Any accounting professional knows that a big part of the job is dedicated to settling client accounts and managing invoices. Thanks to continually evolving technology available in the accounting sector, this hefty task is becoming smaller and more manageable every day.
This is largely due to the availability and ease with which CPAs and accounting firms are able to automate their client billing processes.
Businesses in every sector throughout the globe are turning to new technologies and, specifically, the automation of redundant and tedious tasks. This allows employees to get more done with limited time and resources. The accounting sector is no different!
Automated billing has the ability to improve staff workflows and day-to-day operations. By making use of this powerful process improvement, you can unleash new potential within your business and take your firm to the next level.
If you’ve yet to make the leap to auto-billing, here are five considerable reasons why you should. Automated client billing:
- Reduces human error
- Reallocates staff hours
- Lessens burnout
- Positively impacts cash flow
- Allows for scalability
Not to mention, automated billing can provide a better customer experience for your end client, as well. It’s a win-win!
The most significant requirement for ensuring a seamless automated billing process is a top-notch system of online payment tools. That way, you can rest assured knowing that all invoices are managed through a highly secure, easy-to-use program.
Now, are you ready to learn more about automated billing and the benefits it can bring accounting professionals like yourself? Let’s get started.
1. Automated Billing Reduces Human Error
Manual billing relies on a ton of manual data entry. When every number, dollar, and expense has to be entered by hand, you leave yourself open to a significant amount of human error. That’s because humans are prone to making mistakes; every value inputted manually has the potential to be wrongfully entered.
These costly mistakes can end up harming your business in big ways, whether you realize it or not. In fact, studies show that manual data entry can have up to a 3% error rate. When you’re dealing with multiple accounts for a plethora of clients at your CPA firm, those errors can add up—and quickly.
Additionally, discounts or other complicated billing structures can make manual billing even more complicated—and prone to errors.
It’s like arithmetic. Even if you can do arithmetic by hand and come to the correct conclusion 9 times out of 10, it’s still a good idea to double-check your answer with a calculator—especially if it’s for something important. After all, a simple misplaced decimal point can lead to big errors.
And speaking of calculators, it’s often much faster to get the answer with a calculator than by hand—which brings us to our next point.
2. Automated Billing Reallocates Staff Hours
Billing clients in a manual fashion eats up a big portion of your staff’s time. So when you finally make the transition to an automated system, you actually free up countless hours of your staff’s valuable working time.
In fact, a common objection to adopting high-tech automated systems is the upfront cost. However, when you take into consideration the revenue loss from paying staff members more than the price of the software, you can see that it’s actually a money-saving solution.
That’s because that time can then be reinvested into the business by assigning the same staff members to more impactful tasks and projects. Tools like ClickTime’s accounting time-tracking software can assist in managing and reallocating your staff’s hours in the most effective ways possible.
3. Automated Billing Lessens Staff Burnout
As more employees are working from home than ever before, it’s of utmost importance to consider the impacts on staff burnout on your overall team. In fact, studies show that more than 69% of employees surveyed are showing signs of burnout while working from home.
A burnt-out staff can often lead to decreased productivity and quality of work, increased levels of absenteeism, and ultimately require an investment in the hiring and training costs of new employees.
A good way to avoid all of the above is to prioritize solutions that can lessen the burden on your staff—like spreading the workload to new technology instead. Since automated billing solutions reduce the pressure and redundancy of manual billing processes, your staff members are less likely to overwork themselves.
In fact, when these mundane tasks are transferred to automated systems, employees are able to take on more engaging tasks and projects that can even lead to higher buy-in at the business. After all, staff members who know they’re making a significant impact tend to feel higher degrees of company loyalty.
4. Automated Billing Positively Impacts Cash Flow
As accounting professionals, we take comfort in the predictable—it makes creating happy clients much easier!
Automating your firm's billing positively impacts your firm's cash flow by regulating when you get paid. Think about it: if you know you'll always be able to invoice on the first of the month without even thinking about it, your clients will become used to the predictability of receiving that invoice, and therefore more likely to pay on time.
Plus, automated billing creates new avenues for payment, making it easier—and more immediate—for your clients to pay right on the spot via credit card or bank ACH. With automated billing, you can even set up auto-charge options for clients who might prefer to not be hassled with manually paying each month's invoice. These will both further reduce the amount of time it will take for you to get paid.
Most of all, automated billing creates predictability forecasting. You'll be able to more easily set goals and understand what the future might look like for your firm if you're able to measure the contracted revenue you'll charge at the first of each month.
5. Automated Billing Allows for Scalability
Another powerful reason to automate your bookkeeping and billing processes is for increased scalability purposes. If you’re still manually billing accounts each month, it can be hard to expand your firm to take on new clients.
Specifically, if you’re currently using up all of your staff’s time manually billing current clients, how are you going to make time to prioritize new ones? Will you have to wait to hire and train a new staff member before bringing on your new client? Probably not. By then, your prospect will likely have already found a new firm that was ready for them.
That’s where automated billing comes in. Since automated billing transfers the brunt of the work from your staff member to your powerful computerized system, you have the ability to grow in scale exponentially.
That’s because with the right auto-billing software system, you can manage billing for 50 clients just as easily as you can with 5 clients. Your firm will be constantly ready for expansion whenever you choose, without having to worry about who will manage the increased billing requirements.
Now that you understand the importance of an automated billing system for settling your client accounts, it’s time to choose a powerful, and cost-effective solution. Be sure to keep each of the previously mentioned characteristics in mind as you research and adopt the right tools for your team.
We recommend checking out Regpack’s online payment forms to get started building a streamlined auto-billing process that your employees and clients will love. And if you’re ready to see what human-augmented AI accounting can do for your firm, click below to join our next presentation created specifically for accountants.