End of the month and invoicing day. I know that not invoicing every job the instant it is finished means I am giving my clients free credit, but a) they are nice clients and I don’t mind and b) there are some very good reasons why invoicing monthly makes sense for me. To whit:
- I work for agencies and often do a lot of small jobs for the same client. Invoicing them all one at a time would drive them, and me, nuts.
- Most of my clients are abroad and pay by international bank transfer. They are going to wait until the total mounts up to a reasonable amount rather than paying me in dribs and drabs in any case.
- The amount I’m charging for the job is either agreed on the PO before I start (I invoice on source count) or I tell them what it worked out at on delivery, e.g. if it’s editing charged by the hour so I’m not keeping clients waiting for that information.
- End clients frequently come up with extra text or the final text comes back for proofing a week after you thought the job was finished. If you haven’t invoiced it yet, it’s easier to add the extras in under the same job number rather than having them end up as a new job on a completely different invoice.
- The software I use, initially a program developed by my husband which sadly won’t run on anything later than Access97, and now TO3000, automatically collects all the uninvoiced, completed jobs for each client. Invoicing 27 jobs is no harder than invoicing one.
- Having the same invoice date for all my invoices makes it easier to track and chase any late payments. I just check the bank statement online 30 days later, and usually pay myself drawings for the month at the same time.
- I set aside time on the last day of the month to Do The Invoicing and have the incentive that it all has to be done before the end of the business day. This means it doesn’t get put off and that once a month I sit down and see what the business is doing, how this month’s turnover compares to the previous one or with the previous year.
I should really set aside similar time for doing my accounts, as that’s something that does get put off until I have to fill in the VAT return, at which point I go mad trying to do three months’ worth at once.