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Invoice per project. A final impression. A memorable one

Look at project billing as another service your service firm provides to clients. This is how you make sure that the invoices related to the projects are as good as the services you provided. Integrated digital workflow automation, project tracking and invoicing solutions support accurate, complete and timely invoicing processes. Sloppy invoices with mistakes hurt a business. Accurate, clear invoices tell customers that the company values professionalism.

Invoice per project. A final impression. A memorable one
Table of contents
  1. "Last Impression"
  2. Before billing
  3. During billing
  4. After billing / sending the invoice
  5. Billing is a service provided to the customer
  6. The Oraroo approach
  7. The Oraroo advantage
1. "Last Impression"

Professional services firms rely on strong client relationships in all areas of operation. The "last impression" - namely the invoicing phase of a project - can be particularly critical. If this process is mismanaged, a customer may lose confidence in their service provider and decide to take their business elsewhere.

The damage caused to business relationships by billing problems is largely self-inflicted. For some companies, invoicing is seen as a rather superficial action. Often a bill is given little attention or importance. In reality, invoices do more than tell customers what they owe. They reflect the supplier's image as a whole. Sloppy invoices with mistakes hurt a business. On the other hand, accurate, clear invoices tell customers that the company values professionalism.

Companies that show respect to their customers through the invoicing procedures they follow, create the assumption that they will receive respect in return.

In practice, this could mean bills paid promptly, without headaches, for the full amount owed.

By following some best practices before, during and after invoice preparation, your professional services organization can improve its project invoicing process. In this way, you can gain another level of respect and ensure that the "last impression" left on the client is a positive one.

2. Before billing

An optimal project invoicing process begins before issuing invoices and involves answering a few fundamental questions.

When do I bill?

This question refers to the basic terms of the project and when the project invoice can be issued. It can be a calendar date or involve criteria for reaching an agreement on when the project invoice can be issued. Issuing and sending an invoice halfway through a project when the client assumes they won't come until the job is done can only create tense conversations. It is important to know when the client expects to be billed for your services.

Who receives the invoice?

The client's contact person for a project and the contact person for invoices are not necessarily one and the same. Misdirecting an invoice can slow your cash flow. Make the effort to determine "Who gets the bill?" at the beginning of the project. This is how you stimulate prompt customer payments and avoid an inappropriate figure in the process.

Are other documents required?

Some project invoices may need to be accompanied by supporting documents. These can be as simple as receipts or expense reports. However, they can also include justifications for the activity performed (based on project timesheets) or handover-acceptance report for complex deliverables. As with sending an invoice to the wrong person, sending an invoice without these records makes your organization look bad. And, similarly, it can generate payment delays.

3. During billing

Invoice design is often individualized for each professional service provider. But regardless of the layout, every project invoice should include all the necessary information to help the client understand and process the invoice effectively. If key details are missing or poorly presented, the customer may become confused. If you made it difficult for your client, you might also have upset them. He shouldn't be surprised when your bill ends up at the bottom of his list of bills to pay.

Every project invoice should include these essential elements, which will foster customer goodwill, which almost always translates into prompt payment of the invoice:

  • Professional Letterhead – Company name, mailing address, phone number, email address, and website
  • Customer contact information – the name, address and telephone number of the bill recipient
  • Invoice number and date – invoice number, issue date, payment due date
  • Detailed list – Description of services/products, date of completion/purchase, quantity supplied (hours/items), rate (per hour/item) and financial details (line totals, subtotals, taxes and grand total)
  • Method of payment – supplier's bank account
4. After billing / sending the invoice

Certainly, a digital invoicing process is a great way to operate.

But the invoices must be sent on time and to the right people, respectively the correct email addresses.

It is also important to register them in the accounting system for tracking its payment by the client.

5. Billing is a service provided to the client

To ensure that your customers' "Last Impression" of the company is a good one, keep the pace even in the last phase. View project billing as another service your professional services firm provides to clients. In this way, you make sure that the invoices related to the projects are as good as the services you provided. Cash flow and the list of future projects at clients will remain high.

6. The Oraroo approach

For the "before billing" phase, Oraroo allows you to view the services that can be billed on the respective contract (example: services whose billing period is in the past). A selection of the services to be included in the invoice can be made.

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A precaution before starting the process of issuing the invoice is to check the existence of the email address for sending invoices and possibly validate it.

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During invoicing, you can opt for various types of invoice templates/formats. For example, some customers are only sent the invoice.

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Other customers are sent the invoice accompanied by details (for example activity report).

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Also in the invoicing phase, Oraroo allows a check of customer invoicing data as well as a review of services. In this preview of the invoice lines, changes are also allowed (which may also follow an approval flow).

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After completing the invoicing flow, the invoice can be sent to the client via email. The invoice status can be consulted in the invoices screen.

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7. The Oraroo advantage

The functional integration between project operations and contracts allows a direct takeover of the time worked and the results obtained in the invoice calculation. This integration ensures complete data tightness between operational and commercial tracking. It is a fundamental premise for a process that constantly delivers correct, complete and on-time invoices.

The technical integration of Oraroo with email solutions allows the immediate transmission of invoices to customers, as soon as they have been validated in the process. Automating this process eliminates manual efforts to identify billing and sending email addresses and is a premise for sending invoices on time.

About Oraroo

The remote work model of creative and professional service companies requires solutions for work management.

At a time when so many companies are looking for productivity gains, by centralizing information in a single holistic and real-time vision, the risk of over-allocation is eliminated and project managers are empowered to make proactive decisions.

In the same context of remote work, employees need to be facilitated with easy access to work-related information, as well as rapid and digital management processes to maintain a high level of involvement.

Addressing the above needs, Oraroo aims to improve the operational and financial performance of professional service companies and unifies in a single system project management, resource management, contract pricing and billing, labor administration, business intelligence and existing systems integration.

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