Nothing ever really “takes a second”


Nothing ever really “takes a second”

Over the past few decades as technology has improved, many of us tend to equate something that is easier than before as “easy” and then extend that equation to thinking that “easy” is the same as “fast”. With sophisticated accounting software and various tools that your business uses, you may not consider that some of your processes actually still require a lot of work and effort. But shouldn’t the goal for everyone be processes that are both easy and fast?

Let’s take a look at some of the common tasks for Accounts Receivable that may fall to a single person, often the business owner themself.

Easy and Fast

Answer quickly: how long does it take you to send an email?

For most people, an immediate response would be “seconds” and if given a moment to reconsider might say “a minute”. There’s no right or wrong answer, but so many of us instinctively feel that email doesn’t take very long because it’s pretty easy (click a few buttons, type a few words, and you’re done). 

If we look at various averages, we can see that these responses are underestimating how long an email takes to craft and send. Even if you have an idea of what to say and who will receive the message, it takes time.

The average person types around 40 words per minute. And the average email runs around 400 words. 400 divided by 40 equals 10 – that means that a basic email may take someone up to 10 minutes to write it. Of course, that varies when you need to look up or reference information from another source which could take even longer, such as sending an email invoice. A study from McKinsey shows that the average person spends 28% of their workday on email. Whether sending or receiving, it’s time that you may be able to spend in a better way.

average email length is 400 words, divided by average typing speed of 40 words per minute equals an average of 10 minutes to send an email

How long does it take to create an invoice?

Again, individual speeds vary but generally, a new invoice for a new customer will take around 10  minutes to manually enter in your accounting package and generate, then prepare for payment.

If you’re printing a paper invoice to be mailed, consider that printing takes time too! A standard inkjet printer in an office environment prints around 20 pages per minute, but that time may be longer if your page is full or you’re using color print. Then, it needs to be folded and sealed in an envelope which takes an average of 12 seconds. Adding postage may also take a few seconds, depending on if you’re using an automatic stamping machine or peeling individual stamps.

How long does it take to accept a payment?

Exact times are hard to measure because accepting a payment can vary widely but if we look at a typical B2B environment where invoices are sent and paid we can uncover a few ways that accepting payments take time. If your payments arrive in the postal mail, consider that the average time to open an individual envelope is about 10 seconds

If your customers call to coordinate payment via credit card or ACH/eCheck that time increases significantly. The Average Handling Time (the measurement of how long phone support calls last) is 6 minutes and 10 seconds

How long does it take to reconcile an invoice?

Getting paid is a great feeling and most businesses will perceive that accepting payments and reconciling them in their accounting package takes no time at all. But the average time spent accurately reconciling a payment is about 5 minutes

How do you apply this data to your business?

With a few “back of the envelope” types of calculations you can determine how long certain tasks might take and then evaluate where time can be saved or if not, decide how you will keep those tasks on track when your business is in a growth phase or when you need a break or vacation.

Consider a day where you receive 20 invoices. 10 payments are received by mail, 10 are received by phone. To receive and reconcile those payments takes several hours. But most likely you’re not only receiving payments every day, but you’re also sending payment requests – generating invoices to send your clients. If we add the creation of 10 new invoices into the mix, then you may be spending more than 6 hours managing these tasks. 

Time to process 20 invoices and payments is over 6 hours

Chargezoom allows you to apply powerful automations to eliminate many of the manual processes that hold you back. Whether you’re looking to expand your business or just want to get your lunch hours and weekends back, we provide solutions that are both easy and fast.

Try free for 30 days and pricing starts at only $20 per month.

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