Why Should You Track Them?
Running a business is challenging. There are a plethora of things to do. Business owners have to be active all the time. They need to solve complex issues that prop up now and then. However, doing simple things well can save a lot of hassles for businesses. A sales invoice is a receipt that businesses have to provide to their customers for the purchases they make. The simple task of managing and tracking sales invoices can benefit you substantially. This article will list the importance of sales invoices and the need to track them.
What is the Sales Invoice?
A sales invoice is a document that records a sales transaction. They contain details such as selling price, tax on the transaction, discount offered, date of sale of goods or services, and description of the goods or services offered. Businesses need invoices to maintain their bookkeeping and other purposes such as taxation matters, legal issues, etc.
Advantages of Invoice
The advantages of sales invoice are as follows:
1. Accurate book-keeping
Sales invoices are the foundation of an organisation’s bookkeeping. For accurate accounting, businesses need to record every sales transaction. Using the invoices, they can prepare their profit and loss account and balance sheet. They can then use the data to calculate key ratios such as gross margin ratio, net margin, net profit, asset turnover ratio, etc.
2. Tax Returns
To file their taxes, businesses can use sales invoices to figure out how much taxes they need to pay. Additionally, they need to have sales invoices in case authorities have issues with the return filed. They might check the sales invoices to ensure that businesses have not evaded taxes. In the absence of sales returns, authorities might penalise and sanction your business.
3. Inventory management
Sales invoices can help you manage your inventory. You should connect various enterprise software such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and inventory management systems. You can input the outflow of goods. The system will determine which goods you have to order and how much to order based on historical data and inventory count.
4. Legal matters
Businesses have to face various issues from customers. Sometimes, these issues can escalate into legal matters. Sales invoices are proof of transaction, and they contain important details such as selling price, discount offered, date of purchase, etc., that can be used to refute false claims. Many businesses also collect signs from customers at the time of purchase to verify the transaction details. These signatures can prove that the customer was aware of important details such as services rendered, date of transaction, etc.
5. Data collection and analysis
We have already discussed that invoices contain key information. These details are crucial for a business. They can analyse the data gathered from invoices to find out the key demographic of their products or services, the golden period for the business, popular goods, and earning trends. However, it isn’t easy to track all the sales invoices receipt easily. You can use technology to solve this problem. Apps like Okcredit make it easier for you to maintain your invoices. They also ensure that you can track your invoices easily.
6. Business Loans
An excellent sales invoice record keeps ensures that your books of accounts are properly maintained and verifiable. You will be able to get the loan faster. Grow and expand your business with business loans. Not only that, but invoices will also provide you with key insights you can use while you are preparing your business plan.
7. Capitalisation of Invoices
Many times, businesses have to provide credit to their customers. They generate profits, but they can’t maintain their cash flow. They can put their sales invoices to work. Companies can get cash from invoice factoring companies by selling their credit sales invoices to third parties at a small discount. Thus, they can maintain their cash flow all the time.
What is Invoice Factoring?
In these transactions, businesses can sell their accounts receivable to third parties at a discount and get instant money from them. Then, it would be on the third party to collect payment from customers.
How Does It Work?
Usually, businesses have many customers that buy on credit and settle the transaction in a few months. This results in a cash flow problem. To resolve this, first, businesses have to submit their sales invoices to a factoring company. Then, the company verifies the transaction. After verifying, the company makes the payment of around 90% of the amount in sales invoices.
Benefits of Invoice Factoring
There are numerous benefits to invoice factoring:
1. Improve working capital
Businesses need cash-in-hand and at the bank to meet the day-to-day requirements of the business. Waiting for customers to pay to meet these requirements can create issues in the functioning of the business. Invoice factoring can get a business much-needed working capital.
2. Increase investment
Businesses often struggle to invest their money in the business because of cash flow problems. With the cash flow tied to sale invoices, they are guaranteed a steady stream of money that they can invest in their business.
3. Better than loans
Loans increase the obligation of business and further decrease cash flow. Instead of taking loans, sales invoice factoring can be used to facilitate operations and expansion.
4. Fewer discounts
Many times, businesses have to offer discounts to people to settle their balances because they need to increase their cash flow and meet business obligations. In addition, they have to offer discounts to people who pay cash upfront. They can reduce the discounts that they offer by utilising invoice factoring.
5. Improved credit
With smooth cash flow, you will be able to pay the money you owe quickly. This will ensure that you have a good reputation in the market, and suppliers won’t hesitate to extend your credit when needed.
Businesses should maintain sales invoices and track them to enjoy the various benefits associated with them. Credit is part and parcel of running a business. However, it can lead to a lot of problems. You can use invoice factoring to your advantage to resolve the issue and get cash upfront to pay your suppliers and expand the business. In the future, this form of financing will become mainstream. Be an early adopter and enjoy the benefit that it offers.
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Q. What is a sales invoice in accounting?
Ans. Sales invoices are used in accounting to create statements such as profit and loss account, balance sheet, and final accounts. It also helps independent auditors verify the details set out in the accounts of the business. Invoices play a crucial role in accounting.
Q. What is a cash sales invoice?
Ans. A cash sale happens when a customer pays the bill up front and doesn’t take the goods or services on credit. Businesses often mention the nature of the transaction in the sales invoice itself. This is why the invoices in cash sales are called cash sales invoices.
Q. What is a credit sales invoice?
Ans. Businesses have to provide credit to many customers. They record the transaction in a sales invoice where they mention that the goods or services have been provided in credit. These invoices are called credit sales invoices.
Q. What is a sales tax invoice?
Ans. A sales tax invoice is a document that records the number of goods or services provided along with the taxes that have to be paid by the customer. Businesses have to collect these indirect taxes from customers and pay them to the Govt.
Q. What is the difference between invoice financing and invoice factoring?
Ans. In both these cases, businesses can utilise their invoices to get the money they are owed upfront instead of later. The main difference is that businesses need to collect the amount due themselves and pay it to the financing company with invoice financing. In invoice factoring, the factoring takes over the invoices and collects the money from customers themselves.
Q. Should I opt for invoice financing or invoice factoring?
Ans. Each has its own merits and demerits. Both are excellent solutions to meet your working capital requirements and generate some cash flow for your business. However, with invoice factoring, the factoring company is responsible for collecting payments from your customers. Some customers, especially those associated with you for a long time, might not kindly take this fact. Other than that, you can opt for anyone to resolve your financial issue instead of taking a loan.