Running a business is just as much about efficient administration and robust financial procedures as the product behind the business itself. Without either of these two things, the business is prone to fail due to ineffectiveness and ineptitude behind much of its day to day activities.
Robust financial procedures are imperative to ensure that you get paid on time and, as a result, have a healthy cash flow. When your cash flow is poor, your business is vulnerable to becoming illiquid and going bankrupt. For that reason, optimising your invoice process is critical to being paid.
There are increasing ways a business can implement to make those processes as efficient as possible. There is a raft of technology available that can help you run your finances even if you do not have a finance department. In this article, we look at one of those techniques – a digitally signed invoice. We investigate what exactly a digitally signed invoice is and why it can help your business become more efficient.
What is a digitally signed invoice?
So what is a digitally signed invoice? A digitally signed invoice is a form of invoicing electronically. It does not require a person to physically sign an invoice with a pen to have it paid. Instead, digitally signed invoices can be done solely through a computer or smart device without the need to print invoices off just so that they can be written on by an authorized signatory.
Digitally signed invoices can take a variety of formats. This will usually be down to the software actually employed, but they will vary in the level of security it takes for a signature to be applied to an invoice. The most advanced digitally signed invoices will include a number of authorization levels and a detailed record of any changes made to the invoice.
Why are digital signatures helpful?
The proliferation of digitally signed invoices has occurred thanks to a number of advantages that a company can benefit from when using them. They include:
Digitally signed invoices cut down on the amount of time needed to have invoices signed off. This is down to the reduction in printing as well as sending an invoice by snail mail. With a digitally signed invoice, documents don’t even need to be scanned. Instead, they can be emailed directly to a client for payment authorization.
The amount of time spent filing or storing invoices away is also reduced with digitally signed invoices, given that they are all in an electronic format. This is hugely beneficial for a company due to the amount of space saved as well as a lot of effort on the behalf of those filing the invoices. Finally, it’s far less prone to error and individual invoices are far easier to find should they be needed in the future.
Moving invoices online helps with record retention. Again, this helps companies in future as it;s far less prone to time delays and error in the situation of an invoice dispute. Digitally signed invoices do not suffer from the same amount of human error as traditional invoices. As a result, disputes also become less frequent too, thanks to the records kept as well.
One of the most overlooked benefits of using digitally signed invoices is how it looks to clients. It looks far more modern than traditional methods, plus they’re far easier to use too. Client relationships are therefore improved due to dealing with a company that looks both professional and competent.
Using the most efficient means possible to invoice clients for work completed or products sold is essential to the smooth running of a business. Digitally signed invoices are one of the ways companies can improve invoicing processes and make them as straightforward as possible. By minimizing paperwork amongst many other time-saving efficiencies, digitally signed invoices can be a fantastic tool to help the overall finances of an entire business.