Invoice: How Fast Is Too Fast
There are few hard and fast rules to invoicing for small businesses. That said, prompt invoicing is a good practice to establish in your company.
Before you begin invoicing, you and your customer will have laid out a timeline for payment and delivery of your goods or services. Once the deal is inked and delivery of your product is in motion, send out your first invoice. It’s a generally accepted truth that the sooner you invoice, the sooner you’ll have payment in hand.
Quick invoicing isn’t just good theory—it’s a common-sense operational practice. You may be lucky enough to have a dedicated accounting team. If you’re like most small businesses, however, you likely have one or two staffers managing invoices in addition to many other duties. Perhaps you handle invoicing yourself. In the rapid pace of a small business, it’s easy to lose track of invoicing. Safeguard against this by sending invoices quickly and at regular intervals in the cycle of a contract.
With reliable customers, more often than not your first invoice will be your last. There will be late payments, though—you can bank on it. Early invoicing will set in motion the follow-up notices you may need to ensure payment is received. In general, allow 10 to 15 days between follow-up invoices once the first has been sent.
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