Smart Tips For Filing Your Tax Return

The tax deadline is fast approaching and many people who have never done their own taxes before are nervous when they file their first return. According to the IRS, 25% of all taxpayers wait until the last two weeks before the deadline to prepare their tax returns. If you fit into this category, check out these helpful tips to help you get the job done right.

Get Organized
-Use a tax preparation checklist to make sure you have everything you need for filing.
-Have your forms, receipts and other documents close by for easy access
-Be aware of your filing deadlines
-If you’ve filed before, have last year’s return ready for reference

Remember, knowledge is power
The tax process can be intimidating for anyone, especially the first time preparer. Did you know that the average American scores only about 50% on personal finance questions relating to income tax returns? It will be important for you to research your tax options, school yourself and understand what items are deductible and could bring you a higher return. Don’t short-change yourself by rushing through your due diligence. There are programs available that can help. For example, The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), offers free tax assistance to those individuals making $54,000 or less that need help preparing their own returns.

Choose the correct IRS forms
The simplest form is 1040EZ. Individuals whose income is below $100,000 use this form.

Choose your software or tax preparer
Tax preparation software is popular with the do-it-yourselfers. You can find a multitude of cloud or computer based preparation options. If you need the help of a professional tax preparer, it is important to find a reputable choice. Talk to friends, colleagues or someone you know who has experience with tax preparation. Make sure you ask about their fees and most importantly get their preparer tax identification number.

Decide how you will file your return
There are two options available related to sending your completed tax returns. The first is to file electronically through an authorized IRS E-file provider. The other is to download the required forms, fill them out, sign and send them in by mail. If you are expecting a refund, the E-file will definitely assure you get your money faster.

Take security measures
Be cautious when filing your taxes. Make sure you are working on a secured network. Be sure to steer away from using public Wi-Fi and remember to have a unique, strong password for any tax related accounts.

Make a plan for your tax refund before you receive it
If you are one of the lucky taxpayers that will be expecting a refund, you need to have a plan for your money. Before you go out and spend your refund, remember that the IRS isn’t sending you a gratuity check. It’s money that should have been yours all along. So make sure you give your pending refund a special purpose.

An excess of 50% of Americans have no savings to speak of. So, the best time to start saving is your tax refund. This could help you make a big financial step in the right direction. How about putting your refund toward bill consolidation or other savings goals. You could also consider investing your money in CDs, bonds or in real estate. Whatever you decide, make the most of the money you will be receiving.

What Is a Secured Loan on My Car? Your Questions Answered

When you look to take out any kind of loan, you’ll always be faced with dilemmas and choices. Whichever loan you decide to go for, it’s usually the options that surround each one where it can get confusing. However, the first thing to decide on is whether your loan will be secured or unsecured. Almost every loan available on the market today is one or the other, so which is best?

Unsecured loans

Though unsecured loans are a bigger risk for lenders, they are more widely available and come in several different guises such as a credit card or personal loans. Also, they don’t usually require any form of security or assets and could have greater flexibility in terms of repayment options.

But for all these benefits, even the highest loan amounts are lower than with a secured loan. Rigorous credit checks are undertaken to prove you’re credit worthy and capable of paying the loan back in full. Plus, if you have a low income or had credit problems in the past, it can make it much harder to take out an unsecured loan.

If you’re successful, you’ll need to ensure your budget can handle the repayments. Many unsecured loans have a higher rate of interest that could cost you more in the long run. If you miss any payments or can’t pay back the total amount, it will affect your credit rating making it harder to borrow again in the future.

Secured loans

A secured loan is the type of loan that is protected by a valuable asset or item of collateral. It’s a lower risk to lenders who can offer larger loan amounts because, as the name suggests, you’ll be providing ‘security’, whether it’s a house or a car, to help borrow the money.

Though credit checks are usually still applied to ensure a creditworthy background, the process is more focused on the security you can provide. The lender sees the high-value item that’s offered against the loan as a guarantee that you’ll repay the loan in full and therefore retain ownership of it.

It does mean, however, that the lender has the right to take possession of the item if the loan isn’t paid back in full, including fees and charges. This will affect your credit score in the same way as if you defaulted on an unsecured loan.

A secured loan on your car

One of the easiest and quickest ways to get a larger sum of money is to take out a secured loan on your car. Often known as a logbook loan, the process involves getting a secured loan with your car being the valuable security against it.

There are several trustworthy lenders available to you and a few have already helped thousands of customers withdraw the cash from their cars and make the process nice and simple. Some companies offer NO formal credit checks, so as long as you own your car and it’s free from finance, there’s no reason why they won’t help you.

It is important you do your research before committing to a loan company. Many offer hidden fees and charge you penalties for paying back the loan early. This can come as a nasty surprise to many people once they have already been tied into a contract.

All You Need to Know About 2 Wheeler Loan Finance

With growing demand in semi urban and rural areas, 2 wheeler industry is a high growth sector. The industry is estimated to be Rs.6, 000-Rs.7, 000 crore in size. This means there is abundant opportunity for 2 wheeler finance companies. There was limited awareness about financing for a 2 wheeler in the olden days but with the increasing penetration of financial institutions across the country, it has become possible to obtain 2 wheeler finance quickly and conveniently.

Getting 2 wheeler loan finance has become easy. The eligibility criteria, documentation requirement and the process has been mentioned below:

Eligibility:

Individuals above the age of 18.
Salaried individuals who have been employed for more than a year.
Business owners who are running a business for over a year.

Documentation:

Identity Proof
Address Proof
Income Proof
Valid KYC documents
Passport size photographs

Procedure:

In order to apply for 2 wheeler loan finance, the applicant needs to scout the market for various Banks and financial institutions offering the loan. Based on the terms and conditions of the respective financial institutions, the applicant should choose the one that suits his requirements. The application process is quick and transparent. The applicant needs to meet the eligibility criteria in order to apply for the loan. Further, the applicant needs to submit the application form and provide the required documents to the financial institution. The customer executives are friendly and will guide through the entire process of application. The application will be processed within 48 to 72 hours and the loan will be approved in no time.

It is advisable to seek a loan from a trustworthy financial institution. They offer flexible tenure and easy repayment options. With a low rate of interest and a flexible repayment tenure, purchasing a 2 wheeler has become quick and easy. Individuals with a positive credit history can get the loan approved quicker and are also eligible for the special schemes. Once the loan amount has been disbursed, it is not possible to change the tenure and amount, hence it is important to give the loan application a good thought and settle for a repayment tenure which is possible based on the monthly income of the applicant. Financial institutions offer customized solutions to the applicants based on their requirements. Depending on the type of 2 wheeler to be purchased, the loan amount will be sanctioned.

The applicant will only be required to pay a small amount as down payment and the balance can be converted into a 2 wheeler loan which is to be repaid in easy monthly installments. Upto 95% of the on road price of the vehicle is available as a loan to the applicant and the repayment tenure ranges between 12 months to 48 months. With the increasing demand of 2 wheelers across the country, Banks and financial institutions are offering loans which meet the requirements of the consumers and they also settle the terms accordingly.

My Tips on Improving Your Finances for Life

There is no way to avoid dealing with money and finances these days. Therefore you should try to learn as much as possible to help you make good financial decisions and to increase your confidence about money.

When you make a budget, it should be realistic regarding your income and spending habits. Be sure to include all of your income such as alimony, child support, rental income, or any other. Always use your net income not your gross earnings in these calculations. Once you have the numbers, you can consider how to adjust your spending to stay within your income range. To maintain your budget never exceed your incoming cash flow.

The next step is to total up your expenses, and you should make a list of all monthly expenses. Your list should document each and every expense that you have whether it expense, spontaneous or just a one time expense. Remember that this list needs to have a complete breakdown of your costs. Be sure to add in expenses that you have from restaurant dinners and fast food as well as grocery bills. Reduce expenses linked to your cars, such as gas and insurance. If you have payments that you make quarterly or less frequently, divide them up to reflect a monthly payment. Make sure you include incidental expenses, for instance, baby sitters or storage unit rentals. Try to have the most accurate list possible.

Now that you have a good idea of your income and expenditures, you can start planning a new budget. Look at each expenditure on your list, and decide what you could do without. If you normally buy coffee from a cafe, calculate how much money you would save on a weekly basis if you bought it from McDonald’s instead, or made it at home. Exactly what and how much you are willing to compromise is completely up to you. The first step is identifying expenses that are not necessary so you can use the money for something else.

If your utility bills are rising, you may want to upgrade your appliances to save some money. Upgrading to well-fitted double-glazed windows, for example, can reduce your heating bill dramatically. Besides you can repair any leaky pipes and only run the dishwasher with a full load.

Swap old, inefficient appliances for those that use less energy. Although doing so may cost you some money upfront, over the long-term you will save a fair penny on your utility bills. Unplug the appliances you do not need. In time you will notice significant savings in your energy consumption.

You can make a significant decrease in your heating and cooling bills by improving your insulation, as well as the roof above it. Insulation or roofing issues can be very costly, as maintaining a regular temperature in the home can be expensive. If you invest in the upgrades, it will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Using these tips not only saves you money, but it also helps you start bringing your budget under control. An expensive upgrade can save a lot of money in lowering electricity or water bills. This is one way that you can make your budget more reliable.

Important Things You Must Know About Fixed Capital Investment

It can be quite daunting to decode the jargon of financing businesses. In most cases, because of the similarity in the objectives of the different financing solutions, many have a tendency to exchange one for the other.

To simplify these very technical terminologies, most especially when you just have ventured into business and you do not have enough knowledge about it, here are some useful information regarding a fixed capital investment, which is one of the relevant business solutions businesses, either big or small, can opt for.

Facts About Fixed Capital Investment

First, they are often used to launch or perform businesses. Over a long period of time or about 20 years, they depreciate on the accounting statements of the company.

Second, though these investments can depreciate over time, they won’t depreciate the same way. Be reminded that there are investments that lose their value faster than the others. The perfect examples of those that devalue fast are communications equipment or devices since there is a rapid turnover of technology for these. Another excellent example is the company vehicles. Within the year of purchase, the value of a brand new company vehicle can depreciate by as much as 40%.

Third, fixed capital investments won’t devalue rapidly. There are actually cases where it can even increase in value. Real estate properties like the company’s office buildings and land are among the examples.

Fourth, these will include the acquisition of tools and equipment required for daily operations, along with the real estate properties where the goods are to be produced and stored. Remember though that the materials used in the production of goods are not included due to the fact that these aren’t retained by the company.

Sixth, the amount of fixed capital will be different from one industry to another. There are enterprises that would require higher fixed capital investment than the others. These will include oil companies, telecommunications providers, and the engineering and manufacturing firms. On the other hand, businesses that will just require limited fixed capital are those that within the service industry. And these will include the law and accounting firms since they require more compact devices, tools and regular office appliances.

Lastly, getting fixed capital often takes a considerable amount of time. Thus, it is crucial to work with a reliable, competent financing institution that can efficiently minimize the risk of financial losses through a wide variety of proven methods.

5 Things to Consider While Selecting a Financial Planner

Unlike someone calling himself a CPA or a physician, just about anyone can call himself a “financial planner” or a “financial advisor” regardless of their educational background and professional experience. Moreover, not all of them are unbiased in their advice and not all of them always act in their clients’ best interests.

To ensure your financial planner is well-qualified in personal finances and impartial in his advice, consider the following five things:

1. Planning Credentials: Having a highly-regarded credential in financial planning, such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), confirms that the professional you intend to work with has acquired the education and experience necessary to serve as a financial planner. CFP and PFS credentials are awarded to only those individuals who have met the certification requirements of education and experience in planning for personal finances. In addition, they have to pass the certification examinations and agree adhere to the practice standards and continuing education requirements.

2. Subject Matter Expertise: Financial planners are planning professionals, not necessarily subject matter experts. For example, a financial planner will be skilled in tax analysis and planning,but unlike a Certified Public Account (CPA) or an IRS Enrolled Agent (EA) he might not necessarily be a subject matter expert when it comes to tax rules Similarly,a he could be skilled in chalking out an investment plan, but unlike a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) he may not be an authority in the subject of investments. Work with a financial planner who is also a subject matter expert in those areas of personal finance that are important in achieving your financial goals.

3. Client Specialization: Not all financial planners serve all types of clients. Most specialize in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles. For example, a personal planner may build his expertise and customize his services to serve only those individuals and families who are in certain professions, or a particular stage of life with specific financial goals and net worth. Ask whether the planner specializes in serving only certain types of clients with specific profiles to determine whether he is the right fit for your situation and financial goals.

4. Fee structure: The fee structure largely determines whose interests he serves best – his client’s or his own. A Fee-Only professional charges only fees for their advice whereas a Fee-Based professional not only charges fees but also earns commissions, referral fees and other financial incentives on the products and solutions they recommend for you. Consequently, the advice from a fee-only one is more likely to be unbiased and in your best interests than the advice from a fee-based financial planner. Work with a professional whose fee structure is conflict-free and aligned to benefit you.

5. Availability: He or she should be regularly available, attentive, and accessible to you. Ask the planner how many clients he currently serves and the maximum number of clients he is planning to serve in the future regularly. This clients-to-planner ratio is one of the key factors in assessing your planner’s availability to you in the future. Also, ask which planning activities are typically performed by the planner and which ones are delegated to a para planner or other junior staff members. Lastly, make sure the planner is easily accessible via phone and email during normal business hours.

Once you have shortlisted a few well-qualified and unbiased financial planners in your local area, consult the ones who offer a FREE initial consultation first. During the initial consultation, assess the planner’s availability and any other professional attributes you are seeking in your financial planner.

A Latin Impact on the Finance Industry

Financial Institutions are a fantastic business model to learn from when considering ever changing market conditions. Their traditional target markets are stable, but, the needs of an emerging market, the Latino market is extremely underserved. It is certainly not for lack of money. Many Latinos have zero debt and healthy saving habits. The question arises, are financial institutions doing enough to serve this population? Are they adapting to the Latino needs? The answer is complicated.

There are two types of Latinos in the USA. One is the immigrant seeking a better life and wanting the American dream, whether they came through the proper channels or not it is irrelevant. The second, are the Latinos that are born here. These are two very different groups of people with different needs and goals. Most immigrants bring their culture, traditions, and customs with them to the US. Those born here develop a blended culture that is both Latino and American.

Financial Institutions are taking notice and making strides to accommodate this very economically influential population. The main reason is that there is a lot of investment in education and developing trust. An untold detail is that in Latino countries, people do not trust banks and financial institution because of corruption. Everything is paid in cash and there are no debt or traditional credit scores. This means that the Latino community have cash, probably stored under their mattress or in a shoe box. This is very dangerous considering that a house fire could burn an entire life savings. Another scenario is they could become a target for robbery. This is a foreign concept for Americans. What is happening is a huge learning curve, educating them on the process of building credit, saving their money in a financial institution, getting loans (mortgage, car, etc.), and most important having trust in the financial institutions.

The younger generations that are born here learn from their parents and surroundings. There is still a disconnect from the importance of financial products, building credit, and how that process works. Many of these young people are just translating for their parents, explaining financial products, and become an intermediary for conducting business. You will notice an increase in bilingual support at many financial institutions for this reason. There is still a lot of work to do in this regard, and this process will take time.

However, more and more financial institutions are offering products specific to Latinos. Information is becoming available in Spanish and more financial institutions are hiring bilingual and multi-lingual speakers. It will be interesting to see how we as a country adapt to this important demographic. It is truly an untapped market that has an important function in our economy for growth and stability.

E-Invoicing in 7 Steps

Step One: Know your ‘as-is’ process:

I knew all too well in my days of selling e-invoicing, that if a prospect didn’t know their ‘as-is’ process, they were a good 12 to 24 months from implementing e-invoicing. So don’t skip Step One.

If you don’t know your process, you probably don’t know key metrics like your First Time Match Rate. This means you won’t know the degree to which e-invoicing might help you (and you may have problems in your process which need other solutions, as well).

And, you probably don’t know the true cost of your invoicing process, and therefore will not be able to put together a water-tight business case.

By mapping out your ‘as is’ process you will come to understand:

  • Why invoices fail
  • How e-invoicing can remedy problems in your process flow
  • How many invoices would be ‘in scope’ should you proceed with e-invoicing
  • What your ‘as-is’ cost is, and how much it will go down by moving to electronic
  • How many days it’s currently taking to process an invoice, and how e-invoicing would reduce the time
  • How, by reducing the number of days, your capturing of negotiated discounts might be favorably effected

Step One is likely to take you 3 to 6 months, but by the end of it you’ll be clearer and more realistic when you make your business case.Importantly, knowing your cost-per-transaction is essential for negotiating effectively with the provider you end up signing.

Step Two: Know the vision of the company:

Process change makes sense to stakeholders when it is contextualized against the overarching ambitions of the company.

This means it’s worth taking the time to understand where the company wants to be in 6, 12 or 24 months’ time, and you can extrapolate that intention back to how e-invoicing might accelerate or bolster the realization of that goal. Take the time to lift yourself from the ‘day to day’ and understand where the company is headed. (Ask lots of questions, and really listen to the answers.) Then you can:

  1. Understand and communicate the wider purpose of e-invoicing and position e-invoicing as a key enabler for realizing goals
  2. Use the language of the senior management to present e-invoicing back to them
  3. Move e-invoicing up the priority list

This endeavor requires planning, and an investment of time outside your day job, but it will pay off down the road, when your CFO and CPO and CTO (Chief Treasury Officer) see e-invoicing as their single point of failure.Step Three: Get procurement on board early

This is easier for an organization where Finance and Procurement are already aligned, already share reporting lines and objectives, and operate as one team.

But in organizations where this ‘joined-upness’ doesn’t exist, it’s common for Finance to own the project, because they get the more immediate gains, and involve Procurement almost as an afterthought. This can kill the project on the spot.

This is largely because e-invoicing is a supplier-focused program, and even though Finance, or rather Accounts Payable, pays suppliers, they are actually owned by Procurement. This means suppliers will listen to Procurement regarding the e-invoicing project first, and finance second. So if procurement are not brought in, or are at all dismissive of e-invoicing, your suppliers will feel this mood, and drag their heels in signing up.

This is perhaps the key to getting e-invoicing right, and so easily overlooked as a small detail. It’s not. It will make – or catastrophically break – your project.

When working with Procurement, consider the following:

  • Drivers – why are we doing e-invoicing?
  • Scope – all suppliers, invoice types, AP transaction types, countries?
  • Solution scope – just e-invoicing or an end to end solution?
  • Message – mandatory or optional?
  • Quality of the database – will the comms ‘land on the right desk’?
  • Signatory – how senior will the signatories be? The CPO and the CFO? (Ideally, yes.)
  • Targets – are Finance and Procurement KPI’d on the same targets?
  • The non-compliant – who will respond to the suppliers that resist?
  • Who will own the project? Perhaps Finance and Procurement together?

Investing time in seeking out a partnership from Procurement early on is fundamental to a successful project.Step Four: Give the project a name

You will likely find that the nameless projects stay in project status for a long time, and rarely move to operational or ‘go live’. This is not a coincidence.

By giving your e-invoicing project both a pre- and post- contract name, you:

  1. Give it an identity which helps people ‘get it’
  2. Create interest and curiosity (‘what is this Globe project everyone’s talking about?’)
  3. Avoid confusion because you’re all talking about the same thing
  4. Heighten engagement and inspire greater emotional attachment, especially, I find, if you stay away from the obvious like Globe, Probe, e-Procurement Project – all decent names, but how about something more fun, like names of characters from movies or fiction? Or having a competition (with a really good prize) to come up with the most creative name?

Step Five: Know what you’re shopping forWhat do you want? Is it a best-of-breed e-invoicing solution? Is it e-invoicing with dynamic discounting? Is it e-invoicing with workflow and routing, or an e-procurement functionality for your upstream procurement process? Do you need it to be VAT compliant and language sensitive because you are rolling out across multiple countries? And do you need to use their onboarding capabilities? (This is always advisable.)

Knowing what you want, and then capturing these requirements in a document is key.

You will have:

  • Commercial and business requirements
  • Process requirements
  • Scope requirements (impacting the legal treatment and the languages supported)
  • IT requirements (but these are probably weighted lightly, as all e-invoicing solutions I know of are system agnostic)
  • Resource or/and timing requirements

Then make sure that the companies you invite to respond to the RFP all offer similar-ish services, so you are not comparing one solution type against another completely different solution type in order to make a decision.Step Six: Determine the cost of delayed-implementation

Quantifying the cost of doing nothing – ‘continuing as per’, and having this as a daily, weekly, monthly and annual figure, will help drive a deadline.

It’s advisable to build this figure with the main stakeholders, so they all agree on it, and understand that, allowing the project to slip by a month is actually costing the company X.

Having the daily figure will help drive the pace of the project.

Step Seven: Follow the best practices of the provider

The provider you end up selecting will have likely rolled out 20 – 100 e-invoicing programs (if it is one of the bigger providers like Tungsten, Ariba, Taulia or Tradeshift). This means you will be benefiting from their experience, which is now structured, and documented.

Some providers swear by their best-practices so much that they attach a guarantee to their invoice conversion.

Best practices will include advice like “clean your suppler data, or let us clean it”, “have procurement sign off on the communication”, “be available and ready to respond when some suppliers say they won’t comply with the request”.

10 Rules for Composing Terms and Conditions for Your Invoices

Solid terms and conditions for your invoices are extremely important for your small business. If your invoices are complicated to understand or confusing to read, you may do some severe damage to your cash flow. Why? Mainly because if the client can’t understand your invoice they’re not going just pay. Your client wants to be sure that they’re being priced the proper amount of the goods or services that they requested.

1. Start thinking about all potential legal problems and scenarios.

The first thing that you must do before writing down your terms and conditions is to list all the probable legal obstacles or circumstances that could happen.

As an example:

  • What measures will you take if the client does not pay the invoice?
  • What will happen if you’re past due on delivering your services or products or service to the customer?
  • What will you do if the client is dissatisfied with your goods and services?
  • What will happen if the product or service is damaged when being provided by your client’s delivery service?
  • Are there any incentives if your customers pay beforehand?
  • What kind of rate of interest would you like to charge for late payments?
  • What if the customer is interested to renegotiate the contract just after the two parties agree to the terms and conditions?
  • Can your customer request a reimburse? If it does, what scenarios would allow for this?
  • What will happen if the scope of the work becomes wider?
  • If there was a misestimate on a budget or quote, who is going to pay for it?
  • Who is responsible if a product breaks after being bought?
  • What strategy will you undertake it the agreement or contract is terminated?

It might take a little time to think about and formulate this list, but as soon as you have got all of this written down you will be in a position to write future conditions and terms in a flash with the other clients that you will add to your client list. Most importantly, having the most appropriate terms and conditions for your firm will ensure that you are compensated and take care of your business if legal action is ever undertaken.

2. PROVIDE ALL CRUCIAL PARTS OF AN INVOICE.

Featuring the all-important elements of an invoice isn’t going to only speed-up the payment process, it will also answer whatever questions that the client has with regards to the goods or services that you provided for them.

When generating invoices, ensure that that you include:

  • Your logo
  • Invoice number
  • Your contact information
  • Your client’s contact information
  • The due date
  • The products or services you provided and their costs
  • The forms of payment that you accept
  • Early payment invoice discounts or enforce late fees

Before mailing out the invoice, ensure that all the information is right and that it’s being sent to the correct person. Any errors can easily slow-up the payment process and make you appear less professional.

3. CLEARLY EXPLAIN THE PRODUCTS/SERVICES BEING PROVIDED OR SCOPE OR THE PROJECT.

This is certainly the most relevant part of the terms and conditions on your invoice. Why? Because it describes what particularly the client is paying you for.

Like for example, if you are hired to make an internet-site for a client and it’s more than the client has imagined, having a description of the time and expenses it cost you to finish job answers any kind of questions or doubts relating to the final sum of the invoice.

4. SHORTEN YOUR PAYMENT TERMS

This should be {is kind of} obvious, but when you give customers a lot of time to make a payment, the longer it takes for you to get paid, which in turns leads to a slower cash flow.

So if you have a customer 45 days to pay an invoice, for instance, and that customer paid you a couple of weeks late, that means you’ve waited 2 whole months to receive a payment.

A payment term of 30 days or even less is the standard when it comes to invoicing simply because it’s helpful in keeping the cash flowing. Nevertheless, review your industry’s invoice standards and check with the client when their pay cycle runs. These factors can help you establish your payment terms.

5. HIGHLIGHT GUARANTEES AND WARRANTIES

It is not unusual for any business that is selling goods and services too often give guarantees and warranties. It makes them look more legit and reputable and gives the customer assurance. If you do provide a guarantee or warranty, make sure that is clearly outlined in your terms and conditions.

Never forget to address topics like situations where the client/customer loses their guarantee or warranty.

6. PURSUE LATE PAYMENTS.

Generally, there will be times when customers won’t pay invoices by the due date. Instead of being passive, you need to be persistent by tracking down those particular late payments.

Regularly keep track of your customers’ payment due dates and get in contact with them by telephone, e-mail, or mail if they have not paid you by the due date and feature late-fee terms on your invoices, like charging interest on over due payments – which a trusted cloud-based invoicing software will do for you automatically.

In case you can’t get a hold of the late-paying client, or they are not responsive to follow-ups, you may possibly have to send a collection letter, hire a collection agency, or take them to court. Make all of this information crystal clear from the beginning.

7. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL.

Be sure that your terms are specifically created for your business. Remember, your business does not have the identical requirements, resources, and clients that other businesses have. Because of this you can’t really just copy and paste the terms and conditions from a commonly used template or another business considering that they probably won’t address your particular needs.

A template is really good for starting and directing you in the right directions, but ultimately you have to write terms and conditions that best match your business and clientele.

8. ALWAYS BE PROFESSIONAL AND POLITE.

Being polite can have a beneficial influence on your business. Simply adding a phrase such as kindly pay your invoice within twenty-one days” or “thank you for your business” can, in fact, increase the number of invoices getting paid by more than 5 percent! This may not sound like much, but this can result in thousands of us dollars per year right into your banking account.
Aside from assisting you get paid faster, being professional and polite can easily make improvements to your brand’s image.

9. MAKE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS UNCOMPLICATED TO READ.

Keep the language in your conditions and terms simplified and intuitive. Put yourself in the shoes of your clients’ customers and realize that they’re not all familiar with industry terminology and even bookkeeping terms, like for example “net 30.”

Additionally, don’t aim to hide every single thing on just one page by using a small font so that your clients are not able to read the fine print. It will look tricky to your client and will ruin your reputation (regardless if there is nothing tricky on your invoice).

10. WHEN IN DOUBT, ASK FOR HELP.

When all else fails to perform as expected, or you wind up in a sophisticated or specialized situation, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your mentor, fellow business managers, or your attorney. These are individuals that have experience in writing terms and conditions and are more acquainted with laws and regulations then you are.