6 Key Questions You Should Ask Before Selecting an Online Invoicing Solution
No matter what business you’re in proper accounting and financial solutions that handle common tasks like invoicing and billing are a necessity. After all, how else were you looking to get paid for the goods and services you provide for your clients? If you’re still using snail mail and paper invoices, you’re selling yourself short. With so many online invoicing solutions available, it’s in your best interest to go digital with your bookkeeping. With that said, it’s just as important to narrow down your options and choose the right software for your business.
Here are 6 key questions you need to ask yourself before selecting an online invoicing solution:
Which features do you need and which ones do you want?
When you begin your search, it’s always best to map out a blue-sky solution as well as a baseline. Do your best to separate the features you must-have and which ones are nice-to-have. Odds are you wont find a platform with every feature you’re looking for, but you’ll likely find one that supports all of your required functionality.
Here are a few key features to look for in an invoicing platform:
- Ability to accept multiple payment types i.e. credit and debit card processing, ACH, and eChecks
- Customizable invoices
- Recurring and automated payments
- Time and expense tracking
- Tax preparation and financial reporting
These are just a few features that many of the top payments companies offer when it comes to their invoicing solution.
Is there an industry specific solution available?
The majority of electronic invoicing solutions offer a generic platform that’s built to fit the needs of any business. However, there are quite a few platforms that have been specifically designed for a specific niche or industry such as accounting for nonprofits, legal, healthcare, and much more.
It’s always a good idea to search for industry specific solutions when choosing any software or tools for your business. Even if there isn’t a platform necessarily built for your industry, the market may point you towards one that is optimized for it. For example, if you google search “best invoicing software for lawyers” odds are you’ll find some data that will point you in the right direction.
What are you willing to pay?
Depending on how tight your budget is this will likely be a huge factor when making your decision. Luckily for you, the majority of invoicing products don’t break the bank and offer tiered pricing structures that can easily scale with your business. Make sure you start with a free trial before opting in to any monthly subscriptions. Flint offers a month long trial which includes all premium and enterprise features with no credit card required. Most monthly subscriptions will cost between $10 and $50 per month so if you’re paying any more than that make sure they’re offering features you can’t find anywhere else at an affordable price.
What are the international capabilities?
We live in an increasingly global marketplace. With that said, it’s imperative that you find a solution that is compatible with multiple languages and currencies. You never know where your business is going to expand to. If you have an influx of customer’s from Europe you’ll want to make sure you can seamlessly send and accept payments from overseas. Sending and accepting payments to and from clients is a delicate relationship. If you create too much friction there’s a good chance you’ll lose that client.
Does the platform integrate with existing technologies?
As stated above, you likely won’t find a solution that has every single feature you want. However, many platforms seamlessly integrate with other technologies so you can sync up your billing process. Make sure you inquire about which integrations are available and how simple it is to integrate.
How secure is the platform?
With the number of cyber attacks and security breaches steadily increasing it’s very important that you choose a platform that keeps you and your customer’s data secure. Make sure the platform adheres to the PCI Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) and that takes proper security measures like data encryption, tokenization, and SSL security.
By putting the PCI-DSS and SSL security logo on your website, your customers will also be much more confident in using your services.
When choosing the proper online invoicing solution for your company it’s important that you ask the questions listed above to ensure you find a service that meets your specific needs at an affordable cost. Take your time when doing your research and don’t be afraid to ask any additional questions, it will save you both time and money in the long run.