Creating and sending invoices and bills is a required task for collecting payment. The trouble is that often the story goes on. Sometimes payments are irregular, or unexpected. Payments can be slow, withheld, or simply forgotten. You, as the busy bee that you are, do not want to have to struggle getting paid. What can you do when your customers are simply slow on making payments?
You can set up recurring and automatic payments. This is a luxury that we often ascribe to extremely large businesses: school loans, electric bills, insurance. Many of these sectors have established automatic payments in order to protect their flow of money. They are able to predict approximately how much money will be coming in, and when. This is not to say that there aren’t hiccups, but it smooths out the process greatly. The exciting bit is that you can do this too through Sprout Billings.
Sprout Billings is an add-on to Sprout Invoices.You do not need to be a genius to get this to work, as Sprout Invoices has already done a fair portion of the work for you. The benefit is that it allows you to automatically collect payments, or payments through a click of a button, with customers that choose to allow that.
Reduce Transaction Fees with ACH
First, it allows you to accept payments through bank transfers. This is a pretty large benefit in those who are dealing with large transactions. Some leading ways to make online payments can charge up to 5% on each transaction! Payment in this method is a solid way to cut down on fees, if you have the ability to process these sorts of payments. For smaller transactions this isn’t a huge draw, but when working on large scale tasks this is significant. Graphics art, logo design, and web development can cost thousands of dollars, which turns a small percentage into big money! Using bank transfers can provide access to a cheaper way to collect and make payments, without passing that cost onto your customers.
Another benefit is that it puts a new level of efficiency to your payment process. Instead of compiling data and exchanging emails to figure out which way your client would like to be billed, that power is put into their hands. Your client can instead input their payment information that they would like you to use on an automated form, attached to their invoicing and bills. Further, this enables you to collect partial payments. A large scale or long-term project may not be practical for your client to pay fully in one go, and may not be ethical for you to collect a full payment on a project that isn’t complete yet. You still have to eat. This is a great way for you and your client to meet halfway. This works even better if you have established payment terms ahead of time! Sometimes the work being done is too large to be considered a singular payment job. Freelance writing may create a position where you write routinely for the same company. This system stops you from searching through a horde of emails to remember the precise way to bill them, and allows you to hit the ‘send invoice’ button to your client. The system knows what to do from there!
Automatic Recurring Payments
Recurring bills can be a hassle for those who provide a service of some kind. For example, you might run an apartment complex. You now have to track when every single apartment gets billed, and potentially, multiple people in each apartment. Recurring invoices with Sprout Billings makes this fairly simple: you set up a billing cycle for the individual client, and then it does the rest. The bill is sent automatically in whatever time table you have established. Easy!
There is the benefit for the client as well! Just like you choose when you make a payment on a bill, your client can do the same through this process. They can set up an automatic payment on whatever day of the month, routinely. This is my preferred way to pay for bills or recurring payments: I don’t have to keep track or think about it. I get sent a notice that I need to make a payment, and the automatic payment I set up does the rest. This has helped me stay on top of all of the payments I need to make, without causing late fees or other issues. As a client, I adore this type of feature!
One Click Payments
With the correct set up, there is also benefit in how you and your clients pay. If you have established a client profile, that is accessible by the client, they can pay directly from their dashboard. The other side of this is true as well: You have a good relationship with a client, and they have granted you access to collect payment as needed through their payment terms. You, and those you exclusively give the right, are able to collect payment with a simple click of a button. Sometimes a client is a solid customer, but the work is sporadic and does not justify a recurring payment plan. Perhaps working as a computer technician, or web developer, you routinely have clients call in for support that would involve payment. However, it is not routine enough to warrant a recurring payment. This is a great solution, as with their verification you can collect payment without significant hassle for either party.
Finally, you can manage how you interact with client profiles. You might be particularly organized as an individual. Once a client has fully finished business with you, you may want to remove the client from your database. Easy, done with a couple of clicks. Maybe you have had to change your billing process and need to adjust how your clients pay. Completely achievable through your side of the system! This is an important piece as your business grows. Being able to adapt and help your customers adjust to change is significant. You may open and close different accounts to accept payments, and no one wants to go through the difficulty of explaining to a customer that the payment they made never arrived. Staying on top of how your client profiles work prevents all of this struggle, and it is easy to adjust! You can even set preferences per client, allowing your system to automatically bill a client when you have generated a bill for them.
Sprout Invoices goal is to increase the speed in which you get paid, while reducing the work it takes for you to collect your payments. Automation through Sprout Invoices allows you to get everything you need done, with minimal work! You will be able to check your dashboard, see who has paid, and who owes what, and respond quickly. No more searching for payment history and emails and contacts. Automated billing through Sprout Invoices and the Sprout Billing add-on is a quick an easy way to get paid!