Trucking companies have to stay extremely organized to keep their drivers busy and ensure everything gets delivered on time. Following the right billing procedures is vital in order to get paid on time. When you follow these best invoicing practices below, you can improve your cash flow and receive payment sooner.
Verify the Address
It may seem obvious that you should send the invoice to the right address, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Most freight brokers and shippers that use trucking companies have multiple addresses. For example, you may be delivering raw materials to one of their warehouses, but the staff in receiving won’t know what to do with your invoice. Your invoice should always be sent to their accounts payable department. To ensure you get paid as quickly as possible, you may want to get in touch with them and ask them what you can do to speed up the process. Many companies are moving to electronic invoicing, and emailing your invoice can make their lives easier and help your business get paid quicker.
Include a Bill of Lading
Your customers must be able to verify which load was transported to match your invoice to the appropriate product and department. If you don’t have a bill of lading, you’ll have a hard time getting paid for your work. It’s important to make sure that you keep a signed copy for your records and submit one with the invoice. Matching the bill of lading to the shipment helps both you and your customers keep track of expenses, and it’s a necessity for getting paid. Many brokers also require they receive the original, signed bill of lading before they will pay the invoice so you’ll need to know this in advance too.
Provide Detailed Rate Information
Your invoice should include more than just a grand total. You must list fuel surcharges separately as well as any other extra charges, such as detention. The more information you provide, the less likely it is that your customer’s accounting department will delay payment for your invoice. However, if they’re not sure what you’re charging for, your invoice will linger on someone’s desk. If you took a fuel advance, this will also need to be deducted from the invoice before you submit it.
Clearly List Payment Information
It’s not enough to send an invoice. You must also clearly designate your payment information on the invoice. It should list the total amount, the payment due date, and the address for payment remittance. If you work with a factoring company, you must disclose this on your invoice to ensure payment is sent to the correct recipient.
When you keep these invoice practices in mind, it shouldn’t be difficult to collect payment from your customers. Instead of getting trucking loans in Milwaukee, WI, you can also take advantage of invoice factoring. This relieves you of the headaches of billing customers and allows you to collect payment sooner.