5 Steps to Create Trucking Invoices That Get You Paid
These five steps make trucking invoices easy and efficient.
1. Keep invoices professional.
Keep trucking invoices clear and professional, and include detailed, accurate information. Remember, clients won’t pay an invoice that doesn’t make sense to them. Choose the most efficient and cost-effective option for your business. If you’re not quite ready to invest in a trucking management system (TMS), create a simple and professional invoice template that is clean and concise.
Include the following for accuracy and consistency:
- Your business name, address, and phone number in the header (and your logo, if you have one).
- The invoice number and date you’re sending the invoice.
- The name and address of the person or company you’re billing.
- Details of the job that was completed:
- From (shipper, city, state)
- To (consignee, city, state)
- The name of the driver
- The truck number and trip number (if applicable)
- The activity completed (what type of load if was) and the rate
- How to make payments (digitally and by mail).
- Total amount due and the due date (typically within 30 days of receipt of invoice).
- Any notes relevant to the job that was completed.
- A message thanking them for their business.
2. Invoice promptly.
Timely invoicing is key to receiving steady payments. Send trucking invoices as soon as a job is completed to avoid billing issues and outstanding receivables. This keeps your trucking business running smoothly and helps avoid clerical errors or unpaid bills from piling up. Invoicing clients promptly and accurately is just as important as calculating pay rates. If an invoice isn’t paid within 30 days of receipt, send the invoice again adding a note that payment is now late, and change the due date to “Immediately.”
3. Invoice accurately.
Sending an accurate trucking invoice increases the likelihood you’re paid on time and correctly. Using a professional invoice software system can help you automate your trucking invoices and minimize room for error. With the right program, you can identify loads that have not yet been invoiced and quickly create a professional, easy to understand, and detailed invoice with just a few clicks. You can also automate follow-up reminders for any outstanding invoices that haven’t been paid.
Look for invoicing software that offers time-saving features, such as the ability to link invoices to specific loads, include lumper fees, and add special charges for stop-offs and accessories.
4. Offer incentives to pay on time.
Time is money, and this is especially true in the trucking industry. The sooner you get paid, the more loads you can get on the road. Offer discounts or incentives for payments made early. This relieves you from the hassle of tracking down overdue trucking invoices and keeps your business cash flow moving.
You can also apply penalties for invoices that are paid after 30 days. Be sure to note what the cost is (either a flat fee or a percentage) on every invoice so it’s clear.
3. Consider invoice factoring.
To avoid getting behind on invoicing, especially when you rely on that money to keep your trucking business running, consider using trucking invoice factoring. Invoice factoring is sometimes also called accounts receivable financing and essentially buys your unpaid invoices. Top factoring companies pay you the invoice amount quickly, usually within 24 hours once the invoice has been verified. They then collect that same unpaid invoice balance from your broker customer when they payout.
You can tailor factoring based on your needs. Some trucking business owners factor all of their trucking invoices. Others only factor some, usually for slow-paying customers or on an as-needed basis.
Factoring puts cash in your pocket so you can use it for payroll, fuel, and other short-term expenses. It also relieves some of the administrative burdens of chasing down payments. For this reason alone, many smaller businesses factor all of their invoices.
Get paid when you need the money.
Truckstop offers factoring services that are simple and easy to use. We offer flat fees, non-recourse factoring, full-service billing, flexible cancellation, and no minimum volume requirements. You can even get paid the same day.