Choose the best invoice app for your small business in South Africa

Find out how to select the best invoicing software & invoice app for your small business in South Africa.

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How do you pick the best invoicing software or app for your small business in South Africa?

Every small business in South Africa needs to find the best way to manage customer invoicing to ensure profitability and future growth effectively. But why is getting your invoices 100% right so essential, and what could you do about it?

  • In 2019 in South Africa, the Small Business Institute (SBI) noted in an SME survey that up to 40% of late payments were eventually written off as bad debt. Most payments were made 100 days after the 30-day limit.

  • As entrepreneurs, you can't control when those who owe you will eventually pay you, but you can effectively manage your invoices.

  • So, small business owners need to minimise payment obstacles by structuring their invoices clearly with terms and payment details and sending them out on time. Why not include an incentive for early payments?

  • Next, you need an affordable, reliable, fast way to generate your customer invoices. So, how do you choose the best invoicing software or invoice app for your small business in South Africa?

Are you curious to know more? We got some first-hand pointers from a small business owner. We spoke to Jen, owner of Cyrus Farm Health Store.

Read Jen's answers to popular questions about invoices and invoicing from a business and customer perspective, including choosing the best way to invoice customers, the process of invoicing and more.

What is an invoice?

"It’s a document stating what has been purchased. Detail and Rand amount."

When should small businesses in South Africa do invoicing?

"I would say every customer needs an invoice. Professional invoices are especially important once your business gets to a point where you need to register with SARS and do all those legal things."

What is the best invoicing software or app in South Africa?

"It depends on your type of business. You need to find the best invoicing solution that suits your needs. Do research. Find a convenient way to create professional invoices and keep track of sales that you can afford.

"There are great invoicing apps and software available in South Africa.

"I have used a few ways to generate invoices in the past. Lately, I set up my own invoicing on my website."

What does invoicing or billing mean? 

"Invoicing is basically a request for payment in a formal way. You generate one to state what has been purchased and how much is owed. This process could be referred to as customer billing by some.

"When you invoice someone out, that item is removed from your stock, inventory, and processes an amount owing in your sales journal."

What is the purpose of invoicing? 

"To keep track of stock, payments, and income."

What is invoicing in accounting?

"It is usually the second document a customer will receive as proof of what a customer purchased, and how much that customer owes if anything."

Is an invoice a receipt? 

"No, a receipt is not an invoice."

What is a sales invoice?

"This is another name for quote, or pro-forma in some companies."

Why is it called invoice? 

"Because it is a detailed document declaring an item sold, and money requested."

Does an invoice mean you've paid?

"No."

How do I make an invoice? 

"Sign up with an app or software. You could also use Microsoft Word, or Excel to generate your own invoices."

Can I invoice someone without a company? 

"Yes, you then just make it out to their name and surname."

When should you create an invoice? 

"When you need to hand a printed doc to your customer or it can be sent via email. Another reason is when the customer asks for it."

How should an invoice look?

"It depends on your business and who your customer is.

"For example, you could have a few important points that could be on an invoice. It could include "Tax Invoice", the date, to whom or name of the company, invoice number, VAT number if applicable, your business address and the customer's business address if needed. Some invoices also include a PO or purchase number.

"Make sure that you include all legally required items in your invoices and what your customers need."

What free invoicing app or software can I use? 

"There are a few free invoice app options, so use the best app that suits your business. For example, Yoco Invoices is free and in the Yoco app.

Where can I get an invoicing template? 

"Microsoft Word have a few invoice templates."

Learn more about choosing the best invoicing solution for your small business in South Africa

Seeing 90% of SMEs receive payment as EFTs in South Africa, it is important to use a suitable invoicing app or software.

Invoicing information must be kept safe

The invoicing app or software should keep your sales and customer information safe.

Don’t waste time when invoicing

Invoicing can take up much of your precious time to get your small business to grow. Invoicing apps can help you by creating, sending, and tracking invoices so that your money comes into your account faster.

Is the invoice app or software easy to use?

Try out a few apps or software trials, and see which is easiest to use, especially on your mobile phone and via your internet browser.

Excellent customer support is vital when you are stuck. Don’t break out into a cold sweat trying out complicated invoice software, especially if you’re not tech-savvy.

Choose an app or software that’s easy to use and good at tracking outstanding invoices.

There are many apps or software to choose from today. They range from paid invoicing apps, including accounting and invoicing software, to a free invoice generator that adds a professional touch to your invoices.

What features does the invoice app or software have?

The more features an invoice app or invoicing software have doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best for invoicing. You may not even use some features. On the other hand, don’t buy the cheapest app on the market and come short. You might even get everything you need for free. Look out for these features to start:

•           Online invoicing.

•           Storing and sending receipts.

•           Easy tracking of unpaid invoices.

How much will the invoicing app or software cost?

When starting off your business, you want to minimise expenses. Apps and software come in a large price range, while some are free. Some suppliers offer a free trial period for trying out their invoicing tools.

The best invoice app or invoicing software you need could also depend on the size of your business and its operational processes.

Enjoy free invoicing with Yoco

Using the Yoco App or Yoco Portal, create and send your customers endless professional, click-to-pay invoices for free.

It’s so easy. Send the invoice to your client via SMS or email, then click the link to pay you.

With Yoco, your invoices are organised and secure

Yoco invoices and sales are together, which allows you to follow every sale on the Yoco App or Yoco Portal.

Also, don’t stress about security - 3D-Secure technology protects every transaction you make.

Yoco can assist you

Starting as an entrepreneur with a new business can bring many questions. We at Yoco have helped grow 250 000 businesses. So why not give us a shout when you experience problems so we can solve things together?

Sources: Find the Best Invoice App for Your Business, Invoicing secrets to help you avoid late payments

Yoco Card Machines and Online Payments

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