Changing the way you invoice and receive payments for off-duty jobs can seem like a big undertaking. As with every indusrty, technologies advance, industry standards change with these advancements, and agencies must adapt.
While growing pains are a part of the process, making an update in invoicing and payments will only benefit the agency with easier administration, benefit the businesses with more flexibility, and provide the officers with faster payments and options for direct deposit.
But where do you start? Here are a few tips on where to make the biggest impact in invoicing and payments.
Do it online. There is no reason to still be sending manual invoices. Take your invoicing from excel to a cloud-based solution for quick, electronic invoicing and options to automate part of the process. Technology solutions also tend to make other parts of off-duty administration much easier, such as generating reports.
Invoice immediately. It probably goes without saying, but the faster you submit an invoice, the sooner it will get paid. An electronic invoicing system can make this process near-instantaneous.
Accept credit card and ACH payments. More payment options create a flexible process for the hiring business and cut back on time spent writing, mailing and depositing paper checks.
Encourage pre-payment. If possible, encourage clients to pre-pay for the off-duty job. This is particularly useful with ongoing, recurring details that typically don’t have any variation in hours.
Combine Invoices. Your best clients hire you often - why not make things easier still and let them pay for multiple invoices at once? A technology solution will easily let you collate invoices so businesses can batch pay.
Itemize charges. Make sure all charges are itemized to avoid any confusion and minimize back-and-forth communication.
Send an estimate ahead of time. 75% of maintaining a good business relationship is setting expectations and meeting (or exceeding) them. If a client seems unsure, send an estimate that highlights the officers’ rate, any other necessary fees, and even any overtime charges (if any) should the job run longer than expected.
Updating your process for sending invoices and receiving payments may seem daunting, but it’s simple with the right tools. A technology solution specific to off-duty can easily help any agency with electronic invoicing and payments, as well as offer options like itemizing different fees, combining invoices and can even accommodate sending estimates. Added ease and flexibility create a positive experience for businesses hiring off-duty security and help agencies build better business relationships along the way.