6 ways to get your invoices paid on time

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Having trouble getting invoices paid? You’re not alone. Check out these 6 ways to keep the incoming revenue wheels greased, making sure you get paid as quickly as possible.

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1. Accept all forms of payment

The easier it is for your customers to pay, the more likely they are to pay on time.


Paper checks may seem like a thing of the past, but there are still a valid payment widely in use. And after all, there’s no harm in embracing all your clients’ preferred methods of pay. Make sure you clearly list your company’s name and mailing address or PO box on your invoices so clients know exactly where to send checks.

Credit and debit cards

Credit and debit cards are easy to use and help you get paid on time. Some of the best and most popular merchant credit card processing services include Square. You can process credit or debit cards in person or digitally. 

ACH bank transfers

ACH bank transfers are often the cheapest and easiest way to move money. This is especially helpful for repeat customers. Just setup the account and routing numbers once, then collect 100% of the money you’re owed.


It only takes a few minutes to receive PayPal payments. The receiver—i.e. the invoicer—is responsible for the fee of $.30, plus 2.9% on every transaction. These fees can be deducted as a business expense.

Mobile pay

Mobile pay is fast becoming one of the most prevalent payment methods around. These are some of the most popular apps that sync with other payment processing services:

  • Samsung Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Venmo Share Payments
  • Facebook Messenger Payments

Be flexible, look for options that keep your bookkeeping straightforward and don’t forget to write off the transaction fees associated with digital payments.

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2. Create clear invoices

Your revenue relies on getting your invoices paid. It’s worth investing time in making them as clear as possible. Here is a brief checklist of invoice necessities and an example of a thorough and easy to understand invoice:

  • Make the total and due date clear
  • Itemize goods and services
  • Send it to the correct person
  • Track and simplify with identifiers

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3. Be timely

The quicker you send an invoice, the faster you’ll get paid. Here are some ways to ensure your invoices get out quickly, and into the right hands.

Promptness counts

Send out invoices according to the timeline stated in the contract, or as soon as the project is complete.

Automate invoices

Automated invoicing allows you to create an invoice template that can be used over and over again. You can even schedule recurring invoices.

Be persistent

Customers and clients are busy, and a payment reminder is often welcomed. 

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4. Establish penalties

A penalty may sound negative, but they are a vital aspect of business. Think of penalties as a way to promote timely payments, not punish your valuable customers.

Here are a few ways to implement penalties for late payment:

Flat late fees

A flat late fee is a specific dollar amount set forth in a contract and implemented after an agreed upon payment date has been exceeded.

Accruing interest

An accruing interest charge compounds every week or month that payment is late. The terms of this percentage should be laid out in your contract or payment policy.

Finance charges

Finance charges cover the gamut of flat fees, a percentage of the invoice amount, accruing interest and any other forms of fees you assess clients for failing to pay. 

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5. Automate reminders

You’re busy. So automated invoice reminders will save you time and a lot of stress. 

Automate reminders before and after the due date

Don’t wait until an invoice is 45 or 60 days past the payment date before setting up an automatic payment reminder. Like with the initial invoice, the likelihood of collecting old invoices decreases over time.

Consider auto-collection

To save you time later, consider requiring a credit card number upfront. This way if invoices aren’t paid on time, you can auto-collect past due payments.

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6. Incentivize early or n-time payments

Encourage on-time payments by providing incentives for clients. This is a way of offering a thank you to customers who make payment a priority. Offering early payment perks or sending hand-written thank you notes display a customer-centric outlook.

Late and unpaid invoices create a lot friction in small business. But putting a few simple systems like these in place can greatly reduce the time spent chasing customers and get revenue in your bank account more quickly.

This article was produced by the Quickbooks Resource Center and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.