How to write a good invoice?
Writing your contact information
- Your business name should be displayed at the top center of the page. If you are an independent contractor, use your legal name.
- Then, type the address of your business in the line below your company name. This is important when you will be receiving payments by mail. It is always best to include your address, regardless of how you will be receiving payment.
- In the case of an independent contractor, include your phone number for communication purposes. For a business, include the business’ contact number as well as the business’ primary contact person’s phone number so clients can reach you.
- Contact information for your business is important, especially when invoice templates are sent via email. You can include your company email address (which may be linked to a business payment account) and the email address of your company’s accounting department.
The additional header Information
- Invoices should be numbered in the upper-right corner, below the business contact information. The sequence of the numbers used will depend on the preference of your company, but using this system will make filing easier.
- An invoice should be preceded by a letter of introduction which introduces the client. It’s wise to use either three or four abbreviations to keep it simple.
- The invoice number should be placed at the end of the abbreviation for the client after the invoice date. For proper sorting by the computer, make sure that you extend the number out to three place holders.
- You could also write the invoice such that the numerical date is written after the client’s abbreviation. This will be appropriate for those who get paid for consistent services rendered on a set time schedule. The year should come first, followed with the month and then the day of the month.
- It is recommended that the current date be included at the upper right hand corner, below the invoice number. It is preferred that you keep the date numerical and the format of the year-month-day to ease the sorting process.
- The billing period should be written directly below the date of raising the invoice. For the case where an invoice covers services rendered in the month of April in 2013, it will be written as 2013/4/1 – 2013/4/30. Remember to specify in your invoice that this is the billing period.
- The due date should also be listed. Most invoices are due about 30 days after the invoice date, depending on the terms of agreement reached with both parties and the client. Thus, a specification of the due date on the invoice is mandatory.
- The client’s information should be included in the upper-left side of the invoice, below the company’s contact information and across from the invoice number and the dates.
- On the invoice, list the name of the agency or individual you provided services or goods to.
- Below the company name, include your client’s company address, phone number and email address.
The services rendered section
- The invoice should list each service provided to the client during the billing period.
- If your company has been hired to perform many services, each one should be listed separately.
- In case your services involve specific projects, identify these projects by name.
- Include the payment information for each service. This information should be in a separate column directly next to the service name.
- If you have already paid a lump sum in advance for a specific service, you need to list that in this section.
- If you are paid by the hour, you should note the number of hours you have worked, the hourly rate and the total amount of money earned after completing a particular task.
- An invoice total should be placed at the end of an invoice, next to a list of services rendered. This number indicates what you are owed for your work and should stand out from the rest of the text on the page.
Here are some tips while coming up with an invoice:
- You should make sure that you and your clients agree on your fee and the method of payment before you send the invoice to them. This will prevent disagreements in the future.
- You should keep thorough records of all your invoices. A printed copy is good, but, ideally, you should also have an electronic copy that is filed away. You should also keep any emails or other correspondence pertaining to the invoice.
- It’s important to choose the right software to prepare invoices. Any basic spreadsheet or word processing software will be sufficient, but if you have an interest in streamlining the process there are specialized invoicing softwares that you could use.
- If your client has not cleared the invoice by the payment due date, it is a good idea to make a phone call to find out if they are working on the payment arrangements.
- It is always best to find out if the client has any preferences concerning the format of the invoice. Unless you know what kind of information and in what format your client wants your invoice in, you might run into a delay in payment.
Invoice templates are used predominantly by small businesses to bill their clients. They are especially useful for repair services; particularly handy for those contractors who come to a client’s home or business with the payment being made after completion of work. Invoice forms are used by people who sell goods and services to their customers. A blank invoice form will act as a receipt in this case. You can find invoice forms here, for free download.
Invoice templates should be tailored to a business’s specific needs. You start by inserting the company name and logo in the header area. You can also edit the email address and the line at the bottom that indicates who to make a check payable to.
When using a blank invoice, you can use a clipboard or carbon paper to make copies of the invoice for your business records.
One alternative is to use a commercial invoice, available from a commercial printing company. These are printed on carbon paper or on a receipt book. Samples are available at this website.
As a business owner, you may need to create invoices. The above guidelines may be of use. Invoice templates can help you in this regard. You can create an invoice that is exactly what you are looking for by customizing a blank version. The information provided will help you, feel free to use it.