In the January 2022 edition of our monthly Highlight, which you can read here, we shared an article about the extent to which card payments and online methods of payment are increasing in popularity.
There are a wide range of digital tools, apps and add-ons that can help you to accept card and online payments successfully and efficiently, from your customers, should this be something you are ready to explore.
You have been running your subscription-based business for the past 12 months; you are building a good client base and sales are increasing. However, the means by which you are collecting and chasing payments, and the associated administration, just isn’t working and you find yourself worrying about cash flow, whilst struggling to keep track of debtors.
Particularly where your business relies upon recurring sales, i.e. memberships, rental income or monthly retainer fees, collecting payments via Direct Debit can be a really convenient option for both you and your customer.
Customers complete an instruction, which authorises you to take payments direct from their bank – ‘bank-to-bank payment’. When the due date arrives, payment is made automatically.
Alternatively, your customers might value the option to pay online with a debit card, credit card or by PayPal, for example; something that you can facilitate by setting up an online payment service within your cloud accounting software.
Streamlining Direct Debit collection with cloud accounting software
Some of our clients are finding GoCardless a beneficial tool for collecting Direct Debits from customers. GoCardless is an online payment service and bank-to-bank payment method, which integrates with a number of the key players in cloud accounting software including, Xero, QuickBooks and Sage.
Setting up a GoCardless account is straightforward, as is linking it to your chosen platform and, once your customer has been invited to pay by Direct Debit, all they need to do is to authorise payment collection once. No reauthorisations will be necessary.
When customers find it easier to pay their invoices, and payment collection is automated, you should hopefully notice that your cash flow stabilises and that you no longer need to chase payments, or waste time sending out bank details.
In addition, integration can automate a large chunk of the bookkeeping, since payments can be automatically allocated to the correct invoice. This is ideal for businesses with a lot of sales transactions, who would otherwise have to manually allocate these.
Online payment gateways
More often than not, invoices paid via online payment gateways are paid faster, and so online payment gateways are, in part, helping to tackle the late payment crisis that so many small businesses suffer as a result of.
Online payment gateways such as Stripe, PayPal, and Square are simple to set up and, when combined with online invoicing, can improve payment times and cash flow and give your customers greater flexibility when it comes to handing over their money.
Once added to your invoice template, customers will typically see a ‘Pay Now’ button at the foot of the invoice, enabling them to click and pay straight away.
It’s worth bearing in mind that there will be fees associated with collecting Direct Debits and online payments, and so you should take these into account when making any decisions about software implementation within your business.
How can George Hay help?
Our cloud accounting experts in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire are here to help you explore what works for your business, and to ensure you’re getting the most out of your chosen software.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can increase the capabilities of your chosen cloud accounting software by integrating it with other useful digital tools, apps and add-ons, contact us today.