Invoicing is the process of informing your customers how much they owe you and how they can pay you.
Customer Payments is the method of accepting that payment into your business checking account: cash, check, direct deposit, ACH, credit card, venmo, zelle, to name a few. All customer payments should be deposited directly into the business checking account.
Customer Payment platforms involving merchant service accounts that allow you to accept credit cards and ACH payments are not needed if you can get customers to pay you via cash, check, or direct deposit (giving them your bank routing and checking account numbers).
Your Invoicing and Customer Payment platforms can be:
EASY | As low-fi as you emailing out monthly PDFs to your customers with instructions that you like to receive payment via direct deposit to your business checking account number and bank routing number. This is often the best approach for many Collective members.
NOT NEEDED | Customer payment platforms are not needed if you can get customers to pay you cash, check, or direct deposit.
XERO | You can also use Xero's built-in invoicing and customer payment platforms, but we don't currently provide a high level of support. You'd need to be tech savvy and understand some accounting basics. We do provide a 1:1 special invoicing setup zoom. This feature must be turned on, read below for instructions.
Do It Yourself Invoicing at Collective
No matter what platforms you use, its important to remember a few key elements:
Collective does not provide invoicing services.
Invoicing is self-managed by the you the member
Do not integrate your third-party invoicing platform with your accounting software.
Resist any prompts urging you to integrate them.
The only "integration" you need is the money from the invoices being deposited into the business checking account that is connected to your accounting software.
Your accounting software is a great database for income and expense transactions used to generate profit and loss and balance sheet reports.
Reports used by you to view the performance of your company over time, and used by the accounting and tax teams to provide guidance and file annual 1120s business tax returns.
If you need a great database for invoices, invoice line item detail, customer information, etc. then its best to use a third party invoicing platform
Collective members that use Xero for bookkeeping have the option of also using Xero for invoicing. However, Xero invoicing may not be the best option for all Collective members. If you already have a reliable method for invoicing and accepting customer payments prior to joining Collective, you may want to stick with that solution because there are advantages to keeping your invoicing and payment processing separate from the cash-basis bookkeeping at Collective.
If you decide to use Xero for invoicing, follow these steps:
Because invoicing is turned off in Xero by default, please email to [email protected] requesting for the invoicing functionality to be turned on.
Email [email protected] to request a special 1:1 setup zoom. While Collective can't help you issue invoices, we like to make sure all the settings are correct when you first start.
Check out this video and the two links underneath
We HIGHLY recommend using Xero's Stripe integration for receiving payments from customers.
QuickBooks Online Invoicing (legacy support)
If Collective is using QuickBooks Online as your accounting software please follow these directions.
Customer Payments Platform
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or tax advice. It is not intended to be a substitute for obtaining accounting or other financial advice from an appropriate financial adviser or for the purpose of avoiding U.S. Federal, state or local tax payments and penalties.