A customer paying with their smart watch on a mobile POS system.

Why your business should send and accept online invoice payments

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Accepting online invoices and payments is a modern necessity, no matter what kind of business you run. Customers demand convenience and want to have options regarding how they pay. In an increasingly global market, customer behavior should dictate your billing practices.

Therefore, online payment options are a must. Moving beyond paper invoices and checks can improve your cash flow and be advantageous for your clients.

Traditional manual invoicing has been the default for decades, so why change? Online invoicing is faster than its analog alternative, and invoicing software leaves less room for human error. While manual invoicing leaves the door open for fraud and theft, technological innovations have revolutionized payment processing and made the task safer in the process. The days of processing paper payments are over. Modernize your business and give the appearance of an effective, dependable company with online invoicing. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of invoices and how invoice payments work.

What is an invoice payment?

An invoice is a request for payment issued by a supplier to a buyer. Invoices typically specify line items such as the services rendered or goods provided, the cost of these goods or services, and relevant sales tax. These line items should accompany the itemized list of goods or services rendered. An invoice should also contain an invoice number, payment terms, the total amount due, and your company’s contact information, including phone number.

Types of invoices

A variety of types of invoices exist to fulfill different needs within different industries. Some invoices may be better suited to tracking your accounts receivable than others. The following are some of the types of invoices you might utilize:

  • Recurring invoices are convenient for billing customers who pay a set monthly amount for a goods or services package.
  • Electronic invoices or e-invoices can be any invoice sent electronically. E-invoices are the dominant form of invoices today.
  • A Pro Forma invoice is a cost estimate invoice. This type of invoice is usually provided to a customer before services are rendered to give them an idea of what they can expect to pay upfront.
  • Sales invoices are used to bill clients for goods sold. Sales invoices usually include a description of the product, the quantity, and the cost per item.
  • A Purchase invoice is an invoice provided by a seller to the consumer detailing the quantity and price of goods purchased. Similar to a purchase order, a purchase order is an official payment request from a vendor.
  • Past due invoices are sent if a consumer doesn’t pay their invoice by the payment due date on a final invoice. These invoices often include late fees for late payments.

Online invoicing is an indispensable tool, no matter which type of invoice you need to send. How much could automated recurring invoices streamline your business? How about if past due invoices were managed by computer software? Online invoice software can eliminate human error and increase your cash flow by managing your billing process. In addition, using pre-programmed deadlines saves time and energy, allowing you to focus on growing and innovating your business.

How do online invoice payments work?

Online invoice payments have the ultimate benefit of immediate payment. In addition, taking the invoicing process online will enable your small business to accept various payment methods, including debit and credit cards or PayPal. Some companies are even beginning to accept cryptocurrency as payment. Giving your customers the versatility of these different payment options will give your business a competitive edge over cash-only businesses.

Why online invoice payments are a must

As a business owner, you want your small business to stand out from the crowd. Part of that process is offering competitive convenience to your customers and clients. Offering online payment options will set you apart as a service provider that cares about accessibility and pays attention to its customer's desires. So let online invoices start to work for you.

Save time

If you’ve ever spent hours adjusting an excel spreadsheet to produce a professional invoice for a client, you’ll know how much time this can eat up. Wasted time can cost you more than your sanity. Because invoice templates are included with most invoicing software, you can say goodbye to painstaking hours of adjusting spreadsheets. These templates will not only save you from the chore of fighting with a spreadsheet, freeing you up to engage with the parts of your job you love most.

Save money

Human error plays a more significant role in bookkeeping than you may realize. These blunders can cost your company money, whether it's a misplaced decimal in your invoice amount, an incorrect invoice date, or a mistake in invoice payment terms.

By utilizing accounting software to generate online invoices, you can also save money on overhead costs for bookkeeping and accounting personnel. Going digital can also save you money on paper, postage, and labor when eliminating cumbersome invoice tracking. In addition, you’ll increase your business’s productivity when you catalog expenses digitally.

Get paid faster

Arguably one of the most appealing facets of online invoicing and invoice software is getting paid faster. With online invoice software, you can send invoices immediately and set up recurring invoices for regular clients. In addition, offering online payment options can encourage clients to pay more quickly. Improving cash flow has never been so simple.

Less paperwork

Paperless billing is good for the planet and also decreases your operational costs. Online invoicing means fewer printed invoices, saving you money on paper, ink, and postage. While these might seem like trivial costs, they can add up over time. In addition, your customers will likely appreciate less paper clutter too!

Invoice tracking

Easily keep track of your invoices and invoice payments with online invoice software. Most invoice software will allow you to track when your customers receive, open, and pay invoices. Consolidating customer information and payment projections in a single place will make filing taxes and running income projections even easier.

Easy corrections

While online invoice software can help decrease the likelihood of mistakes in the first place, human error is still inevitable. With online invoicing, you can correct mistakes in real-time and dispatch a new invoice instantly. With paper invoicing, invoice mistakes must be manually corrected, and a new invoice sent. That process is not only tedious but can result in payment delays.


Send automatic payment reminders and recurring invoices without lifting a finger. Most online invoicing software includes options for payment reminders, monthly billing, and late fee penalties. This software takes the guesswork out of these tasks and frees you to engage with other areas in your business.

Look professional

Cash-only businesses may seem to have a nostalgic allure, but this business model can make you look disorganized at best and unprofessional at worst. Offering online billing and payment options shows that you’re aware of your customers' desires and are willing to meet them where they’re at. Sleek, online payment portals are aesthetically pleasing and conveniently professional.

Increase mobility

Paper invoices and invoice tracking can tie you down to your office or wherever your financial documents are stored. With online invoicing, you can send, pay, and track invoices anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. Wherever your smartphone, tablet, or laptop goes can be your new office.

Get organized

The automation of online invoicing software can accomplish the difficult task of tracking your invoices manually. By using online invoicing, the days of calculating late fees and reminding your customers of past-due invoices can be over. Good organization will make all areas of your business more streamlined and smooth.

Avoid fraud

Online invoicing discourages fraud and builds trust between client and merchant. Electronic transactions also deter theft and fraudulent reporting within your organization. Unlike businesses that deal in cash or checks, online payments leave your physical office less appealing for burglary.

Streamline reporting

Online invoicing software automatically generates reports, including client payments and client history. Some software will even help you project your income. And when it’s time to do your taxes, you’ll be able to quickly and easily access all the information you need in one place.

Its time to send and accept online invoice payments

After adopting online invoicing, your business will look more professional and feel more streamlined. Immediate payment can improve your cash flow and decrease your overhead bookkeeping costs.

Offering your customers the options they crave is just good business. In the changing business management landscape in an increasingly global market, adapting to your customers’ behavior has never been more critical.

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at heartland.us..