I recently received a bill from a Pediatric Surgery Group. My kids are grown with their own insurance. I had no clue what the bill meant. I called the number on the bill, and learned the bill was indeed for me. The group does all sorts of work, but bills everything under Pediatric Surgery. How confusing!
In another instance, my doctor is part of a large group associated with a hospital. If he sends me for tests, tests are done at the hospital. When the bills come, they all come from Mercy Hospital and it is nearly impossible to tell one bill from another.
Incorrect billing, or bills that are not easy to read are one of the main reasons accounts go past due is that people do not understand the bills they receive. These days, with QuickBooks and all the proprietary software available, there is no reason you should not be sending your customers bills that are clear and let your customer understand what is owed, and how/when they should pay you.
The most important thing to remember when billing you customers are:
Clear and concise with the information your customer needs to review.
Billing must be correct and your billing must be timely. Send bills as soon as the work is finished.
Make certain you are billing the right person. If your customer is a business, then the person who ordered the work may not be the same person who pays the bills.
A few days after you send out the bill, call the customer to confirm they have received the bill, Ask if they have any questions. Ask if there is anyone else in the company who should receive a copy of your bill.
Ask customers how they wish to receive bills: mail or email.
Ask customers how they want to pay your bills. Do you include an envelope with your paper bill so that customers can mail a payment to you? Do you set up a payment portal so that customers can easily pay you online? Figure out what works for customers and do it.
Clearly communicate your payment expectations on the bill. An example: Payment in full upon receipt of this invoice. If you cannot pay the full balance at this time, contact our office to set up an approved payment plan.
The easier you make it for customers to understand what they are bring billed for, the more you can simplify the payment process, the better.