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Online invoices vs paper invoices: the paradigm of invoicing software

We live in a digital world, and as the great Bob Dylan put it, "the times, they are a-changin’". The world we live in is quickly adapting to technological advances, and things that were relevant one day may be obsolete the next.

Online invoices vs paper invoices title image

Invoicing software constantly becomes more intuitive and powerful. With advances like the OCR system and cloud computing, it is easy to keep track of your business finances online. In this article, I will describe how online invoicing software compares to paper accounting.

Why switch from paper invoices to online invoices?

Many businesses are still using paper invoices and sending bills to customers by post. This can be time-consuming, create unnecessary costs, and cause risks from human error. Transitioning to an online invoicing software makes it quick and simple to send invoices to clients, and ultimately get paid faster!

Say farewell to paperwork with invoicing software

If you have previously or currently dealt with paper accounting, you understand the frustration that comes along with crumpled receipts in your pockets and stacks of paperwork and bills in your office. Having to search through a pile of paper to find one invoice is not realistic in this day and age.

Online invoicing software manages all of your paperwork, without the paperwork. All invoices, expenses, quotes, delivery notes, credit notes, payments, and accounting reports are saved to the cloud and easily accessible at any time. If you’re not at the office, you can even access your account from a mobile app.

Unsure of if you should switch to invoicing software due to your technical abilities? Don’t worry, most invoicing software is designed to be straightforward and easy to use, even with no previous accounting knowledge.

Save time and money with invoicing software

It takes time to create, process and send paper invoices. Some studies say that a single paper invoice can cost the company over £30! When you think about it, the costs do add up.

It can take an employee several minutes to hours to create an invoice on Word or Excel, or even write it by hand. You then have to print off the invoice, put stamps on the envelope, and take it to the nearest post box. There are a lot of extra costs involved in this method.

For a single paper invoice, you are paying for the employee’s salary, the paper, the envelope, the stamp, and for the time it takes to get it to a post box. If you are sending several invoices per day, these costs add up quickly.

You should also keep in mind that this method opens the door for human error which can take twice as long to correct. If you send a paper invoice to a client and they notice that the total is incorrect, you will need to manually write and send a credit note, as well as a new invoice. There is also the possibility of your invoice getting lost in the mail.

If you switch to online invoicing software, it can take less than a minute to create an invoice and send it to your customer by email. The customer will get the email and you can receive your money on the very same day!

Although online invoicing software is not free, the monthly or yearly subscription you pay for it is much less than the alternative.

Get paid faster with invoicing software

With paper invoices, it can take days to months to receive the money you are owed. With online invoicing software, you can receive your payment on the very same day. With invoicing software, you can put your bank account details on the invoice, so your customer can make a bank transfer. Alternatively, you can integrate payment links directly into your online invoice!

With Debitoor, you can connect a SumUp, PayPal, GoCardless, or iZettle account to receive money straight to your bank account.

If you connect one of these accounts with your Debitoor account, when you send an invoice to a client, the invoice will include a ‘Pay Now’ button. This button will direct them to a secure webpage where they can enter their credit card or account information and confirm the payment. You will receive the money immediately, or within a few days depending on the account type.

With invoicing software, you can also easily connect a card reader for in-person credit or debit card payments.

Save the environment with online invoicing software

In 2020, the environment is on a lot of people’s minds. Some studies suggest that the average office worker creates 160 kg of paper waste, and over half of business waste is comprised of paper.

When you think about it, all of those paper invoices and envelopes will eventually be thrown away.

1 tree is equivalent to approximately 12,000 pieces of paper, but that one tree also produces enough oxygen for 3 people to breathe.

With all of this in mind, online invoicing software still gives you the option to print documents if needed, but you will be able to view and edit everything from the comfort of your computer screen.

You get the best of both worlds, you can print your important documents for your records while keeping the majority of your paperwork online.

Create cool and customised invoices with invoicing software

With paper invoices, your choices are limited to using Word or Excel templates or writing them out by hand.

With online invoicing software, you can customise the look and layout of your invoice, add pictures and logos, and even change the colour scheme.

You can choose what details you wish to show on each invoice, add discounts, include product pictures, and change the currency and language to invoice to customers abroad.

Here is an example of a customised invoice using Debitoor:

Example of a customised invoice

Keep important accounting documents in one place with invoicing software

With paper invoicing, you would need to manually create your accounting documents like the balance sheet and profit & loss statement from all of your paper invoices and receipts from that period.

With online invoicing software, your accounting documents are automatically updated as soon as you create a new invoice or expense. If you create a new expense, you can view your updated balance sheet in real-time.

If you are a VAT registered business in the UK, you can automatically submit your VAT returns to HMRC through your online dashboard, all in a few clicks.

With Debitoor invoicing software, you can also invite your accountant to access your account. Your accountant can remotely view all of your important accounting records in one place. If you have more than one employee who should have access to the software, you can add extra users, and limit each user’s features.

Still unsure about transitioning to online software? Feel free to give it a try with a 7-day free trial.

Katie
Written by
on 15/05/2020