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If you routinely charge your customers on a set basis for ongoing goods and services, you’ve most likely heard of or set up a recurring invoice. If you haven’t and you’re wondering, “What is recurring invoice?” this post is here to help.

We’re going to go over all these points:

  1. Defining automated billing
  2. Why automated billing is important
  3. Why you’d use automated billing
  4. How Billdu can help you create fast and easy recurring payments

Defining Recurring Billing

Recurring invoices are very popular with modern business around the world because they give them the ability to automatically charge their customers an agreed-on amount for products or services. You typically submit your recurring invoice or apply your charges once a month on the same day each month.

However, you have to get permission from the customer to charge them on a monthly basis before you can set up and use your recurring invoices. You’ll continue to send your customer these charges each month until the end of their contract or until the customer withdraws their permission.

You see these types of invoices with cable companies, software businesses, utilities, cell phone bills, magazine subscriptions, and gym memberships.

They’re also popular with companies who set up recurring orders for inventory items. You bill them once a month when you drop off their inventory items, and you have a specific payment due date a week or two later.

Breaking Down a Recurring Invoice System

Recurring billing offers a layer of convenience for your customers. Instead of having to get in touch with them and have them provide their payment information each month, the cardholder can authorize you to hold their details and simply charge a set amount each month you deliver the services or products you agreed on.

For example, a customer could set up an order through your store for four bags of dog food on a three-month delivery schedule. Every three months, the order would go out, and you would get a payment through your automated billing system.

Limitations to Recurring Invoicing

This system does have a few limitations. For example, it can be slightly more in-depth when it comes time to correct any billing errors. Instead of getting a bill and checking it over, noticing a mistake, and resolving it before they pay, the recurring billing system will automatically bill the customer the incorrect price. You can issue a credit note, but it can take days to notice it.

The safest thing to do is to agree to set up recurring invoices for payments that are either exactly the same or right around the same amount each month. They also should stay on a schedule, and you should give them a quick once-over.

If a customer forgets about a payment and they overdraw their account, it can cause a headache on their end as well.

Benefits of Using Automated Billing

There are several distinct advantages to using recurring payments and automated billing through a service like Billdu. We’ve picked out seven different benefits and outlined them below for you. This can help you decide if you should implement this service or not. 

1. Boost Your Cash Flow

  • Recurring invoices help you get a steady stream of cash flow on a monthly basis. They also improve your cash flow from one month to the next.This helps you plan out any expenses or costs associated with your business that you have to pay. Additionally, they improve your cash flow projections.
    For example, when you pay your monthly internet bill, the company knows that they have a certain amount of money coming from you and their other customers.

2. Speeds up Payments

  • Humans are creatures of habit, and we are all used to paying our regular bills like utilities, cable, rent, and the phone bill. By sending our recurring invoices at the same time every month, you encourage your customers to get in the habit of paying at the same time every month. Additionally, almost any software allows you to link directly to your customer’s credit card to add a layer of convenience and prompt them to pay you.

3. Reduces Payment Chasing Times

  • Recurring invoices can speed up your payments be ingraining good habits into all of your customers. In turn, you spend less time chasing after your payments. You won’t have to worry as much about sending late notices or warnings. Additionally, it’s good for your customers as well! They won’t have to try and remember to make their payment each month and get late fees if they miss it when they set up a bill payment scheduler.

4. Improves Relationships with Customers 

  • Instead of your customers seeing your business as another “ad hoc” vendor, they’re more likely to view you as part of their ongoing budget and extended team. This is how many businesses form anchor clients that they can depend on year-round for orders and a steady income stream.

5. Automates Payment Processes 

  • By using Billdu, you can easily create your recurring invoice using a template. It lets you set your payment schedule, make any changes as they happen, and link a payment method. It gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your invoice goes out the same time each month to encourage prompt payments.
    Additionally, you can use the platform to review any recurring invoices on a month-to-month basis before they go out. It’s an excellent option for people who have fluctuating invoice values like utility companies. Or, maybe you have a recurring invoice in place for $200 worth of products, but the customer wants to order $250 one month. You can adjust it accordingly. 

6. Saves Time

  • There’s no more spending hours pouring over dozens of paper invoices, preparing them, and dropping them in the mail. You can use automated billing to send out the invoices without any additional effort on your part. In turn, this frees up your time to concentrate on your day to day operations. 

7. Eliminates Hidden Costs

  • It may only take a minute or two to get an invoice in the mail, but you have to multiply this by hundreds or even thousands of customers. It really adds up, and it can add a lot of hidden costs to your budget. A bill payment scheduler is one way to cut out the majority of these costs and save your business money that you can allocate to other areas that need it.

How to Use Recurring Invoices

There are several ways you can use recurring invoices in your daily operations. For example, you have a customer who wants to order the same product or service once a month, and it costs $150. You’d bill them this amount each month and send them the product or service.

However, the customer lives in a tourist area, and they want to order $300 in products and services for three or four months out of the year. All you’d have to do is set up your recurring invoices for the eight or nine months out of the year and adjust it accordingly when they requested more.

All of your small changes show on the invoice, and you can even add notes, so the customer remembers why they pay more in certain months compared to other months.

Why Choose Billdu for Your Bill Payment Scheduler

Billdu offers several advantages for our customers to enjoy when they use our software to set up and send recurring payments and invoices. Each of our customers, both large and small, can enjoy the following:

  1. User-Friendly Design – Unlike some types of invoicing software, Billdu strives to make our software very user-friendly and easy to navigate. We give you a minimalist design that isn’t cluttered by unnecessary distractions. Also, you don’t have to click multiple times to get to your recurring invoices. 
  2. Flexible – It’s extremely to set up, send, modify, and delete recurring invoices as you need. This flexibility makes it easy and fast to monitor your cash flow and your accounts. If you need to adjust the price or items, it’s just a few simple clicks and you’re ready to send out your new invoice. 
  3. Centralized Location – Your dashboard gives you one centralized location for all of the documents you create. They cascade down your screen, and you can tell at a glance whether or not the client paid you or if there was a problem in the billing process. 
  4. Mobile App – Billdu’s mobile app makes it easy to check your accounts on the go. All you do is download it and open it on your phone. You can instantly access all of the important documents you set up for your business’s finances.

Creating Recurring Invoices with Billdu

Billdu is a very user-friendly software system that makes it easy and quick to create recurring billing and send our recurring invoices using templates.

We’re going to show you a guide that goes step by step that gives you everything you need to create and send out your own recurring invoices. We can help you make a single recurring invoice, or you can set up dozens all from one central location.

Step One – Create Your Account 

The first thing that you want to do is visit Billdu.com and click “create account” under the login button. When you do this, it opens a new tab where it’ll prompt you to fill in your Business Name, a valid email, and a password. Fill it all in and hit “create account.” Billdu will redirect you to your new dashboard.

Create Billdu account before creating a Recurring Invoice Template

Step Two – Get Comfortable with Billdu’s Dashboard 

Billdu has a very sleek and user-friendly dashboard for our customers to use. It’s encouraged to explore the platform in order to get used to where everything is. This shouldn’t take too long to do, and you’ll be able to complete a host of tasks all in one centralized location.

On the left side of the dashboard, you’ll notice icons labelled “Documents,” “Expenses,” “Items,” “Clients,” and “Settings.” You want to click on Documents to start.

Start creating your recurring invoice

Step Three – Open the Recurring Invoice Template 

When you click on “Documents,” a small menu will appear under it. You want to locate the Recurring Invoice document. It’s the seventh and last document in the list. Click on it. Doing this will open the recurring invoice template dashboard, and you can click on the blue + New Recurring Invoice button on the right side.

Billdu Create a recurring invoice for an Automated billing

Step Four – Filling in Your Recurring Invoice 

You’ll fill in all of your blank spaces in your template. You can input a name or description, issue date, recurrence, send an email (yes or no), cycles, client, and a due date.

Set up Automated billing details and schedullerIf you click the Other Options button, it’ll prompt you to fill in the payment method, currency, language, and an optional discount.

Set up Automated billing detailsYou can write a short introduction or greeting before you add in your items. You’ll fill in the item name, quantity, unit, price, item code, and tax before the software populates the total for you. When you finish, click “save.”

Set up products into your Recurring invoices

Step Five – Edit and Monitor Your Recurring Payments as Necessary 

Hitting save will save the recurring payment and send you back out to your dashboard. Each payment you set up will cascade down the list. It shows a short description, the client, interval, when the next invoice goes out, and the total. You also get the ability to edit, duplicate, and delete it as you see fit.

Manage your Automated Reccuring invoces in the Dashboard

Start creating automated recurring invoices with Billdu

Try Billdu today to start creating utomated billing invoices via our user-friendly online dashboard and mobile apps. You can register for a free trial below.

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Looking for Downloadable Invoice Templates?

We have them ready for you, select your format and get your invoice template now

What is a purchase order, and how do purchase orders work? If you have a business, you’ve most likely created a purchase order at some point. Purchase orders are an essential part of any transaction, both large and small.

If you’re not sure what they are, this post is for you. We’re going to go over all the following:

  • Purchase order definition
  • Difference between a purchase order and an invoice
  • How purchase orders work
  • How to create a purchase order in Billdu

Define PO (Purchase Orders)

What is PO? Simply put, a purchase order is a document that a seller writes up or makes on software. They send two copies. One copy goes directly to the seller, and one copy goes internally and attaches to the specific account.

This purchase order is an exact summary of the services, goods, or products the buyer wants to purchase from said seller.

The purchase order will include a list of the services or quantities, the quantity, and the price. Once the seller agrees to the invoice, it turns into a legally-binding contract for both the buyer and the seller.

This is why it’s essential that the buyer is extremely clear in communicating exactly what they want to buy and the quantities. The last thing you want is the seller to be confused when they get their copy of the purchase order.

At the very least, your purchase order should have the following:

  • Date the buyer issued the purchase order
  • Name and address of the buyer
  • Name and address of the seller (supplier)
  • Details about the goods or services purchased (list with exact quantities and final price)
  • Terms and conditions of the transactions
  • Purchase order number

If your purchase order doesn’t have these items in the very least, you’re setting yourself up for legal and accounting problems down the line.

Purchase Order vs. Invoice

But, isn’t a purchase order the same as an invoice? The short answer is no. These are two very different things.

The seller sends an invoice to the buyer, and this invoice contains a summary of the services and goods the buyer already bought or agreed to buy. An invoice usually comes after both parties agree on a purchase order, and the buyer sent the payment.

You can also send an invoice after you’ve delivered goods and services (popular with freelancers), and it usually contains a payment due date. An invoice also becomes a legally binding contract between the buyer and the seller, and it totals the debt that the buyer owes.

Invoices should contain:

  • Agreed-upon prices
  • Any discounts or taxes
  • Date the invoice is issued
  • Details and quantity of the goods and services provided
  • Invoice number
  • Name and address of the seller
  • Name and address of the buyer
  • Payment due date
  • Purchase order number, if a PO was issued
  • Transaction terms and conditions (optional)
  • Total amount that is due

So it’s not so overwhelming, we’re going to break down the basics between a purchase order vs. invoices in the table below.

Purchase Order Invoice
Document buyers use to order goods or services from the buyer. Document sellers use to notify a buyer that they have a payment due
Buyer issues it Seller issues it
Buyer sends it to the seller Seller sends it to the buyer
Purchase order comes before an invoice Invoice comes after the purchase order
Defines the terms of the sale Confirms that there was a sale

Purchase Order Process

There are three main components to the purchase order process. The nice thing is that it rarely varies from transaction to transaction. It’s a very common interaction between large and small businesses.

Submitting the Purchase Order

The buyer prepares the purchase order, and it usually comes from their purchasing department. Electronic software systems are very popular because it seamlessly lets you track each purchase order and submit purchase orders to your suppliers electronically.

The purchase order usually has unique purchase order numbers. This helps you match shipments with purchases. Most software programs have entry fields that allow you to input each piece of critical data we outlined earlier, and you fill it in before you send it off.

The Buyer’s Responsibility

When the buyer submits their order, it creates an in-progress purchase. The order’s status won’t move from “in-progress” until the items the buyer ordered gets to their store or warehouse. Once the buyer gets the physical order, they scan it into their inventory and match it to the corresponding purchase order. The purchase order’s status changes to either “payment required” or “processed.”

The buyer finishes the transaction when they pay the seller. The payment should have either a company account number or purchase order numbers.

The Seller’s Responsibility

The seller or supplier use purchase orders to fulfill orders and process payments. When they get a purchase order, they use it to pull the correct inventory and get it ready to package and ship to the buyer.

When the seller gets the inventory, they use it to generate an invoice. They next record this shipment into their inventory system when they ship the products.

The purchase order gets an electronic filing, and there are usually paper copies around too. They mark the order as “awaiting payment” or “filled.” The seller also uses this time to set deadlines and payment reminder dates. This system allows the seller to monitor for payments and enforce their policies.

Once the buyer gets the products and the seller gets the money, they complete the transaction. This is the time they close out the purchase order and end the legally binding contract. Each time they open a new purchase order, a new legally-binding contract opens.

Who Are Purchase Orders Useful For?

Purchase orders are important for any buyer who wants to get services or goods from a supplier, vendor, or seller. They may seem like nothing more but a lot of unnecessary extra work, but they can save you a lot of hassle. This is especially true if your purchasing demands go up.

Demand fluctuates, and it eventually gets more urgent, specific, and complex. This is where mistakes come in, and it can cause discrepancies between what a buyer wants and what they end up getting.

Your purchase order adds clarity to everything you do. This makes them extremely useful for any business or person who routinely buys goods or services. And it should be an internal part of the financial process. They help you lock in specific details of every transaction you have with your business.

For example, if you want to buy five bags of concrete at $8 per bag, you can lock in a $40 total without worrying about price fluctuations. This is great for alleviating any confusion, and it can save your business money.

Additionally, purchase orders protect you from lawsuits. As long as you hold up your side of the purchase order, it’s a legally-binding contract.  The person you have a transaction with won’t be able to claim that someone shorted them because they agreed to the purchase order.

Why It’s a Good Idea to Automate the Purchase Order Process

If you currently use a paper-based purchase order system, it’s almost a guarantee that you’re creating and using too many documents. Many companies end up processing around seven different documents throughout the purchase order process. This includes:

  • Requisitions
  • Quotes
  • Goods received notes
  • Purchase orders
  • Order acknowledgments
  • Invoices
  • Packing slips

This is very difficult to keep track of with a low volume, let alone a high one. It can quickly get overwhelming, and the risks for losing items or having errors is extremely high.

Good recordkeeping is a critical part of any business, especially the purchase and procurement process. However, it’s very easy to damage, lose or destroy a paper-based system.

It’s also harder to find older purchase orders, duplicate them upon request, find missing transactions and find invoices in this system. This can cost your business money and time.

Also, a paper-based system requires a thorough filing system that you have to keep updated on a routine basis. The filing system will take up a lot of space, and it also requires people to keep it current.

Using a system like Billdu allows you to quickly and easily digitize the whole process by utilizing electronic purchase order and electronic documents. You can track all of the documents using one centralized system that gives you a clear audit trail to tell you exactly who performs different actions in each step of the purchase order process.

It also allows you to upload other vendor documents and POs like terms, prior contracts, and payment schedules. In turn, you’ll easily be able to track all of your vendor information without a problem.

Additionally, it also makes things easier for your accounts payable department because everything is one system. It makes it quick and easy for them to covert any orders you get and turn them into invoices. Your payment processing system will also get much easier.

Creating Purchase Orders with Billdu

With Billdu, it’s relatively easy and straightforward to create and monitor your purchase orders. We’re going to outline a step-by-step guide with screenshots so you can see exactly how useful this product can be to you.

Step One – Create an Account 

The first thing you do is go to Billdu.com and click “Login.” This will open a new tab. You click “create new account” and input your Business name, email, and password. Once you get it in, click “create account” to finish the setup process.

Create Billdu account

Step Two – Navigate Your Dashboard

Billdu will automatically direct you to your dashboard once you create an account. If you look to your left, you’ll notice a list of icons you can click on including Dashboard, Documents, Expenses, Items, Clients, and Settings. You want to click on “Documents” and find “Purchase Orders.” When you click on it, it’ll open in your dash. Click on “New Order” in the right corner to start.

Create a new Purchase order

Step Three – Click “New Order” and Fill It In 

Once you click on “New Order,” the purchase order format will open in a tab. When it does, you fill in and click save when you finish:

  • Business Name
  • Country
  • Street
  • Zip Code
  • City
  • Province/State (if applicable)
  • Type
  • Contact Name
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Fax (optional)
  • Website (optional)

Create a new Purchase order

Step Four – Fill in Your Purchase Order 

A new screen will show up that prompts you to fill in your Client, Order Number, and Order Status. If you click “More Options” on the right, it’ll let you choose your payment method, delivery type, currency, language, and discount.

Finish the details in new Purchase order form

If you scroll down a little once you finish with this section, you’ll see an area that allows you to include a short greeting, the item name, quantity, price, item code, and tax. It’ll total it automatically as you enter items, and it’ll also apply the discount if you offered one. You can add a short note too. When you finish, click “save.”

Finish the details in new Purchase order form Add notes

Step Five – Generate the Purchase Order

Billdu will now generate a purchase order based on whatever information you put in during step four. You can easily go back and edit it, download it, change the status, email it, cancel it and much more all from the dashboard.

Generate the Purchase order

Step Six – Monitor and Update Your Purchase Order as Needed

When you generate a PO, you can now go back to your dashboard by clicking on the “Dashboard” icon up in the upper left. You’ll get a running total of your purchase orders along with their status. You can use this to track everything and ensure that you get everything you need so you can send payment.

See all the Purchase orders in your dashboard

Start creating your Purchase Orders with Billdu

Try Billdu today to start creating professional Purchase Orders via our user-friendly online dashboard and mobile apps. You can register for a free trial below.

Start for free

Looking for Downloadable Invoice Templates?

We have them ready for you, select your format and get your invoice template now

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