How can on-line invoicing benefit my business?
Posted by Matt Fenn on 25th May 2009 in Business Management
It's said that internet life runs 7 times faster than life in the real world. With this in mind I believe it's well worth taking a look at the time and money that can be saved by moving your business processes to the web. Let's take a quick look at online invoicing to see how it compares to traditional software, how easy it is to implement and how it might be used to improve business efficiency.
Moving to the web with the Software as a Service (SaaS) model.
- Available anywhere.
You can access your software from any computer equipped with a web browser and an internet connection, this means that offices in a number of locations can all work on the same information in real time, without having to go to the complexity and expense of setting up a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
- Automatic Updates.
Updates and improvements are rolled out automatically without you having to install any upgrades onto your computer.
- Low entry cost.
Because the overhead for running the system is managed centrally the infrastructure costs are spread across a high number of users. Also, you are not paying for implementation so set-up costs are minimal.
- Managed services.
Because the software is delivered as a service you can generally get a level of support built in.
Usage levels are linked to a pricing scale which means that you can pay as you go and scale up or down smoothly without having to buy servers or employ more staff to maintain infrastructure, just add or remove licences and service packages to match your needs.
- Cross Platform.
Whether you use a Mac, a PC or even Linux, because you access the software through a web browser your operating system is not a problem.
There we have some compelling benefits already!
Invoicing Online to get up to internet speed!
For over 10 years, forward thinking businesses have been looking to leverage the new medium for competitive benefits, automating and streamlining processes to reduce overhead and increase profit margins, often building their own bespoke systems.
Today these ideas and processes are being commoditised and made available to anyone who has the forethought to implement them.
So let's make an invoice. On-line.
Most of the steps and points that follow should be fairly interchangeable with most systems, so don't panic if you're trying a different service. First of all you'll need to create an account, luckily most services offer the first month free or have a 'starter' package for training purposes.
Once you have uploaded your logo, tweaked your invoicing template and are happy with how your invoices will look when emailed and printed; it only takes a few minutes to prepare and send an invoice.
And whilst creating an invoice there should be the flexibility to edit and re-edit your invoice until you are happy with it, and then 'lock' the invoice when it is sent to ensure you always have an exact copy of what was sent to your client.
Dependant upon how complicated your invoices are you should be able to set one up and email it to your client in a few minutes, saving the time and cost of printing envelopes, stamps, address labels and at least 2 days in the postal system.
If you save 10 minutes per invoice with an hourly charge-out rate of £60 per hour that's £10 of productive time per invoice. over 1000 invoices that's £10,000!
Online invoicing is only part of the picture.
With Moobiz we use the same principles to cover everything from the creation of project proposals to invoicing and accounting, customer management, website management and even eCommerce. But each of those is an article in itself!
Remember that it's usually free trial services of this kind and Moobiz certainly lets you sign up and play around for a month to make sure it's right for you and your business before you pay a penny.
Ultimately whichever service you feel is the right one for your business you'll be using the speed and efficiency that the web can bring to your business and working faster and more effectively.