Invoicing day

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.

4 thoughts on “Invoicing day”

  1. I take the same approach and invoice regular clients once a month. Since the banks frequently cream off additional charges from international transfers, even when the remitter has supposedly covered all fees, I’d rather keep the number of incoming payments to a minimum. Although EU directives were supposed to put an end to this double-charging, given the mess many banks are now in, I don’t expect them to surrender this quick and easy source of revenue any time soon!

  2. Sometimes the bank doesn’t take a cut but most of the time it does. I have no idea what makes the difference and assume it is something the client or their bank is doing at that end.

    There really is no justification for it when all the bank is basically doing is receiving an amount electronically. How can that cost them 6 quid (or 2 or 8 or 12)? And why do they charge me more for receiving more money? It’s not as if they are physically having to lug great lumps of gold about, after all.

  3. Do your clients pay in Euro? Are they based in the Eurozone? If you have an account in Britain then your bank is entitled to take a cut. Only transfers within the eurozone are free of charge (although sometimes there’s a minimal charge of 75 cents). I suggest that you open a bank account in a Eurozone country. Follow this link for further info:
    http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/nav/en/citizens/consumer-protection/bank-account/index_en.html

    Although the bank is not obliged to open an account for a non-resident, it’s worth a try. (I have accounts in two Eurozones countries of which I am not a resident)

    Regards
    GR

  4. I have some clients who pay in Euro and others who pay in Swedish kronor. I do in fact have a Finnish bank account left over from when I used to live there but the problem is that I need the money in the UK and even if the clients can pay into the account for free, my UK bank will take a cut when I transfer it here in any case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *