Once upon a time, everything was done on paper: correspondence, reports, advertising, etc.
We’re long past that time and many things can now be done electronically, which is great for the environment and great for your business.
Invoices are a prime example of something that can go paperless, and as you’re reading this article you’re asking yourself why you should make the move to electronic ones.
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I’ll give you a simple answer – it saves you money.
And I’ll give you four examples of how it saves you money and why it’s essential that you stop using paper invoices ASAP.
4 Benefits of Electronic Invoices
1. Electronic Invoices Save Admin Time
Admin is one of the necessary evils of every business: sorry admin managers.
You need to have your house in order for it to be operating as efficiently and profitably as possible. An orderly, time-efficient admin process makes this a reality and electronic invoices are a way of saving some admin time.
Electronic invoices save admin time because they take away a lot of the hard work your team has to do – they record all entries automatically, holding and organizing the data for your administrators.
This means they simply have to interpret the data – saving your business by freeing up their time, so that it can be re-allocated elsewhere.
2. Electronic Invoices Make It Easier to Track Expenses
Pretty much every company has expenses, it’s a natural part of a thriving business.
The problem with expenses is that they have to be recorded, claimed, and validated. This can get awfully messy if you’re receiving paper invoices or receipts – for one, they’ll need to have supporting documentation to prove the amounts being billed are correct.
Electronic invoices are a great way of making your expenses simpler and more cost-effective. I’ll give you an example of how this looks for your business.
Say that there’s a transport element to your business – maybe you have drivers who deliver goods or a field sales team who are traveling across the country. These people need to fuel their vehicles and they’re going to claim expenses for this.
Fuel cards offer you a way of creating electronic invoices for your drivers.
A quick scan of an aggregator site like iCompario shows that they come with accounting software that records every instance that your drivers have filled up their vehicles. This means you can simply look at the electronic invoices they produce and know with certainty that they’re giving you the correct expense amounts.
3. Electronic Invoices Make It Simpler to Make VAT Claims
One of the things every business owner knows about VAT is that it can be reclaimed, so long as your records are in order and you submit government-approved paperwork.
Don’t think this is something you need to worry about? Think again.
Businesses across the globe lose $20 billion in unclaimed VAT every year, which is a huge black hole in company finances that good accounting would stop happening.
Electronic invoices make it so much easier for you to keep good accounts than it is if you use paper invoices. Ask yourself now how many paper invoices have been lost, damaged, or incorrectly recorded by your business. Whatever the figure is, it’s more than the none we’d be talking about if you were using electronic invoices.
Pandle is free accounting software that you can use to make the move away from paper invoices. And by going paperless, you can avoid losing, damaging, or incorrectly recording your invoices.
This means that when it comes to the end of your company’s financial year, you can submit your VAT claims and know that you won’t miss out on any refunds due to your business.
4. Electronic Invoices Are More Eco-Friendly
The strength of your brand is enormously important to your business.
Your brand is one of the things that retain your existing customers and helps you to win new ones. And one of the biggest brand failures you can make today is to be seen as not being environmentally friendly. Getting rid of paper invoices helps you avoid this.
Paper is one of the biggest threats to the environment because it’s made from trees.
Your business will always need to create invoices and you could choose to offset the environmental impact of using paper ones by planting new trees, or you could just stop wasting paper.
Invoices are one of the simplest things to move from a paper format to an electronic one, so it makes sense for you to do so. The reason for this is that you can then brand your business as being paperless, showing your customers that your company is eco-friendly.
Of course, you could stick with the paper invoices and risk damaging your brand and losing business as a result – it’s totally your call.
I’ve given you four powerful examples of why your company has to move to electronic invoices but they all boil down to one reason – it’s a better way for you to do business, one that saves you money and enhances your brand.