Invoice Disputes can really put a business owner under a lot of stress. If such disputes are large in number, then the deductions resulting from such disputes pose a huge business risk. Sending error free invoices and having a good relationship with clients are few of the most important ways to avoid invoice disputes. Here are some more tips:
1. Send Estimates
Sending estimates before starting a project and getting an approval from the client is one of the key ways to avoid invoice disputes. Once the price negotiations have been done and the payment terms have been decided, an estimate acts as a proof that all the conditions have been agreed to, by the client.
2. Insist On Purchase Orders
A purchase order is another document that acts as a proof that the client has agreed to the terms and conditions of the purchase. Once an estimate is approved, you must insist on purchase orders, for avoiding any sort of disputes in the future.
3. Define the Scope of The Project
Many a times an invoice dispute arises because the scope of the project was not defined clearly and you fell short of client expectations. Never let this situation arise. Ensure that the scope of the project is clearly communicated to the client in a written document. This must be approved by the client well in advance.
4. Clearly Mention Your Terms
Disputes arise in case of a confusion with respect to the price or the discount policies of the company. Making sure that there is no such confusion, is your responsibility. Adding all the terms and conditions on the invoice and communicating the same verbally as well, is essential.
5. Be Ready With Facts
Disputes can really put pressure on you, to decide in favour of the client. This can be avoided by keeping facts and presenting them in the right manner. Save all the email messages, exchanged with the client. You have to be firm with the client and explain the facts in a friendly manner. If you are able to put forth your arguments in the right way, you can resolve a dispute easily, while maintaining a happy relationship with the client.
6. Look For A Solution
In case of an invoice dispute where the client is unhappy with the work delivered, one must offer the best possible solution. This helps in building an atmosphere of trust. Accepting that one has been at fault, or else going that extra mile to please the client can also be really helpful.
7. Be Flexible
There are times when you may feel that the client is looking for a favour like a discount or a flat fee waiver. Take this as an opportunity to build a relationship with a client. Being rigid in such situations can convert a good situation into a dispute.
8. Use an Online Invoice Software
There are lots of ways to reduce the number of invoice disputes that your business may face on an ongoing basis. Using a tool helps you schedule your invoices and send them on time. You can
- Attach reports of the work done along with invoices
- Send estimates in a timely manner and get approvals
- Receive purchase orders from your client
- Add your terms and conditions and late fee to Invoices
- Create professional invoices with your company branding
- Add all the necessary details to the invoice
Hope these tips would be useful for you to avoid any invoice disputes and have a happy, long term relationship with your customers. You can also read about how to add the right invoice terms so you could get paid quicker.