As a business owner, keeping track of your invoices and reminding customers when payment is due can be an extremely laborious and even embarrassing chore. However, it is a chore that needs to be done, because no payments means no cash coming into your business, which is not exactly ideal, to say the least.
Although most accounting programs will remind you when an invoice is due for payment, they don’t actually take care of the entire reminding and collections process. This is where ZenCash comes in. Not only will it integrate with your existing accounting program and synchronize all the data on outstanding invoices, but it also takes care of the collections process quickly and efficiently, so you won’t even have to lift a finger.
Let’s look at it in a bit more detail.
How It Works
ZenCash integrates with most accounting apps, such as QuickBooks, Freshbooks, Blinksale, Ronin, and more. Even if the program you use isn’t listed on their website, you can drop the developers an e-mail to request for support. It then automatically syncs all customer data, including names, phone numbers, emails, and all the data on invoices you have already sent out to customers. It’ll then take this data, and put it to work for you.
The Action Timeline is like your “collections plan of attack”, or how you are going to remind the customer. Let’s have a look at a quick example.
- A customer orders services off you for the grand total of $1,000, which you send an invoice for. ZenCash will automatically send out (if desired) a note on your behalf thanking the customer for his business.
- Let’s say the default terms of payment are 60 days. Just before the invoice is due, ZenCash will send out a friendly note reminding the customer that the invoice is due shortly.
- If after, say, 90 days, no payment is recorded (thanks to its synchronization system ZenCash knows when an invoice has been paid and will hold back on the collections process) then a dedicated collections team from ZenCash (posing as the accounting department for your company) will get in touch with the customer to find out about the payment.
The drag-and-drop interface of the Action Timeline is a real joy to use and at every step of the process, you can customize exactly what you want to send out to your customer and how he or she should be reminded. Here you can also enable the collections process (you don’t have to if you don’t want to) and, if necessary, legal action if the invoice due is over $5,000. The process is fully automated so there’s no need for any input from you – simply sit back, relax and let ZenCash do all the work.
ZenCash is absolutely free to sign up to and there are absolutely no monthly subscription fees or lengthy contracts to sign up to – you simply pay for any services rendered (which we’ll have a look at in a bit more detail below).
Current and Past Due Invoices
As we’ve seen above in the Action Timeline, you can customize exactly how you want to remind your customer and there are several ways of doing this:
- Sending out a print version of your invoice costs $1.95. Your invoice is printed on high-quality paper and you can define exactly how the invoice should look (e.g. company logo, address, layout and so on). Although this may seen a little expensive, print invoices are generally preferred by most companies to simple e-mail ones, giving you a more professional air, and it is an easy way to get around spam filters, which may mean that your invoice goes unnoticed.
- Sending out a thank you note costs, again, $1.95. Like your invoice, you can customize exactly what text appears on the note (up to 5 lines) and the logo at the top. ZenCash also gives you the option of including a little gift with the note, if you’re feeling generous, in the form of iTunes or Amazon gift vouchers to the value of either $15, $20 or $50.
- A phone call from one of ZenCash’s receivable specialists costs $2.95 per call. There are three types of call in ZenCash: a confirmatory call which is a simple confirmation that the invoice has been received and that the customer is aware of how to pay the invoice; a reminder call after the invoice is due asking the customer to remit the payment promptly (as well as asking whether they know about how to pay); and finally a collections call where the collection procedure is initiated. All calls made by ZenCash are recorded and you can listen to some sample ones here.
If collection procedures are initiated then ZenCash’s fee works off a tiered system:
- For collections between $250 and $999, the feeis 30% of the amount owed.
- For collections between $1,000 and $9,999, the fee is 25% of the amount owed.
- For collections over $10,000, the fee is 20% of the amount owed.
What Do I Think?
I was extremely impressed with ZenCash’s simple approach to invoice tracking and collecting. Its professional approach to the entire process makes it a vital tool for small businesses. You may never need to use the collections process, and although the fees charged may start to add up, in my opinion they are worth it in terms of time and effort.
ZenCash therefore received an esteemed 9 out of 10 rating, as it is a well-executed and low-cost approach to keeping track of your receivables. The icing on the cake for is the synchronization with existing account software, so there’s absolutely no need to update two sets of books – an overdue invoice gets sent to ZenCash and vice-versa. Its only problem is that it’s US-only for now, so you can only really take advantage of it if your clients are based in the US.
I can see ZenCash being a really useful tool for anyone who wants to keep track of invoices, and it doesn’t just have to be small businesses, either. Freelancers can also use it as well with relatively little overhead. Just sit back, relax, and watch that owed money flow into your account!