Expense and Invoice Management Tips for Your International Clients

Expense and Invoice Management Tips for Your International Clients

Managing a global business is challenging, and sometimes tedious as well. While it’s true that dealing with clients from different countries can make it difficult to organize the invoices and expenses because of different currencies and taxes, there are many things you can do to streamline the process:

  1. Support for Multiple Currencies

If you want to make your business successful, you can’t just stick to your preferred currency and send the invoices converted to that currency. You need to charge your customers in their local currencies to make it easier for them. So, you need a software that can support multiple currencies with ease. Ideally, it should have the following:

  • Invoice templates with multi-currency support
  • Currency converter that works as per latest exchange rates
  1. Mind the Taxes

Taxes are an essential part of every business which cannot be overlooked when you are doing business globally.

It’s important to learn about the tax regulations and standards, as even a small mistake can invite a lawsuit or a direct legal action from the government.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure the safety of your business from potential violations and regulatory breaches:

  • Get an invoice-expense management software that’s GST ready. The new regime is still in a nascent stage in the country. So, you need a cutting-edge software that is frequently updated and makes sure that you are paying the right amount of taxes in the right manner.
  • Your invoice-expense software should also have support for multiple products and services as according to the GST rates. So, when you are creating the invoices you can easily add the applicable taxes by selecting the product/service category.
  1. Multiple and Easier Payment options

You wouldn’t want your international customers to face any problem when making the payments. In that regard, these are your two options:

  • You can email the invoices along with your banking details, which leaves your customers to enter the same in their banking portal for every payment.
  • You can use an integrated payment gateway for your invoices. This way your clients need to enter the banking details just for once and for all the future payments they just have to authenticate the transactions.

It’s not hard to see which is a better option- the second one, of course.

  1. Picking the Right Software

Thanks to the high demand, there are a variety of expenses and invoice management software available today. However, it’s important the select the best one for your business that can help dealing with the foreign clients by keeping the following things in mind:

  • Operation costs can have a huge impact on the cash-flow. So, it’s important that you choose a program whose integrated payment gateway has the lowest transaction fees.
  • You want an invoice program that offers a variety of professional templates that are easily customizable for branding purposes.
  • Support for invoice clearance reminders can be incredibly helpful when dealing with clients that tend to put off payments. Thus, automating the reminder process will not only keep off the unnecessary hassle of reminding the clients individually but also help to deal with the problem in a professional manner.

It takes grit and ambition to make your business a success overseas. However, making the right expense and invoice management decisions is also important when your customers are scattered in the various corners of the world. So, be sure to apply the techniques given above. You will surely benefit.

Advantages of Using an Integrated Invoicing and Payment Gateway Solution

Today, the majority of business is done online as digital payments continue to observe an exponential growth. In fact, without such services, doing business in global markets would be nothing less than a nightmare.

Truth is, apart from using invoice software there is still a lot more you can do to improve your ffinancialmanagement today. Embracing an integrated invoicing and payment gateway solution, for instance, can give your business a leverage over others in today’s competitive market.

Think about it- why send the invoices to your customers through emails which they have to first cross-check and then clear by approaching their bank or a third-party payment service provider?

It’s not hard to understand that it’s not the best way to do the job. So, what if you could send invoices along with the payment option right next to it?

The following are some of the biggest advantages of deploying a combined invoicing and payment gateway product:

  1. Lower Transactions Fees

While there is no dearth of banks and other third parties that offer payment gateway services for you to send and receive the payments, you do have to pay a fee for the service which includes third-party processing fees, additional transaction fees, etc.

Since you could be doing multiple transactions every month, even small fees when multiplied several times can amount to a lot. When it comes to business, cutting recurring costs by even a small percentage can often be a game changer. You should consider a payment solution that offers lower transaction fees, maintains security levels and gives you access to a wide range of currencies which can be accepted.

  1. Faster Funds Transfers

To reduce the time in funds transfer, you should consider two things:

  1. Process of sharing invoices and payment details
  2. Time taken by the payment platform to transfer funds in your bank

With an integrated invoicing and payment platform, instead of waiting for up to a week, you can receive your funds in just 48hrs. As it helps you share invoices through email with integrated payment option which helps your customers pay immediately and also the payment platform transfers the funds to your bank in as low as 48hrs.

  1. Multi-Currency Invoicing and Invoice Management

Multi-currency invoicing allows you to create invoices in a variety of currencies quickly and easily.

Combined with quality invoice management tools such as payment status tracking and reminders you can keep an eye on the cash inflow and outflow with just a few clicks on your device. Similarly, with an easy collaboration feature anyone can check the invoices and make changes as required without having to deal with a lot of “to and from”.

  1. Simplicity in Business and Tax Management

Why make your accounts, transactions, invoices a mess by using a variety of software programs for different purposes when you can combine them all into one cohesive unit that’s not only much more efficient but also simple to manage?

With a payment-invoice program you can:

  • Create and send invoices easily and quickly
  • Save time in reconciliation with bank statements
  • Ensure all invoices are in the same place (no invoice misplacements)
  • Simplify taxes/bookkeeping
  1. A Professional Touch

Freelancers and SMEs often face neck to neck competition in their space. This is the reason why even small things can give you an edge and help take your business to the next level fast. A payment-invoice program is a great example of this.

Using a new-age invoice-payment solution you can show your customers that you like to keep pace with the changing times and care for their convenience with a service that offers:

  • Easy payments
  • Multiple payment options
  • Transparency in taxes, currency exchange rates, transaction fees, etc.

With an invoicing platform you can also do branding easily by printing your company name and logo on the invoices.

  1. Easy Reconciliation

Invoice management can often be a herculean task, unless you have the right tools. For instance, you can’t take any risk when it comes to reconciliation as even a single discrepancy in one account can make the numbers on the other accounts go all haywire. However, integrating your payment gateway and the invoicing module can help to keep the transactions and accounts organized.

  1. Easy Access, Better Control

With cloud-based services, you can keep an eye on the payables and receivables when you are at the office, at home, or even when traveling. Going through payment reports you can also easily identify your biggest clients and other potential clients that just need to be nudged in the right direction.

Bottom Line

With a program that can combine invoice management and payment gateway services you have all to gain and nothing to lose. So, it’s not a question of “why” but “when”.

Things to Remember When Invoicing International Clients

Doing business with international clients has numerous benefits, yet challenging at the same time. However, to compete with others across the borders you must be well prepared.

There are many things you can do to make international business easier in terms of marketing and customer support. However, here we will focus on the finances.

  1. Working with Multiple Foreign Currencies

“Research the norms in your industry before negotiating any contracts or setting product prices,”

– Carine Gursky, Foreign Exchange Manager at Wells Fargo Bank.

Most companies prefer doing business in US dollars as it’s considered a global currency. However, some businesses prefer their local currency instead. For instance, a client in Australia may prefer paying in Australian dollars just like a client in Britain may prefer doing business in British Pounds.

It’s important to touch base with the norms in the foreign country you are interested in doing business with. Failing in the same can cause you to lose business to a competitor who is able to adapt to their preferences better. At the same time, your payment system should accept payments in multiple currencies and allow you to convert in the currency which works with your bank.

Ideally, you should set up a system that can make working with multiple currencies easy and simple. For instance, a software that has a selection of invoice templates centered around the most popular currencies can make your job much easier by:

  • Easy invoice creation for a large number of global clients
  • Easy calculation of currency exchange rates
  • Fewer or no discrepancies in payments
  • Easy bookkeeping and reconciliation
  1. Professional Invoices

You can’t afford to waste time finalizing every individual invoice if you want to work on the other important business operations. So, it’s a good idea to use an invoice software that not only creates invoices for you using your banking information but also reaches the clients on time and follows up in a professional manner. Besides, when you can receive your international payments in less than 48 hours these days, it makes sense to minimize the time taken for receivables and payables.

Good quality invoice software, with support for mobile devices as well, can not only make your business more efficient but also leave a lasting impression on your clients, who after receiving professionally formatted and automated invoices will understand that you are in to win.

  1. GST on Export of Services

While exports used to attract taxes well before the GST regime, the system has changed a lot today. Now, exports of both goods and services are covered under the IGST law (Integrated GST) and treated as “zero rate supplies”.

Under the new regime, you will be able to claim a refund for the export of services under any of the following options:

  • Export under bond or letter of undertaking without paying the Integrated Tax and claiming the refund of the unutilized input tax credit.
  • Export on the payment of Integrated Tax and claim refund of the tax under the provisions of section 54 of the GST Act.

It’s important to familiarize yourself with the full applicability of the GST regime on your international business. This is to ensure that you file your taxes property, prevent fines and also keep the cashflow in check.

  1. Using a Comprehensive Invoicing Software

Since you will be dealing with a variety of foreign currencies, you must use a top of the line invoicing software that can work with them all.

The invoicing platform should also be able to periodically update the exchange rates for all the currencies so that when you issue invoices or receive payments, there are no discrepancies.

It would also help if your invoicing software is GST-ready. Otherwise, you will need to feed the same data into two places which will lead to the wastage of valuable time and also make reconciliation difficult.

Bottom line

Doing business internationally can be tricky. With every different country, there are different tax mechanisms, exchange rates, compliance standards, etc. So, you must make use of technology in as many ways possible. That’s the only way to streamline business operations, lower overhead costs, and help you focus on the big picture.