Outsourcing your invoicing to your virtual or personal assistant can free up valuable time in your day. It’s a task that many executives do not want to take on for themselves and that often takes up more time than necessary. Are you ready to make the switch to let your personal or virtual assistant take on your invoicing? These tips can help.
Why Outsource Invoicing?
Outsourcing invoicing offers several advantages. First and foremost, it can cut costs: when you turn your invoicing over to your virtual or personal assistant, you aren’t spending your own time on it. It can also lead to shorter cycle times for many organizations since many executives put off those tasks until they have no choice but to take care of them. Finally, outsourcing invoicing can lead to a higher degree of accuracy, since your personal or virtual assistant can take the time needed to go over each element of the invoice.
How to Write an SOP for Invoicing
Standard operating procedures can help ensure that your invoices look the same every time, no matter who puts them together. To create your SOP, try:
- Choosing the format you want to use for your invoices. What information needs to be included on every invoice? How do you manage numbering systems?
- Including the steps the invoice needs to go through in order to get approved. Does someone else need to sign off on it before it gets sent out?
- Creating a standard timeline for sending out your invoices. How soon do you want invoices to go out? How long can you wait to receive payment? Make sure you have standard information in place so that your assistant can create an effective invoice.
Try sitting down to write an invoice yourself. Then, write down every step of the process. Make sure to include any specific requirements or guidelines as well as examples.
Why You Should Include Videos in Your SOP
Training a new assistant can prove time-consuming. Using video, however, can make it easier to show your exact expectations. By using a service like Loom, you can put together easy-to-follow videos. Your video should walk your assistant through the process of creating, filing, and submitting an invoice, answering as many questions as possible along the way. A video lesson can help standardize training. Often, video proves more memorable than other formats, particularly text-based content. Your video can also help ensure that every member of your team, including your assistant, can create the same style invoice, which can help it get approved faster.
How to Securely Provide Access to Your Invoicing System
In order to outsource your invoicing to an assistant, you will need to provide your assistant with access to your invoicing system. You want to maintain security across your network while still allowing an assistant to take on those tasks. You should:
Make sure that your assistant has access only to the areas of the system they need to access. Consult with your IT department to learn more about how you can permit your assistant to access only to needed areas of the system.
Encrypt any invoices sent out through email. Unless you encrypt your emails, you cannot guarantee account security.
Track network traffic for any malicious access. Especially when using a virtual assistant, who might work from an environment your company cannot secure, make sure that you keep an eye on network traffic for any malicious traffic, including viruses.
An online invoice tool designed specifically for that purpose can also allow easy access to your invoices without compromising security.
How to Have Your VA Track and Report on Invoices
Tracking your invoices to ensure that they get paid on time is critical. Your VA also needs to regularly report on the status of those invoices, especially if there’s something you need to follow up on. Tracking your invoices in a spreadsheet, ideally one that is easily accessible to both you and your assistant, is a great way to keep up with your invoices at a glance. You should train your VA in what you want to have done with your invoices, including when they should bring them to your attention.
How to Train Your VA to Follow Up on Invoices
When invoices don’t get paid in a timely manner, someone needs to follow up on them. You can train your VA to take care of that task. Make sure that you design standard operating procedures that include:
- When to follow up. How long do clients have to pay their invoices?
- Consequences for failing to pay an invoice, including late fees or a pause in future work for the company.
- How to approach clients about an invoice they have failed to pay. What tone do you want your assistant to take?
Outsourcing your invoicing to an assistant can make it much easier for you to manage the other tasks associated with your job. By creating proper training protocols, you can improve your ability to properly train your assistant to take over those responsibilities and ensure that invoicing continues without interruption no matter what tasks you have on your plate.