How do most of you handle invoices?

Since hiring my office assistant, and because she is my wife’s sister, it has spurred my wife to become more productive in my office. This is a good thing.

Let me get to the point here:

I am wondering how you handle invoices for your window cleaning service? Currently, we prefer a “do the work-get paid now” (C.O.D.) system, but occasionally we are leaving invoices for the customer to send in with a payment (basically Net 30 Terms). And to make it even more confusing, we have customers that are getting invoiced by mail once a month.

The reason for all of this is because of the thoroughness my wife is putting into making sure that we are getting paid correctly. I suppose I am too nice of a guy because I let some of our customers go for 30,60, 90 days without billing them. But I know that they are good for it when I do bill. I just have had my hands full with the busy-ness of the job.

I would like anyones input here. From ginormous businesses (Chris and Alex) to the one-man-band types (Larry).

Thanks in advance.

I email over a pdf file - with bank transfer details. My terms state 7 days.

There are 4 reports that I look at every single morning. These reports give me a very accurate snap shot of how my business is doing.

1 of them is the Accounts Receivable report. I stopped printing because sometimes its almost 20 pages :mad:

The less you have on your AR list the healthier your business is. We have 98% of our residential customers give up a credit card at time of appointment. If they dont pay by check after the appointment there card gets charged the next morning hwne the jobs are closed out.

For commercial our terms are net 30. Collection calls start at 60 days. Service gets cut off at 90 days.

Great question. Well I’m a one man band. I mostly do commercial, and storefront, unlike many who focus on residential.

While I would prefer to get paid on the spot, most of my clients want me to invoice them. I implement a payment due upon receipt. Most of my clients pay my invoice, via mail within 2 weeks. A couple call me and I go pick up the cheque, and one or two leave me a cheque to pick up on the next clean.

I never give terms of 30 days unless they ask for it, and have a good reason for it.

A couple small jobs that I do bi-weekly, I only make a bill for them at the end of the month, and they either write a cheque for me then and there, or mail me a cheque.

I make a really good point, to always state what I expect in terms of payment when I start.

When I haven’t received payment within 15 days, I sent a nice email to remind them, if I don’t hear back, I call them on the phone, and in the rare time that they become delinquent I make a personal visit.

I would recomend that your sister-in-law, watches the a/r like a hawk, and reminds customers after 15 days, if no payment is received. Keeping a/r low is one of the most important things in your business.

Did I miss reading your good reason?

Are you seeking advise on invoicing terms, or tracking outstanding invoices?

hand her a “to-do list” and let her handle it.

Both. What’s you advice on them?

I have a few weekly residential customers where I invoice monthly; all others have payment expectations at completion of service.

For weekly and biweekly commercial customers, I invoice monthly.

For monthly commercial customers, I invoice the vast majority via mail and the balance have payment at completion of service and presentation of an invoice.

For tracking, I utilize an Excel spreadsheet, with columns for invoice number, invoice date, and payment receipt date. It requires diligence.

There are many automated software solutions available to record and track invoices, payments, and outstanding receivables.


I know you use the Customer Factor, but are you using some sort of accounting software like Quickbooks too?

No, Seth. We’re not. But that has been the final result of most of the discussions that my office staff has had. We need to do that. Any tips on really good accounting software that would integrate with data from TCF.

Good to hear from you Seth. How’s the fam?

If your using the CF it has reminders and keeps track of unpaid invoices. I like the customer factor becuase it is the same price as Quick Books Online Edition, does the same thing, but has a CRM specificly designed for the Window Dude, (up to 10 employees).

All is well in the land of Fenster.

Quickbooks is more of an accounting software where you can keep track of expenses, billing, taxes, payroll, etc… I do not believe The Customer Factor can replace accounting software.

Am I wrong? And what’s CRM?

[B]C[/B]ustomer [B]R[/B]elationship [B]M[/B]anagement.

Yeah, TCF does have some functions like invoice tracking, who owes, and for how long, also it tracks expenses of any kind, and it can really do wonders on keeping up with customers information. It does not keep up with any accounting functions or integrate with my bank accounts. That is why we’re looking at QB or Quicken.