so they can sort out the admin for you.