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How frequently do you invoice per occurrence work?

  • Within 24 to 72 hours after the occurrence

    Votes: 40 18.2%
  • At the end of each storm event - no matter the number of occurrences

    Votes: 32 14.5%
  • Once a week

    Votes: 14 6.4%
  • Twice a month

    Votes: 22 10.0%
  • Once a month

    Votes: 104 47.3%
  • Other

    Votes: 11 5.0%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm wondering how frequently you guys invoice your per occurrence or per push customers? I'm sure residential and commercial might be a little different. As well, frequency of service might play into how the billing works.

Although my goal would be to invoice right after each event or after each snow storm, the bottom line is that I have not refined or pushed our system to meet this goal. I'd like to do this, but I also don't want to overwhelm my customers with 15 or 20 bills in one month. The advantage to frequent billing is that you cut down on questions or disputes to the service.

I'm interested in any thoughts everyone has on this.
 

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We try to invoice within the 24-72 hour time frame but thats not always possible.

The seasonal's get a reminder of whats due and when, followed usually by a late notice. :rolleyes:
 

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We do monthly invoicing. If we got a lot of snow here I would do it more frequently, but we usually only get maybe 2-3 events a month.
 

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I invoice at the end of each day! I speed things up by taking credit cards! Most are set up in computer, invoice, fax, receive fax with ok to pay, put on their card, in bank 3 days! I mail out paided invoice with card authoration # and thanks for your quick payment!
 

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I invoice /statement monthly . I too thought about invoicing after each event so customers know whats coming in the monthly statement . Seems like a lot of work
 

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We do mostly residential and we invoice monthly. Our customers seem to like it. We try to get the bills out right around the first of the month and most of them are good about paying promptly. I think the key is to be consistent with what ever method you use. I do have two customers who insist on paying each storm and I have one customer who wants one big bill at the end of the year. I don't mind the year end customer because when I hand him a bill he hands me cash.
 

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Monthly for the few per push that we have.Don't have time to bill each event,and to track each bill.

That is the nice thing about seasonal,no billing,except for salt or removal.

I fire off an e-mail the next day for the per push customers,and salt billing,and then invoice it all at the end of the month.I make sure I request a read receipt for the e-mail,so I know they got a copy of it.Aren't computers wonderful ? :D
 

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We tried billing after each snow event but it became to complicated with who paid what, and whats still due etc etc.Unless the person pays me cash on the spot i just send out all bills at the end of the month.Its much easier to track that way
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chris - do you use email to send your invoices after each salting event? What format do you use? Do you just type it out in your email or are you getting more fancy with attaching an invoice from QB via something like adobe acrobat? I like the idea of email or faxing.

My biggest hang up with getting bills out sooner is getting the paperwork processed in a timely fashion. After each storm event I take all of the route sheets and enter them into a spread sheet which summarizes my billing for the event. I also have it set up to provide a summary job cost from the event. I then take this spread sheet and input into QB.

Although it is an extra step to get from the route sheets to the billing, I find the spread sheet is a good summary to put into each folder for each job, it provides a summary of each storm event and allows me to manage each job to understand how profitable it was. The sooner I enter the information into the spread sheet with any particulars from the storm, the sooner we can invoice. Since sometimes we prorate certain servie visits, I determine this when entering into the spread sheet. Once it's on the spread sheet anyone else could in theory enter the invoicing into the computer.

I guess it's a matter of discipline of getting that paperwork done and into the system ASAP no matter how frequently the billing gets mailed out.
 

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Hard to bill here after each event, I have plowed 5 days in a row, then off one night then another 4-5 days in a row.

I just bill on the 1st and 15th of the month with all invoices due in 15 days. This keeps the bills smaller and keeps the cash flow comming in and keeps me from sending 10,12,15 invoices per month.

of course that is when we DO actually get snow.
 

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I bill after every 3rd plowing or once a month if theres only a little bit of snow in the month this way theres not too much money outstanding say a months worth of plowing everyday and them try to stiff the bill and by doing it every 3 storms i dont have to send out bills everynight...
 

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Lawn Lad said:
Chris - do you use email to send your invoices after each salting event? What format do you use? Do you just type it out in your email or are you getting more fancy with attaching an invoice from QB via something like adobe acrobat? I like the idea of email or faxing.

My biggest hang up with getting bills out sooner is getting the paperwork processed in a timely fashion. After each storm event I take all of the route sheets and enter them into a spread sheet which summarizes my billing for the event. I also have it set up to provide a summary job cost from the event. I then take this spread sheet and input into QB.

Although it is an extra step to get from the route sheets to the billing, I find the spread sheet is a good summary to put into each folder for each job, it provides a summary of each storm event and allows me to manage each job to understand how profitable it was. The sooner I enter the information into the spread sheet with any particulars from the storm, the sooner we can invoice. Since sometimes we prorate certain servie visits, I determine this when entering into the spread sheet. Once it's on the spread sheet anyone else could in theory enter the invoicing into the computer.

I guess it's a matter of discipline of getting that paperwork done and into the system ASAP no matter how frequently the billing gets mailed out.

All the salt statements are done in Excel.When the route sheets come in after the storm,I have one of the girls in the office enter them into an Excel spread sheet.The spreadsheet contains all the current storm data and conditions,amount of salt applied,and the monthly totals so far.At the bottom it has the billing amount,as well as the account balance.It more of a statement than an actual invoice.Excel keeps track of a lot of the previous data,so there is no need to go searching for it all the time.At the end of the month,she prints off all the statement totals,and enters that into quickbooks for the actual invoicing.Those invoices,and a final statement,are mailed out,as most places prefer a hard copy of the actual invoice.

It's much faster,no more printing,stuffing envelopes,and stamps.They are usually completed and sent off the next morning after a storm,so if there are any complaints or issues regarding the billing,they can be dealt with right away,when it's fresh in everyones mind.Not at the end of the month,when they can't remember what happened yesterday.
 

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commercial-once a month, residential after each snow event residents dont like getting big bill better to pay after each event, better on there wallet in this area any way,its working so I keep it that way!! Campi !!!!!
 

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We bill with in 24 hours of an event. Our customers expect it and we have never had a problem with complaints on multiple events. We fax a copy of the invoice. Seasonal contracts are done monthly.

Chuck
 

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Once per month, that is the great thing about having seasonal contracts. We do have some per plowing customers but those are sent out once a month also. If in the rare chance we do something like a one time thing we will send that bill out immediately. Just my two cents.
 

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Lawn Lad

Once a week :cash I've done it this way for over 25 yrs. & all my accounts like it this way ;)
 

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I take each customer's bill with me during any event, note applicable information on each bill (Temp, time, depth, and anything else snow or ice related). These are kept in the office and sent with a statement at the end of the month. As Grasshopper said, we don't get more than 2-4 events in a month so the bills are not enormous. :mad:
 

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We average about 8 billable "events" per year, so I invoice after each one. But it still takes me too long IMO after each one to get them out.

Lawn Lad writes:
"My biggest hang up with getting bills out sooner is getting the paperwork processed in a timely fashion. After each storm event I take all of the route sheets and enter them into a spread sheet which summarizes my billing for the event. I also have it set up to provide a summary job cost from the event. I then take this spread sheet and input into QB. "

IMO, you have this backwards ;) I get my QB stuff done ASAP so the invoices can get out faster, and so in theory the money is coming back in faster. Plus the snow usually melts within a day or 2 of each event here, so I try to get the invoices to them while they still remember it snowed LOL. Now, I can then take that info & determine whether I made money at each account or not, at my leisure. You can take the info you inputted to QB & download that info into your Excel spreadsheet with a little tweaking, instead of double inputting info into your puter. This may already be what you are doing when you bring the info from Excel to QB? Or are you retyping info from the spread sheet to process your QB invoices? If the latter, you can make these 2 profgrams work better for you & single input the info to one program, and use the info in the other.
 

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Since we normally have 2-4 events per month, our customers like getting billed while they remember the storm. We bill on the 14th and 29th. That way when checks are cut on the first and 15th, we get ours paid quickly. We started this way for speed of getting paid with our commercial customers. Now our residentials like it too. No bill gets way big. No surprises or forgotten storms either. :grinz
 

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We bill after each storm. We use Quickbooks Pro Contractor and it makes billing a snap! Prints the invoices, tracks payments, adds finance charges, prints statements, keeps track of expenses, profits, etc. At the end of the year my accountant copies to disk, does our taxes, sends a disk back that we load into QuickBooks, and we are all done.
 
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