Creating and sending invoices is an everyday task for many businesses. When done correctly, invoices can help you collect payments from customers and keep accurate records for your accounting. For many business owners, this repetitive task can become monotonous and time-consuming. To help ease the burden, it’s important to have an efficient process in place.
What Is An Invoice?
An invoice is a document that shows the goods or services provided by a company to its customer and any payment due for those goods or services. It often includes information such as the quantity of goods/services purchased, their cost, discounts applied (if applicable), and the total amount owed.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to create an invoice
Start With An Invoice Template
Get started with a well-designed template if it’s your first creating an invoice. Many sites offer free templates you can customize with your company logo and contact information. You can also download professional invoices from online software such as FreshBooks, QuickBooks, or Invoicely. These invoices come with pre-filled fields, so you don’t have to do as much data entry.
Brand Your Invoice
Customize your invoices with your business’s logo, letterhead, colors, and contact information. This will help you build your company’s brand and make it easier for customers to reach you if they have any questions or concerns about the invoice. When branding your invoice, ensure that you remain professional by using appropriate font sizes, colors, and logos.
Include Invoice Information
Label every invoice with the word “invoice” and include a unique voice ID number. This information can help you keep track of invoices and payments. Each business should devise a numbering system that best works for them and stick to it for consistency. Also, ensure that dates are well-formatted and include the invoice date, date of delivery, and invoice due date.
Add Company Details
It is essential to add your company’s details, that is, the name, contact information, and address of your business. This will help customers know who they are paying and contact you in case of any questions about their invoices. Do not forget to include details of the person or company you are billing. This reduces the chances of confusion and helps you quickly identify the customer when they make a payment.
Description Of Goods/Services Delivered
List all the goods and services you’ve provided to the customer in an easy-to-follow manner. Provide a brief description of each item, the cost per item, and the total cost. Clients like to know what you are charging them for, so make sure to include a detailed description. Use simple language, and avoid any industry jargon.
Include Tax Details
After listing the goods and services rendered, outline any taxes that apply to the invoice. If you are a registered business, include any applicable tax details. You can split the taxes into different categories (such as state sales tax or local tax) or combine them in a single line item. If no taxes are due on the invoice, then state this clearly for clarity.
Add Payment Terms
Payment terms define the time frame and payment methods accepted by your company. This could be a flat fee, installment payments, or a combination of both. Ensure that you clearly state the due date for any invoices, the accepted forms of payment (credit card, PayPal, cheques), late payment penalties, and discounts on early payments.
It is recommended to offer your customers a few ways to get their invoices. For example, you can save it as a PDF and email it to them or share the file via Dropbox. You could also print out a hard copy of the invoice and send it through regular mail. Whichever method you choose, make sure to get confirmation that your customer has received the invoice.
By following these simple steps, you can create a professional invoice in no time. All you have to do is understand the basic elements in an invoice template and customize it with all the necessary information. Get started today and ensure your customers are being billed accurately and on time.