Incoming and Outgoing Invoicing — Streamlining Your Daily Paper Routine
A Complete Guide on Correct Back-Office Management
An invoice is a commercial document in the form of a receipt, bill, or written note that records transactions between a company and customers. An invoice contains information about each transaction: precise date, unique number, cost, taxes, discounts, amount of purchased items, and many others. This data allows managers, accountants, auditors, or authorities to easily track and classify your transactions and make needed reviews.
Apart from last-gen paper invoicing, today this process is being developed and simplified extremely fast. Invoicing today has a gigantic potential for automation: OCR systems allow you to convert handwritten or printed invoices into the e-format totally hands-off; modern cloud-based solutions let you create, keep, and monitor your online invoices, and send them to your customers automatically. A modern solution with a bunch of seamlessly integrated services — that's exactly what we're creating at Enty.
An invoice is a key document for your accounting. Accurate invoice management gives you a full picture of your sales, taxes, items balance, relations with customers. As a result, proper invoice management can help you make decisions based on these insights briefly and in time. It can also protect your company in the case of an unexpected audit or governmental inspection — just keep your invoices accurately stored, accounted for, and don't forget to pay attention to wise words of your accountant.
There are two main types of invoices: incoming and outgoing. They work the same way as your emails — outgoing invoices are the ones you send (to your customers) and incoming are the ones you receive (from your counterparties, service providers, etc). Note that you should separate incoming invoices from outgoing and pay close attention to both of them.
Outgoing Invoices — Helpful Tips
The most important step with the whole invoicing process is to create a convenient and clear template together with your accountant. An accountant might give you a prepared list of needed fields for you or you can show a bookkeeper a template from one of the service providers for their approval. Then choose the best options and finalize your future template.
When you have a correct template, you only have to establish the process of invoice creation. There are two main paths with outgoing invoices:
Path 1: Set up an invoice generator by yourself using no-code tools Integrate Google Sheets with a document generator
How it works:
Create Google Sheet where all information for your invoices will be stored
Create a Google Form which will be used for the creation of new invoices
A document generator converts this data from online form to PDF. You can use generators such as Docupilot
Then you manually send these invoices to your customers
We don't advise using Google Docs as a generator for invoices due to a lot of probable mistakes with several items in one invoice
Free of charge
Something might go wrong with integration
You can briefly exceed the free plan of a generator and you'll have to upgrade the subscription
You'll have to take care of taxes by yourself (while paid solutions calculate taxpaying automatically). While doing our business in Estonia, we have created a great tool that helps you determine whether you need to apply VAT to a certain invoice
Path 2: Try ready-to-use solutions Invoicing service provider
You can use the cheapest starting plan among a bunch of invoicing service providers such as Spaceinvoice that will generate your invoices automatically
How it works:
Choose the most suitable provider and purchase a subscription
Create invoices using a template prepared by your accountant
Set up an integration using Zapier and store all data in the Airtable (we'll explain in the next sections a huge benefit of these actions)
It is just brief information about automated invoice generation. For your convenience, we've created a complete guide teaching how to automate invoice creation and store all data in a single Airtable. Check this guide by clicking the button below.
To operate with incoming invoices without a hassle, you should take several steps for preparation:
Create a special mailbox to receive invoices from all providers, contractors, and counterparties in one place. For the sake of convenience, you can also use a single mailbox to receive copies of the outgoing invoices sent to your customers, too.
Set up a zap in Zapier that will deploy all files from this mailbox to a certain Google Drive folder.
Using Zapier you can also automatically notify your accountant on a particular day that documents are sent.
Here is just a short explanation of these integrations. But we've also created a huge step-by-step guide on how to automate the process of invoice sending by using Zapier and Google services. Check this guide by clicking the button below.
The main complexities are behind. All that's left is to properly issue invoices according to the template and provide your accountant with documents on time. Now let's talk a bit in the next section about contracts.
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