Delayed invoicing is a key sign for when to outsource your accounting. Invoicing can be easy at the start of a business, but there are many factors that result in delayed invoicing as a business grows. These factors include invoice volume, product\service complexity, and special terms. Let’s explore each factor and why it makes invoicing painful.
When your business is new, you are only dealing with a few invoices a month. The pain of entering the details is nominal and there are many solutions that make invoice creation easy. Any easy task can become a burden with volume and invoicing is no different. Multiply invoices by 10, 100, or more and now that simple task is a repetitive torture when error is common.
A new business often only has 1 or a few products or services. With this simple list of items, it is easy to remember or capture the invoice details without a purchase order. Add many options and invoicing is no longer easy without good correlating sales orders. With multiple products and services and incomplete order details, each invoice is an exercise in sales forensic analysis.
The final factor that creates delayed invoicing is the inclusion of special terms. As with product/service complexity, this manifests itself with a poor sales ordering process. If orders don’t include special terms, you will either need to reconstruct the order details (time consuming) or get feedback from the customer and recreate the invoice (embarrassing).
If you’ve felt any of the three pain points, you likely have issues with delayed invoicing. There is a common war story amongst founders and business leaders about staying up until midnight at the end of the month to get invoices out. It only takes a few of these experiences to know that such heroics are unsustainable. Outsourcing is the natural next step when leaders realize they need specialized focus to make this process work for a growing business.