Now that you’ve acted on your dream of starting your own trucking company, it is time to take on the daunting task of learning to manage invoices. That way, you will be able to receive your first payment efficiently.
But where do you start? It is important to manage invoices properly, but this is not something everyone knows how to do. Keep reading to learn why more and more truckers are turning to invoice management software systems for their bookkeeping needs, as well as how it can help you operate your own trucking company with ease.
What Is an Invoice?
An invoice is a record of the services that you provided for a price. Invoices often include a statement that details the total amount due for these services as well as an itemized breakdown of the costs. Trucking invoices should be sure to list the services that the company provided as well as the costs and descriptions of these services.
An invoice should be precise yet detailed enough to ensure that your client has all of the required payment information. Invoices are a way of verifying that a payment agreement exists between your company and the client you are providing services to, and invoices are imperative to successful trucking companies.
When you are able to properly manage invoices, you are ensuring your client’s understand their obligation to pay for your provided services. This helps alleviate any cash flow concerns from the start.
If you don’t provide your clients with an invoice after setting up a predetermined payment arrangement, it will be nearly impossible to receive payment. This can cause incredible cash flow problems for your company.
How Do Invoices Work?
An invoice ensures that your company will receive payments in full and on time. Truck drivers and trucking companies alike will create invoices that they will send to their clients in an effort to receive payments for their provided services.
When you send an invoice to your client, you are providing yourself as well as your client with a record of the services that have been completed as well as the payment that is owed to you as a result of your work. Once you completely fill out your invoice and send it to your client, they will be responsible for issuing payments within the designated payment arrangement timeframe.
An invoice can help you continue operating your business without having to deal with cash flow problems. Invoice payment terms may vary, but they are necessary to ensure that payments are processed in a reasonable amount of time.
5 Steps For Managing Invoices
It can be exhausting to manage invoices properly if you don’t know where to start, but that’s why many truckers will utilize invoice management software solutions. They can ensure that you have a hassle-free bookkeeping experience.
Make sure your cash flow isn’t interrupted by implementing invoice management software. Doing so will also give your clients ample opportunity to pay on time with the help of a clean and reliable invoice structure.
While it seems simple and obvious, address verification in proper invoice management is a necessity. Many shipping companies and freight brokers will have operations in multiple locations, so the billing address that you have might not be the same one that aligns with the location you did work for.
Contacting them directly before sending an invoice is recommended. That way, you can be confident that the address you have on file matches the accounts payable team of your client, not their warehouse.
Some companies will prefer that you send your invoice via email, so ensuring that you have the email address of the appropriate department is critical. This will make sure that you will be paid on time because an incorrect email address could easily result in an overdue invoice, which can quickly lead to cash flow problems for your company.
Bill of Lading
To manage invoices properly, make sure you include the original version of the signed bill of lading along with your invoice. Always make a copy of the bill of lading to keep for yourself, and remember that many companies will require proof of the original copy in order to submit payment.
Including the bill of lading with the relevant invoices can save both you and your client from dealing with a lot of confusion. With the bill of lading and the invoice all in one place, the client can easily match the invoice with the shipment without having to contact you with questions, which would only further delay the payment.
When it comes to invoices, details matter. The less your client has to contact you for or clarify, the faster they can submit their payment to you.
Don’t just include a subtotal that states how much money they owe you. Instead, give your clients additional details that explain every detail of the services that you provided. Include transportation costs, fuel and any other surcharges that might have been incurred over the course of the project.
All of this information will let your client know exactly what you did and precisely how much they owe you for each individual service. The more information you provide, the greater the clarity will be and the less time it will take them to pay you.
Giving your client as many opportunities to pay effortlessly is ideal for you and them. When you send an invoice, be very clear about the details on the amount they are being billed for, but also be very clear about the payment due date and how/where they can submit payment.
The easier you make it, the easier it will be for them to get the payment to you on time. They shouldn’t have to wonder what a payment is for, when it is due, or how to get you your payment.
Any questions involving an invoice will only result in a delay in payment. If you are working with an invoice factoring company, make sure you provide your client with the proper information.
Use a Payment Software
When running a trucking company, managing your books can often be the most exhausting part of running your operations. This is also one of the most crucial aspects of your business because without it, you won’t be able to remain in operation.
Thankfully, there are software systems available to assist you. While these companies will offer various features to assist with your bookkeeping needs, they greatly alleviate the hassles of creating and submitting invoices as well as accepting payments.
With invoice management software in place, working for you, you can be sure your invoices are being received so that you can, in turn, receive the money you need to continue running successful operations.
Take Advantage of Help Where You Can
Running a trucking company is no easy feat, but thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone. By letting professionals help you manage invoices, handle accounting and help with other invoice management processes you can get the assistance you require to be successful.
Creating and submitting invoices can be more difficult than you think, and receiving payments on time can be even harder. Let an invoice management system automate your processes and alleviate the stress for you.
If you are making use of a trucking management software program, you should have templates that you can use to create invoices. Either way, you will want to include the name of your business, contact information, the client’s name, their contact information, the bill of lading, the invoice number, the issue date, the due date, any invoicing details, the total amount due and any other payment terms or additional information.
Bookkeeping is a critical aspect of trucking companies, but this doesn’t mean you have to hire a bookkeeper. Trucking management software solutions are available, and they can help you stay organized while avoiding potential invoicing issues.
When operating a trucking business, certain records should always be kept track of in order to ensure that you avoid auditing-related issues. Save your receipts, proof of business expenses, logbooks, bill of ladings and tax return records for as long as possible.
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