The handwritten letter gave way to texting and WhatsApp, the paper agenda was replaced by a digital version and even Playboy Magazine is struggling. It is therefore logical that more and more self-employed people are opting for digital invoices. You (soon) too? We guide you through the need-to-know info.
The shoebox full of paper invoices is passé. Digital and electronic are the future. But what’s the difference between the two?
A digital invoice is simply an invoice that you send digitally. A PDF, Word or Excel file via email, for example. Or – somewhat less efficiently – a scan of a paper invoice. Nowadays there are numerous tools that allow you to prepare and send an invoice in a few clicks. Once a customer receives your email, he can download the invoice and read it immediately.
The electronic invoice – also known as e-invoicing or e-invoicing – goes one step further. With an invoicing tool you first prepare an invoice in UBL. This stands for Universal Business Language, an international standard for electronic invoices. The software then sends the invoice to your customer’s accounting application and is automatically read and booked.
Are you an organization subject to tendering? Since April 18, 2019 you must be able to receive and process e-invoices in European format via the secure Peppol network.
Starting with electronic invoicing can be a (too) big step for entrepreneurs, especially if you do not do business with the government. A digital invoice, on the other hand, is much more accessible. In addition, you can integrate certain invoicing tools with accounting software. This way you can effortlessly switch to e-invoicing when you are ready.
“Since our sales and invoicing process was linked to our accounting tool, the administrative burden has shrunk considerably.”
“If it really matters, you use paper.”
A statement that is no longer entirely true.
Since 2013, paper and digital invoices have had the same legal value and are therefore equivalent.
Digital invoicing has 5 essential assets for your company:
If you use an invoicing tool, you can prepare invoices in no time. Just fill in your personalized template and the software will make the calculation for you. You can even compose a standard email that sends you the invoice in seconds. Or create automatic payment reminders and ensure a healthy cash flow.
Because a tool calculates the different amounts on your invoice, the chance of errors decreases visibly. Another advantage: you never have to search for your calculator again.
You can continuously monitor your outstanding payments and invoices via a handy overview in your invoicing software. This gives you insight into the financial health of your business and allows you to make well-founded decisions.
Not only is that overflowing cupboard with folders usually an ugly thing, in the event of water damage, fire or – no judgment – just sloppiness, your paper administration is a mess. A digital archive (and an automatic copy of it) is much safer.
In the car on the way to a customer or from the couch after a night’s rest: digital invoicing is possible anytime and anywhere. You only need an internet connection.
From a creative agency to an IT player to a horticultural company: they are all convinced of the advantages of digital invoicing.
No, no silly jokes like ‘a good mood’ or clichés like ‘common sense’ here. What is essential for digital invoicing – except a PC or laptop? Three things:
Do you use software for digital invoicing, archiving and payment? Or do you invest in IT security? If you incur costs for your company, you may deduct these costs from your profit. This means you pay less tax.
Choosing an invoicing tool is like filling a bag of candy in the Kruidvat on Friday as an 11-year-old: the offer is overwhelming. How do you distinguish the right software – the proverbial vampire teeth – from apps that don’t fit your company (read: the salty liquorice)? With these tips you will cut the knot correctly.
Okay, digital invoicing isn’t rocket science . However, there are several points to consider:
Work with digital invoices as much as possible and store them all in the same folder/server/cloud. For example, your accounting does not consist of a paper and electronic part.
Digital invoicing works best when it comes from both sides. Therefore, ask your suppliers if they always want to send you a digital invoice. That saves you a bulging folder. But sometimes a paper invoice is unavoidable. The bill for a business dinner or a parking ticket, for example. In that case, take a photo or scan of the paper copy and upload it to your digital archive.
You can start digital invoicing at any time, although it is wise to choose a key moment. Think of a new quarter or the start of a new financial year. In this way, all invoices from that period are in the same place.
During your first training run immediately 15 km. Or go sober to the Toppers. Rookie mistakes, we all make them. We list the pitfalls of digital invoicing, so that you can avoid them without any problems.
Digital invoicing offers a number of crucial advantages. Hopefully we can already agree on that. But how do you do that exactly, draw up and send a digital invoice? A clear step-by-step plan.
A good invoice starts with a clear quotation. Preferably, you list the different phases of the project there, with the corresponding budgets. Not only crystal clear for your customer, but also a good basis for the invoice. Because in an ideal world, your invoice is a copy-paste of the quotation.
A good tool converts a quote into an invoice in one click. If there is no quote, you can easily create an invoice in your trusted template. The software does the math. No fumbling with Excel formulas, counting and percentages.
With invoicing software you send invoices directly to your customers. Bye licking stamps, arrivederci manually compose mails, tschüss thick folders. Thanks to the integration with your accounting package, outgoing invoices automatically appear in your system.
Many Dutch companies regularly have to deal with defaulters. Thanks to a digital invoicing tool you have a continuous overview of the overdue invoices and you can easily follow them up. With Teamleader you can even set up your automatic payment reminders, so that your customers receive a friendly message telling them to pay their outstanding invoices.
Did you know that you can request a standard fee of at least €40 if your customer pays late? You will also be reimbursed for legal costs or collection costs and you may charge interest over the period after the set payment term.
Teamleader is simple software that bundles CRM, project management and invoicing in one handy tool. Create, send and manage invoices in just a few clicks. Quotations can be converted into an invoice in no time, each document is given your corporate identity and customers can easily pay online.