This guest blog post is written by Satya Tammareddy. Satya currently leads the APAC SaaS Platforms team at Stripe, working closely with SaaS businesses that provide payments and other financial infrastructure to their customers. Prior to Stripe, Satya worked at Dropbox, where she was the company’s first hire in APAC. She previously co-founded an online travel company and worked in investment banking earlier in her career.
Invoices are critical to a business — they deliver the important message to customers and clients that payment is due. However, the job of managing invoicing can be a hassle, requiring you to juggle many tasks — tracking the status of sent invoices, chasing late payments, reconciling payments, and providing a great customer experience.
Each one of these tasks can be time-consuming and labour-intensive — and even more so if your customers are among the 40% of companies in the US that still mail paper checks, further slowing down the invoicing process1. That’s a serious challenge for small businesses because your time is precious. The hours you spend sorting out invoicing issues pull you away from other important tasks and can set you behind on timely deadlines.
Giving time back to businesses
At Stripe, we’re no stranger to these common challenges. Stripe is a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, and we work with businesses to solve these issues and help bookkeepers and accountants close the books more quickly. Xero partners closely with Stripe to power invoice payments and help businesses get paid faster. Millions of companies — from the world’s largest enterprises to the most ambitious startups — use Stripe to accept payments, grow their revenue, and accelerate new business opportunities.
In our experience working with businesses on the invoicing challenges they encounter, we have identified three key ways to improve invoicing and help you get paid faster. These tips can help optimise your invoicing process so you and your clients can save time, smooth your cash flow, and make your business more efficient:
- Improve the customer experience with custom online invoices
The customer experience doesn’t end with receiving a product or service — it extends all the way through to invoicing and payment. The most effective invoice is one sent securely online that protects a customer’s sensitive information and is clearly identifiable with your business’ custom colours or logo. Paper invoices are more likely to get misplaced or forgotten — and it’s easy for both you and your customers to lose track of them. If your invoices are unclear or generic, customers may not even recognise them as coming from your business. A customised, professional-looking invoice that’s delivered online and easy to track is more likely to be taken seriously and paid sooner.
- Attach payments to make invoices easier to pay and track
Making the payment process easy for customers is essential to improving your invoicing system. When it’s easy to pay, customers tend to make payments more quickly — sometimes as soon as they receive your invoice. With Xero and Stripe, businesses can accept card and Apple Pay payments on Xero online invoices — and those that do get paid up to twice as fast as those who don’t use online invoices2. Enabling Stripe will generate a custom payment link on your invoices, which reduces the steps customers have to take to pay, and with the Stripe Feed deeply integrated into Xero, it’s easy to reconcile payments.
- Enable card payments and wallets for simpler, easier payments
By adding card payments and wallets, such as Google Pay and Apple Pay, to your invoices, you can make the payment process even simpler and more convenient for customers to pay across devices. These options also open up more opportunities, allowing you to do business globally. A seamless payment experience that requires little effort on the customer’s part can dramatically improve the customer experience and help you get invoices paid quickly. On average, customers pay three times faster when paying with Apple Pay or Google Pay3. Ultimately, that can lead to fewer late payments to chase down and more valuable time saved.
Take the hassle out of invoicing
Invoicing is an essential function for many businesses, but managing invoices doesn’t have to be the chore that it once was. With Xero and Stripe, you can tap into powerful tools and put these tips into practice, reducing the time you spend managing and tracking invoices.
Learn more about the Xero and Stripe Invoicing solution at our Xerocon New Orleans breakout session.
1 Source: https://www.pymnts.com/news/b2b-payments/2020/2021-the-year-business-payments-go-digital-and-lose-the-paper-check/
2 Xero President Tony Ward on helping small businesses succeed, https://stripe.com/customers/xero-tony-ward
3 Source: https://stripe.com/invoicing