Invoicing - is it all right to use a spreadsheet or word processing template?

on Tuesday, 15 March 2016. Posted in Startup Advice, Accountancy Advice, Business Advice, Cloud Accounting, Contractors

The right tool for the task in hand

When you want to hammer a nail you don’t pick up a screwdriver do you? It is all about the right tool for the right job.

So why when you need to invoice a customer do you send your client an invoice from Excel or Word? Spreadsheets and word processing packages are not the correct invoicing apps for a serious business to use.

The first problem with them is that it is easy for them to contain errors.

Addition errors: My wife recently received an invoice from her music teacher: 2 lessons at £30 each were totalled as £30 in total. Was this an error in the formula or was the last month’s invoice not retyped correctly?

Update errors: It is easy to forget to update fields: sending out invoices in the current month dated last month, not updating the invoice number – how many invoice numbers 347 can you have?

Saving errors: Or what about issuing an invoice and then forgetting to save it or keep a copy? No one will now know about that invoice or will chase it for payment – trying to keep costs down has now cost you a lot of money!

The second problem is that they duplicate time and effort. All those invoices have to be entered on to your accounts package (or worse: accounts spreadsheet). Your poor bookkeeper is now re-typing everything, checking it is all complete: where is invoice 980 or did it ever exist?

The solution: use a proper accounts app (like Xero, FreeAgent or KashFlow) that can produce professional invoices but update the accounting system at the same time. The invoices are more likely to be accurate, will have a proper audit trail and can be easily checked or recovered without the poor bookkeeper wasting hours of time that you are paying them to do a productive job.

Save money by being more efficient and using the right tool for the job! If you want to discuss this further then please get in touch.

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We love Cloud Accounting and think it is the way forward for most businesses. We are Silver Partners with Xero Online Accounting Software and Certified Partners of IRIS’s KashFlow. Please contact us for more information on Cloud Accounting and also read our blog.