How To Expedite Your Billings So You Can Get Paid Faster?
Billings are usually a race against time for Architecture and Engineering firms. The sooner you get it done the sooner you get paid.
When it comes to billings, some firms work diligently, while others work smart.
In this post, we're going to talk about some changes you can implement in your firm so you can stop working hard and start working smart on your billings. If you don’t think you need to read this, go take a peek at our Cash Flow Time Line post and video.
A more efficient billing system not only saves you from unnecessary spending but also helps save time - valuable time that you can use to generate more income for your firm.
Have you ever experienced doing a quick home repair or maintenance and not remembering where you stored the tools you need for the job? It can get frustrating when you have to run around the house just to look for the pipe wrench because it’s not in your toolbox. You end up wasting so much time on such simple tasks. If you’ve ever been in that scenario, then you know how hard it is to not have all your Firm’s data in one place.
If you run a busy Firm, having multiple spreadsheets duct-taped together might not be the most effective way to keep all your data in one place. What you need is an integrated system that has all your expenses, time records, all your projects, phases, and their percentage complete in a single location. This way, you don't have to run around the office when it’s time to do your billings.
Having all your data in one place is just the first step in expediting your billing process. You also need to have a procedure in place to ensure that all the data you have is up to date and correct. And who better to do this than your Project Managers since they are the ones who oversee different project operations.
Empowering Project Managers (Architects & engineers)
If there is anyone in your Firm who can keep your data up to date, it’s your Project Managers. They're the ones that have all of the knowledge about the project, know where things stand, they've had conversations with the client, and they're the ones that don't have to go looking for as much information when it's time to put the billings together.
One way of empowering your Project Managers is by getting them involved in the drafting of invoices. You can even go as far as allowing them to generate their own invoices. Giving your Project Managers the ability to generate their own invoices might encourage them to take a more holistic approach to their projects. This gives them more responsibility and accountability over it.
Since Project Architects/Engineers are the ones who know where things stand and at what phase projects are in, keeping data updated would be a walk in the park to them. And if they have the ability to generate their own invoices, this might shorten the time it takes from the drafting to the issuing of billings to your clients. As a result, you get paid faster.
Simple Changes that Help Expedite Billings
We all want to get paid on time. And things get even better if we get paid faster or earlier than expected. Expedited billings could also mean expedited payments. The sooner your clients get their bill, the sooner they write the check.
One more thing you can do to expedite your billing process is by minimizing your approval time. Reducing the back and forth between your Project Managers and the front office is one way you can cut time from your billing process. You could also use the simple solution of setting a deadline or time limit for pending invoices. Keep in mind that doing your billings for longer hours doesn't generate revenue for your Firm.
Expediting Billings deals with your end of the transaction. The collection time is another thing. If you want to learn how you can reduce your collection time you will need to keep an eye out for our next post.