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3 min read

How To Manage Contractor Invoices (Without Wasting Time)

How To Manage Contractor Invoices (Without Wasting Time)

Managing contractor invoices is a daunting task. Every contractor’s invoices look different; they’re submitted at different times, and each of your contractors likely has a different preferred payment method. It’s often a headache—but it doesn’t have to be.

Key Takeaways

  • To manage contractor invoices effectively, it’s important to set clear payment terms, keep accurate records, use invoice management software, make timely payments, and review invoices carefully.
  • Good record-keeping can help you avoid late fees and missed payments.
  • Payroll software automates tasks like invoice processing, payment reminders, and record-keeping, freeing up your time for more important tasks.

Valuable ideas for managing contractor invoices more effectively

Here are some simple tips for managing contractor invoices like a pro.

1. Set clear payment terms

The first step in managing contractor invoices is to set clear payment terms with your contractors. This may include specifying when the contractor should submit their invoice, what information the invoice should include, and when you will pay. Setting these terms at the outset can help avoid confusion or disputes.

Invoice Payment Terms

2. Keep accurate records

Good record-keeping is essential when managing contractor invoices. Record each invoice and when it was received, processed, and paid. This can help you stay on top of your accounts payable and avoid late fees or missed payments.

Download our Invoice Tracker (Excel)

3. Instruct contractors on what invoices need to include

While independent contractors will usually be capable of ensuring that their invoices are compliant, that doesn’t mean they comply with the requirements you are subject to as a client. You may need to advise contractors on the particulars, including: 

  • Invoice date. This consists of the date of issuance and the date of payment. 
  • Contractor business details. Including a company logo where one exists and the contractor’s business name or their business.
  • An invoice number. There may be a legal requirement that these are sequential. 
  • Client’s business details. This includes the business’s legal name and contact details.
  • A brief description of the work performed. 
  • Payment method, including payment instructions and account numbers. There may even be a discount for being paid faster. 
  • Applicable taxes. In some locations, turnover taxes like Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Value-Added Tax (VAT) must be included in voices. 

3. Use contractor invoice templates or software tools

There are various simple tools you can use to manage employee invoices better. Options include:

  • Create your template in Google Docs: With placeholders for individual contractor details, you can make your invoices compliant with all the requirements above with ease using a simple Microsoft Word or Google Doc
  • Online invoice generator. There is a range of free online invoice template generators that you can use to structure your contractor payments and ensure compliant professional invoices.
  • Invoice management software can be a game-changer when managing contractor invoices. Many software solutions can automate invoice processing, payment reminders, and record-keeping tasks. This can help streamline invoice management and free up your time for more critical tasks. 

4. Make timely payments

Making timely payments is critical when managing contractor invoices. Not only is it essential for maintaining a good relationship with your contractors, but it can also help you avoid late fees and interest charges. Consider setting up automatic payments or reminders to help ensure that you pay on time.

5. Review each invoice carefully

Reviewing each invoice carefully can help you catch any errors or discrepancies before they become problematic. Check that the hours worked or services provided match the contract or agreement with the contractor. This can help you avoid overpaying or underpaying for services.

Conclusion

Managing contractor invoices can be a breeze with some planning and organization. You can ensure your contractors are paid on time by setting clear payment terms, keeping accurate records, using invoice management software, making timely payments, and reviewing invoices carefully.

FAQ

It is crucial that both contractor and client ensure that their invoices are compliant. Otherwise, either party could have difficulties in the case of a tax audit. You should consult an accountant or tax advisor familiar with your jurisdiction to ensure full compliance. 

Yes. In most countries this is a requirement of tax and anti-money laundering regulations. 

At RemotePad, Lech draws on his professional experience to write about employment taxes and payroll (both remote, and in-office). Lech holds a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Kent, a Master of Arts (MA) from Kings College London, and professional payroll and tax qualifications. He has 20 years experience advising on all manner of tax and business planning matters.

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