As a tax professional, offering quality services to clients and being paid on time forms a core pillar of your firm’s thriving operations.
But the fact is, how you handle your firm’s billing and payment processes makes all the difference. Ask yourself one question: Are you set up for smooth workflow and maximum cash flow in the coming tax season? If not, you need to learn how to get clients to pay their bills and get paid on-time, every time.
If you’re not billing your clients effectively, you’ll end up losing money either through delays, non-committal clients, and other issues. Here are five ways you can update, improve, and automate your billing process with TaxDome so you can focus more on your work and avoid cash-flow problems.
Audit and update your payment policies
When do you send invoices? Do clients pay a deposit upfront? What if a client doesn’t pay you? When do you follow up? Do you charge interest for late payments? These are some of the billing questions tax firms deal with.
For small firms, dealing with late payments is more common than you think. Several tax professionals shared their experiences on Facebook on the challenges they faced when sending invoices manually and hoping clients would pay on time. In some cases, clients didn’t pay for services delivered until legal action was taken, at a cost to the tax professionals.
These accounting and tax professionals agree that automating their billing process saved them a lot of stress, valuable time, and even money, giving them more time to run their business instead of chasing account receivables.
To avoid these challenges, first audit and update your payment policies, which means specifying clear terms and billing conditions.
That’s perhaps the best way to avoid client misunderstandings. Here are some of the terms that tax professionals should include in their contracts with clients, including invoicing:
- A clear definition of the services provided to the client
- The payment terms and due dates
- Timeline for service delivery
- Guarantees provided with the service
- Late fees - e.g., 2% per month
- Terms for late delivery and payments
- The notice required to get out of the firm-client agreement
TaxDome makes it easy to collect clients’ payments by allowing you to automatically include your payment policies with billing using our Taxdome Contracts. You can have a contract sent automatically to clients to sign. The good thing is, they can sign it in TaxDome using a web or mobile app — with push notifications it gets even easier!
We provide ready-made contract templates, which you can edit to suit your needs.
Offer various fast, easy payment options
A recent Fiserv survey noted that up to 70% of people said that having multiple ways to pay bills increases their overall satisfaction with the biller. Some clients may still pay you by check, but what about those who prefer other payment forms like credit cards? And they love making payments from their smartphones or PCs?
To ensure effective billing, you should accept various fast, easy, and affordable payment options. Tell your clients that you’re now accepting different types of payments to increase the likelihood of prompt payments and improve client satisfaction. TaxDome offers fully integrated secure payment processing so your clients can pay you anytime, anywhere. We accept credit card payments via Stripe and CPACharge. ACH payment is coming soon.
Operationalize prompt billing
One of the best ways to maximize your firm’s cash flow is by sending bills promptly and consistently. But during the busy tax season, it’s easy for billing tasks to slip down your increasing to-do list. Client satisfaction is often tied to completion of work, and if services are delivered as expected, that’s when clients are more likely to pay you quickly.
The longer you wait to bill clients, the more likely they’ll take longer to pay you. Ensure prompt payment by setting your billing time and frequency automatically based on the type of services offered. For instance, immediately after completing tax returns and for on-going monthly services. TaxDome automates this process for your firm.
It allows you and authorized team members to send bills for one-time services or create auto-sending bills to clients when a job is moved to a new stage in the pipeline. All you need to do is to create custom bill templates first. You can also set up reminders for bills to notify clients.
Standardize your payment options
When it comes to streamlining your billing process, you should also standardize your payment options. Do you want clients to pay a 25% or 50% deposit before commencing services? Or do you want to offer them a flexible payment with equal monthly installments? How you decide to bill clients is up to you, but you need a standardized way to make bill payments more effective.
TaxDome makes it easy for you to set up automatic recurring payments to be made by credit card or another method on specified dates while also enabling you to send billing emails and reminders to clients automatically.
Lock Client Documents to Bills
How do you ensure that clients pay for the services you offer and the time you put into preparing documents? TaxDome makes this easy. Forget accounts receivable by locking client files to specific bills. This way, clients will see that a new file is available, but they can’t download it or view it until they pay for the bill.
Once paid, the document automatically unlocks for the client to access inside their account. Locking documents to bills ensures that you get paid for your services every time and avoid the uncertainty of waiting for clients to pay for services delivered.
Give your clients a unified billing experience
By now, you should have already updated your payment policies, set up other easy-to-use and fast payment options, implemented prompt billing, and standardized your payment options. All these processes play a huge role in streamlining your billing process. TaxDome automates your invoicing process so you can give your clients a unified experience.
Clients can easily pay bills, sign documents, upload documents, and send messages all in one custom-branded portal without having to remember multiple logins. You can also integrate TaxDome with payment options like QuickBooks and Stripe to sync all your bills and payments to your firm’s internal accounting system.