Improving Your Billing System

Billing can be a complicated process.

Because getting paid is critical for any company (yours included), you need to make sure that you have an effective system to handle your finances. Initially, you might only need a pad of paper and a pen to track your clients, but over time this can change. Knowing how to scale your business is important, and your finances are no exception.

Why does your billing system matter?

This might feel like an obvious answer, but the fact of the matter is your business needs money to survive. While your company might initially not be bringing in a lot of money, you still need to have a clear idea of how you will be managing that. Remember, you have a lot of things that you need to spend your money on. Making sure that you have your finances (and your billing systems) properly organized is a good way to make sure that there are no hiccups. Or at least very few hiccups.

The billing system that you use is made up of a few different parts, and here we’re going to talk about two different things:

  1. Payment infrastructure;
  2. Internal tracking systems.

So, briefly, let’s go over these two different ideas.

Payment infrastructure

The payment infrastructure you use is the system by which you collect payment. Generally, most companies accept credit cards (though which specific credit cards might vary). These are still the most common form of payment used around the world, with VISA and Mastercard being the most used. American Express (AMEX) is also used, though to a significantly lesser extent. So, be sure to know which ones are best for your business and look at what the costs will be for each. Further to this, there are many newer forms of payment that you can accept.

But should you accept Bitcoin? This is a bit of an exaggerated example, but it is important to talk about the representation of it. Years ago, no one knew what bitcoin was, and now it’s commonly known. How much of an early adopter do you want to be with financial options? PayPal, for example, is a relatively ubiquitous payment form that is far newer than credit cards. What you choose to use depends on your level of comfort with adopting options. Keep in mind also, that the more options you have, the more complicated the tracking can get.

Internal tracking systems

This is the easiest of the two to explain, but is possibly significantly more complicated. The internal tracking systems that you use to keep track of payments can be a huge headache. Workflows are critical for any business, because time equals money. If tracking information takes a long time to do, that inefficient system can wind up costing you a great deal of money in the end. Making sure that you have a well-organized approach will save money and time, but will also make things less stressful for your team.

How do you keep track of the deadlines for payment? What about if clients have paid or not? Do you have an invoicing system or is that all manual? There’s a lot to take into consideration.

Organizing your tracking system

It is very important to make sure that your organization system is easy to understand and accessible. Accessible here doesn’t mean that anyone can look at it, it means that it is intuitive and easy to adopt. Remember that while your journal might be small now, and handling a couple of invoices a week might be very easy to do, the goal of any company is to scale in size. Once your company gets bigger, you will need an effective way to track invoices and payments. There are many different pieces of software that you can use to keep track of these things, but you want to make sure that they are easy to use and that they keep track of all the important details that you need to track. Customer names, dates, products, etc., are all valuable pieces of information you want to keep track of.

Aside from payment though, there are other things you might want to keep track of, such as vouchers and coupons. We’ll be coming back around to this at a later date, as things like vouchers can be a powerful tool for your company, especially in the early life of your journal.

Why use a journal management system?

Because billing systems can have many different components, many companies might opt to have a journal management system that can handle these issues. Because billing systems are so multi-faceted, they can help with anything from organizing billing to improving the workflow of an Editing department.

Having the right infrastructure to support your business can take a lot of stress out of the day-to-day operations. While your journal might initially aim to keep these tasks simple (such as keeping track of basic information on a spreadsheet), eventually this can be extremely problematic for a number of different reasons. Losing payment records, taxes, and even just basic record-keeping can be affected by a weak tracking system. When you use a journal management system, you’re better able to work on other tasks because you can be confident knowing that your billing will be handled in a way that is to your benefit.

D.J. McPhee
22 April 2024Posted inOperational Tasks
Post authorD.J. McPhee