When you build your business, you think about a lot of things, but not necessarily your quotes and invoices… Very quickly, the first customers come and the new business manager must decide to issue their first invoice. .
Often, it is the manageable solution that is used to create an invoice first: downloading a model over the Internet (paid or not) then modifying it in a spreadsheet or word processor. In short, an emergency solution but which is not necessarily a good practice. Already because in France, the invoice is an accounting document that responds to very specific legal rules: some mentions are mandatory and depend on the status of the company. Many entrepreneurs, focusing more on their business objectives than the administrative aspects, issue invoices without asking too many questions about their legality. The problem is that the day a dispute arises (bad payee or dispute), this levy can be paid in court. However, a search on Google allows you to find detailed information on the question very quickly.
Choosing a Billing Solution
Traditionally, the business builder has one of two options for creating their first quote and invoice. The first is to use Office tools such as Word or Excel. However, this solution is only desirable if your invoicing is not on track. The more your volume increases, the greater the risk of errors, frequent copy-pasting and, above all, the impossibility of having a holistic view. In fact, each file is independent and hence it is necessary to maintain a specific spreadsheet to get the minimum statistics. This solution quickly finds its limits, especially when the amount of documents and staff increases.
The second is to equip oneself with dedicated software. Since the mid-1980s, many publishers have positioned themselves in this market. The software brings many advantages: business solutions, gateways to accounting or other modules in the same category, consistency of data, etc. But these solutions sometimes suffer from drawbacks: ergonomics and often confusing accounting terminology, license price and high support (especially in multi-stations that involve the purchase and configuration of servers). But the main criticism of these solutions comes from their marketing strategy, which consists of selling a very cheap basic solution, but without support. The support contract is often even greater than the software, as it runs every year. Things can get tougher as the team grows: license costs explode, often in the ratio of 5 to 10. We can assume that this strategy corresponds to the general rate of growth of a company: the need for multi-user arises when the company reaches a certain cruising speed (and therefore a certain turnover). Today, collaborative work is self-evident and business leaders no longer want to wait two or three years to take advantage of it. It is therefore essential to examine these costs carefully before committing yourself.
A solution for the future, online invoicing
Today, most publishers offer Internet-connected online solutions. As business leaders themselves are digital enthusiasts online with their e-mails, their bank accounts, and even their tax and social security announcements, this can be obvious. Commercial management this development remained poorly correlated with some of the solutions available on the Internet (at least for VSEs), but the area has developed a lot. With the ultra-rapid development of means of communication, the benefits of software over the Internet have become more apparent every day. In the age of 4G keys and other smartphones, limiting data access to a company’s local network is becoming a de facto restriction. Being able to directly access your customer file or product catalog online is a major asset for an entrepreneur. No need to return to the office to write an estimate or consult a price list. Similarly, on the go, users retain full access to their business data. The classic example is Craftsman who places his estimate on the site, at your location, then sends it directly to you by e-mail: Not only do you not have to wait for your estimate, but moreover, Craftsman gives you the maximum chance. that you immediately validate his quote. Sending it later would have given the customer a chance to question the competition. Finally, a major argument for online solutions lies in the readability of their billing method: typically based on a monthly subscription, they require no initial investment. But above all, their cost in multistation is not high.
Open by definition, online applications can be interlinked. This has been a trend in the United States for years and has no doubt spread to Europe. For example, imagine an e-commerce application: Connected to your invoicing solution, it will allow you to create your invoices with your online business management solution directly and without any technical knowledge. Online software is the building blocks that allow the entrepreneur to create a solution that is as close as possible to his actual needs, with tools covering the entire operational area of the company: marketing, production, sales, management, etc. In this way, the business future of companies already depends on the Internet: communication on social networks, online sales, selection and locating of suppliers also online. So it appears that the future of VSEs/SMEs runs through cloud computing.
Here’s how, in 3 simple examples, an online invoicing solution improves the business performance of young companies.
Problem: Working in a group is expensive
Too often, creating a quote or invoice is a pain for the contractor. Result: Quotes pile up, customers wait and some business is lost to more responsive competitors. Worse: A late-issued invoice can delay customer payments and undermine a company’s cash flow.
With an online solution, an entrepreneur can access his business information anywhere: all he needs is an internet connection. To the customer, at a construction site, in a restaurant… With existing means of communication, it is no longer necessary to chain your desk to make a quote or invoice.
And unlike installed software, an online solution is based on very flexible ergonomics: the software is powerful, but you can very well use it without any special knowledge.
Problem: Currency and Invoice, It’s Complicated
To operate efficiently, companies must invest in multi-user software, a single server, and often high maintenance costs. Indeed, a single-user software where office equipment quickly shows its limits for working in groups. An online solution is a great way to take advantage of the low cost of collaborative work already reserved for software costing several thousand euros. Its online design makes it easy to manage multiple affiliates by granting them exclusive rights.
Problem: Invoicing is good, but then you have to go to the post office
Since France remains a fairly conformist country, many companies still wish to receive their invoices by mail. For an entrepreneur who focuses on his activity and his customers, this can turn into a hassle: more paper, more cartridges, more stamps… so many minor annoyances that can shift invoicing. .
With an online solution, you can send your postal mail over the Internet. Stamp packs can be purchased on the site. Then it takes just one click to print, envelop, stamp and post the invoice…
The benefits of an online solution are easy to understand: Most business owners have already taken this step via e-mail. Related to commercial management, this way of working makes it possible to very much adapt to the situation that is often the “nerve of war” of the company. More accountability and organization allow the company to improve its business performance.