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It’s no secret – IT Services is a tricky industry to negotiate. In fact, it’s pretty full-on.

There’s tons of competition, customer demands change and increases constantly, and tech becomes obsolete in the blink of an eye.

And at the center of all this is you – the Chief Revenue Officer. You’re the linchpin of financial success and you’ve got a lot of plates to spin.

Handling diverse revenue streams. Ensuring an efficient billing process. Optimizing financial operations.

It’s a lot of pressure. When things don’t work, the buck stops with you- you’re the one who has to walk into the boardroom and answer questions about why things are the way they are. And your teams will struggle, and their morale will plummet, negatively impacting performance in the future.

We work with many CROs in IT Services, and we’ve found that one of the biggest challenges they have is invoice errors. To someone on the outside, these errors can look like small inaccuracies. But they cause HUGE problems.

So let’s talk about where they come from, why they’re such a problem, and what can be done to solve it.

Understanding Invoice Errors

Invoice errors are really disruptive. So where do they come from?

Mistakes: We’re all human, so we’re going to make mistakes. We’re going to input something wrong or overlook something. Especially if things are really busy. But the impact can be really serious – mistakes cause invoice errors including the wrong client IDs, incorrect dates, or misplaced decimal points.

No oversight: This isn’t about blame. Most of the time when there’s no oversight it’s because everyone is so busy that some things will slip through the cracks. Without robust checks and balances, invoice errors are going to happen. And the larger your business, the bigger the problem, because chances are your invoicing involves multiple departments and personnel.

Complex billing: Using billing systems that are not remotely streamlined is a common problem. But the more complex something is, the harder it can be to use with accuracy. Invoicing systems must be user-friendly, and they must prevent misunderstood functionalities, misused features, or lack of navigation. Otherwise, you’ll get errors.

Ineffective communication: If teams and departments don’t keep accurate and real-time communication, there will be invoicing errors. For example, if sales offer new customers a discount, or existing customers a package deal for upgrades, but doesn’t tell the billing department every time, there will be inaccurate invoices. Again, it’s no one’s fault per se- most teams are so busy, that constant communication is virtually impossible.

Scaling with no support: Of course great to scale! But when a company grows quickly, the operations and processes have to accommodate it. If they don’t, mistakes are going to be inevitable.

How Invoice Errors Damage the CRO and the Business 

These errors can cause a lot of damage. Some of it unfixable. And this damage extends across both your business and you.

Do any of these sound familiar?

Crediting and wasted efforts: Invoice errors force you to issue credits. You lose money, pure and simple. You also waste valuable resources because you have to take the time to find the error, inform your customer about it, and process the credit.

Plummeting morale and productivity: No one likes to be screamed at on the phone. Or receive angry emails. Dealing with that day in and day out is going to be bad for morale. And it’s frustrating for you. All of you get stuck in a loop of trying harder, working longer hours, and yet seeing no change. That’s a terrible environment for you to work in.

Damaged reputation: Making mistakes in your invoicing over and over will harm your reputation, which has a knock-on effect on your reputation personally. People will question your company’s reliability and competency. You lose business opportunities. You lose your standing in the industry. And you lose investors.

Inefficient operations: When you and your teams are busy finding and solving invoice mistakes, you don’t have the time for a forward-thinking strategy, tasks, and campaigns. That puts your company at a disadvantage compared with your competition because IT Services is all about constant innovation.

Customer churn: Customers simply won’t stick around if they have to deal with frustrating invoice mistakes. That means less money for you.

Actionable Steps to Mitigate the Problem   

When you’re a proactive CRO who wants to perform in the best way possible for the company, you want to solve problems as fast as possible.  

So, how can a proactive CRO turn the tide against these issues? Here are some actionable steps you can take to stop the problem of invoice errors and get rid of the chaos that those errors cause: 

Give your staff training: When staff are trained and updated on your billing, they are far less likely to make errors. Training sessions shouldn’t be a one-off, they should be regular events to keep your staff fresh, ready and aware of what to do to avoid mistakes. 

Bring in the quality control your processes requires: Integrating a review system that works across all the tiers and teams involved in sales and billing will stop errors before they become a problem. 

Give your teams realistic expectations: Teams get busy and overworked and that’s when errors can be their worst. Giving teams the resources they need, understanding that scaling puts extra pressure on everyone, and adjusting expectations to be more realistic will help cut down those errors. 

Eliminate information silos between teams: When teams and departments get the information they need, they’ll be able to act with accuracy. Make sure that operating systems enable good communication so that misunderstandings are prevented and all relevant information is included in invoices. 

Scale processes along with the customer base: When your company grows, your processes will have to grow so your teams can keep up. Ensuring your systems scale as much as possible will help prevent operational inefficiencies and invoice errors. 

Bring in end-to-end automation: End-to-end automation is the ultimate solution to invoice errors. It really is! Automation cuts down on those errors because it streamlines the invoicing process.  

It does this by combining all the previous steps – it enforces quality control by checking for errors, reduces the need for extensive training as the system handles most tasks, completely smashes silos and provides real-time information to flow between teams, ensures all data is incorporated correctly, and scales easily no matter how much or how fast.  

And – bonus – the best platforms can make things easier for your sales and invoicing teams by designing the best pricing systems, funneling opportunities, using customer data to create offerings they want, and automatically raising invoices.  

This means not only are those pesky common errors gone, but your teams are less stressed, have time to get involved in value-adding activities and boost your revenue.  

That’s the kind of result you’ll be happy to take to the boardroom.  

You Can End Invoice Problems For Good

Invoicing errors don’t have to be a business inevitability. Neither does having crushed spirits thanks to all the damage control and bad morale!

You as the CRO can tackle this issue head-on by knowing the causes, recognizing their impact, and taking proactive steps to prevent them.

And you can have end-to-end automation take care of everything for you. This pain point can be transformed into a stepping stone towards more efficient and effective operations.

Why wait any longer? Why not take the steps to eliminate those errors? You have nothing to gain except more revenue, happier customers, and better performance.

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