By Ali Waterman | Harkcon’s Financial Specialist
Invoicing can be a tedious process for any company, but there are ways to simplify the process and breeze through it every month. Here are some tips and tricks I use to manage the invoices for Harkcon.
Create an invoice template that can be used across multiple contracts. It will save time when creating new contract invoicing and helps standardize all the invoices. At Harkcon, I have two templates; one for Firm Fixed Price contracts and one for Time and Materials, but the majority of the two templates are the same. I build the templates to automate as much of the process as possible, so I only have to update a handful of sections per month.
Request information from project managers a few days before the end of the month. For many invoices at Harkcon, we have a brief description of work performed for the month. Most project managers can provide this information before the end of the month and when invoicing starts on the 1st of the month, you don’t have to wait on information to get invoices out. I send out an email towards the end of each month requesting the information I need for every invoice, so project managers can get a head start on gathering it.
Build a tracking spreadsheet to keep tabs on the status of all the invoices. It’s hard to remember what invoices are pending when you are creating multiple invoices per month. When I first took over invoicing, I developed a spreadsheet where I had a process flow and tracked each invoice through the process. This way I could easily identify when an invoice was delayed and address the issue.
Have a review system in place to catch errors before invoices are submitted. Nothing is more frustrating than submitting an invoice and having it rejected because of an error. The easiest way to avoid errors is to have a good review system in place. When I create an invoice, I have a first review from our accountant, then it’s sent to the project manager to review and approve for submission. Between the two reviews, the number of invoices with errors submitted has decreased creating a better invoice system overall.
Keep your invoices organized! Over the years that I have managed invoicing, I have had people ask me for invoices that are 2+ years old. Having an organized filing system will help tremendously when issues arise with prior invoices. Additionally, having standard email subject lines and inbox labeling helps easily identify invoice emails and make it much easier to search for specific communications about emails down the road.
If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and reference the title, "How to Do Invoicing the Right Way."