If you are a small business owner or freelancer, then you know how vital it is to make sure that your customers pay their bills. If you don’t have a good billing and invoicing system, you can end up in a tight financial crunch. You can choose how you want customers to pay for goods purchased or services rendered. Cash on delivery, credit card, debit card, check, demand draft, online payment, and installments are the different modes of payments that are provided to customers to pay their bills or invoices. You, as the business owner or freelancer, will send an invoice which you might generate online or send it by mail or email or when you deliver the goods or services.

For those who are new to accounting or don’t know the difference between a “Bill” and ‘Invoice,” here is a brief explanation. Bill refers to a written or printed statement of charges that includes the amount owed for goods or services. Whereas, an invoice is a request for payments for goods or services purchased on credit.

Critical Elements of Billing Systems

When you set up a business, whether it’s a shop or an e-commerce site, you need a billing and invoice maker system. All the vital information about your customers has to be stored in the billing system; customer’s name, address, and terms of payment. You also need to store product and services information, product or service description, price, and quantity. Depending on the type of business you are running, you might need to incorporate billing codes. For example, if you are running a general store, you would have product codes to categorize them, like food products, cleaning goods, etc.

Tracking Payments

Tracking payments is a critical element of a good billing system. The billing system should keep track of payments received, payments pending, due dates. It should also have an automated reminder system to remind defaulting customers of failure to pay their bills on the due date and add a past due fee.

Security

The billing system must be totally secure, and only authorized personal should be able to access it. Your billing system has private data of your customers, which should not be leaked out. If you accept credit card payments, your billing system must meet industry standards of security. You must also ensure that hackers cannot access your system.

Critical Elements of the Invoicing System

An invoice is generated by the seller for the buyer. It specifies what the buyer is purchasing, the price, and the payment terms. It requires an invoice number and the same information about the customer, name, shipping address, products or services purchased, the amount due, due date, and payment terms. From the seller’s point of view, it’s called a ‘sales invoice.’ From the purchasers’ point of view, it’s called a ‘purchase invoice.’

For a billing system, an invoice system’s data has to be secure, and unauthorized access must not be allowed, except for authorized personnel.

Billing and Invoice maker

All business houses, regardless of their size or the products or services that they are selling, require a billing and invoice maker app. There are a number of accounting systems that have all the components required to maintain a business house’s financial records. However, some business owners decide only to invest in a billing and invoice maker app.

As billing and invoice maker is crucial for every business, a good invoice maker app should allow the user to enter the buyer’s, products and services data and payment terms. As a business rule of thumb, the buyer is given 60 days at max to pay. This information is vital to the seller as he or she can keep track of payments received and defaulters. You might be selling goods on installments, and whenever the buyer sends you an installment payment, it should be recorded and updated. When a buyer makes a payment to the seller, the receipt generator app should generate a receipt for this transaction. Like this, both the seller and the buyer can track payments received and made against an invoice.

 Finding the Best Billing and Invoicing System

The popular billing and invoice maker apps have their pros and cons, and none of them are free. They allow potential customers to try the invoice maker app for a limited free period, after which you have to pay to use it.

The good news for people who are just venturing into the business and freelance world is that there are free invoice maker apps is available to create invoices and billing receipts.

You can check out their features and test them. One of the free invoice maker apps by C.A Apps has received 4 ½ stars by users. It’s a free app that should cater to your billing and invoicing requirements. It’s a great app with amazing features. If you use it, then you will be saved from the cost of investing in an accounting system.

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