The True Cost of Paper Invoicing

“It’s important to assess the indirect costs of paper invoicing because they can easily eat away at your profit.”

Postage and printing costs have steadily increased in recent years. Thanks to email and e-commerce, postal service revenues have dropped by 27 percent over the last 10 years. As a result, postage costs have increased, while printing invoices can cost anywhere between $12 to $30.

Some business owners are aware of this and have been cutting back by using email and other electronic methods to deliver messages and to complete transactions, but while most know about the direct costs associated with paper invoicing, such as postage and printing, many don’t realize the indirect and hidden costs that paper invoicing brings. It’s important to assess these indirect costs because they can easily eat away at your profit.

Paper Makes Transactions Complicated

Image result for paper invoicing cartoon

Keeping a paper trail of documents can become overwhelming over time for a field service business. That’s because paper can make transactions and getting paid complicated. Your customers can misplace invoices, ink can fade and make reading the invoice difficult, and tracking a sea of invoices when you have thousands of customers can create an organizational nightmare.

E-invoicing simplifies these transactions by making it easier for your customers to conduct business with your company. Customers can easily view your invoices when they are sent electronically. This also allows them to review the invoice and dispute charges or errors quickly, so that ultimately you get paid faster.

As more individuals adopt smartphones, access to billing information will become more important. The most recent stat shows that 77% of Americans own a smartphone. Additionally, more people are paying their bills online and via mobile devices. Research indicates 56% of Americans pay their bills online.

E-Invoicing Offers Higher ROI

Many field service businesses are missing out on e-invoicing’s potential to drive a better return on investment (ROI). E-invoicing’s large ROI can be attributed to the fact that it helps to reduce costs. Businesses can take advantage of e-invoicing to reduce the costs of printing, mailing and following up with invoices.

This can result in savings of $4 to $20 per transaction when you add in the costs of labor and materials. A 10-person operation can theoretically save $2,400 annually.

Moreover, a payment processor can produce and automate invoices easier when you use inclusive payment processor features in your field service software, such as those offered in mHelpDesk. Payment processors don’t have to be expensive. With mHelpDesk, you’ll actually pay a much more affordable rate than popular papyment processors, such as Paypal or Square.

Interested in payment processing? Check out our blog on Credit Card Processing Fees Debunked >>

E-Invoicing Embraces Automation

Paper invoicing requires a person to manually fill out and deliver the invoice. They have to meet invoice delivery deadlines and remember to send payment reminders to customers. On the other hand, e-invoicing automates these tasks to facilitate faster payments. In fact, automation can save as much as 29% on invoice costs. Field service businesses can leverage e-invoicing to automate the payment process, reducing delayed payments and saving time.

Final Thoughts

The true cost of paper invoices can push your business operations back with lost time and reduced productivity. The implications of paper invoices boil down to hidden and indirect costs that take away from your bottom-line profits. Instead of continuing with the “paper trail” invoicing method, consider adopting a more innovative approach to invoicing by using software that lets you e-invoice and even handle payment processing, like mHelpDesk.

Last modified: November 10, 2017

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