Your Detailed Guide on Writing an Invoice
Lots of business owners, accountants, or sales managers know well what an invoice is. However, if you have nothing to do with them, or you are not even a freelancer yet, writing an invoice may sound like a disaster to you. Do you recognize yourself? Then the following guide on how to write an invoice is exactly for you.
What Do We Call an Invoice?
An invoice is a document that will tell your customers about the services provided and the amount they should pay for them. That document also contains information about the payment option and where the payment will be sent. The good news is that there is no format for the invoice.
However, when writing your own template, you should stick to certain guidelines and rules. You do not have to write your invoice nowadays even. You can easily create it with special software or even with the help of PayPal. Now let’s find out how you can easily create the template for your invoices and use it all the time for all the necessary payments.
How to Create an Invoice Template
No matter what type of invoice you choose or have, it will include some general components, such as the header, names, and addresses of both provider and consumer (buyer and seller, etc.). The rest already depends on the field of your business or the services provided. So other information will vary. Here are the necessary parts of any invoice:
The name of the business at the very beginning is a must. If you use any kind of software, just use a header feature to create it. Even if you do it in the Word document, you can simply type it in the center of your document at the top of it.
If you are not a business owner and have no company name, no problem, state your first and last name. Try to use professional font style and make your header a bit bigger than the rest of the text in your invoice.
Other parts of the header are as follows:
- Logo. In case you have a business logo, include it to the left or right side of your name. And if the logo contains the business name already, you may not provide it; simply provide the logo at the top in the center of the invoice. It is not mandatory but makes a good impression on the customers;
- Contact details. This part is a must while it will let everyone know where they should send the payment and how they can contact you if there is a necessity. Include your business email address, contact phone number, and physical address. If you are not a business owner, just put your own address, email address, and phone number. You should include these details in smaller font and at the center below your name or logo. But make sure to make it readable, so avoid writing everything in one line.
In the body, you should state the contact details of the invoice recipient. If it is a business owner, state its office address, name, phone number, email, etc. Write it on the left side below your header.
If you send the invoice, not to a company, just write the full name and address along with the phone number and/or email of the person. If you don’t have such information, an email would be fine.
Other invoice details are as follows:
The invoice number
The first line will show the invoice number. Write it on the right side of the paper. The invoice number follows the word INVOICE.
You can choose any numbering system you wish. So make sure to choose the one the most appropriate for you. For example, it can be 1,2,3… or 01,02,03… Here you can state the date, too. For example, 2019-06-10-1.
If your local government has its rules on invoice numbering, stick to them. Stating a date is helpful only if you send a couple of invoices in one day. But make sure to stick to the sequence of numbers to avoid any sorts of misunderstandings in the future.
The invoice date will be the second line of your invoice. Even if you already stated the date in the invoice number, this is mandatory. It should be written in a separate line. The due date is also important; your customer will know when he should pay you.
If there is a payment period, state the due date. If not, mention a specific number of days, for example, 3, 5, 10 days, etc.
Terms of payment
Here you should state how you want to receive your payment. Here you can state whatever you wish and prefer, i.e. check, cash, bank account, PayPal, etc. The late fee is also to be mentioned.
If necessary, include your tax identification number. But it already depends on the local laws. Depending on the nature of your services/business, include your local tax identification code.
A table of services or items
This is probably the main part of the body of your invoice. Here you will write all the services or goods you provide or sell. The table feature is very easy when using any applicable software. Make sure to write everything clearly to avoid misunderstandings with your customers.
It may consist of 5 columns, including, for example, Services (Items, Goods), Date, Time, Quantity (Unit number) Rate, and Subtotal depending on your business.
If you do not sell any goods, enlist the services you provided. Here you can write anything, like writing an article, editing a photo, creating graphic design, etc. If you sell the goods, then write specifically what are they. For example, paper, lamps, notebooks, etc.
Mentioning the date of providing the services or selling the goods is important. Then you should write the quantity, or the number of working hours (if providing certain services). Then mention the rate per unit/hour/day, etc. In the subtotal line state the total amount per item.
Every item is to be written in a separate row, as well as the total amount to be paid.
The last line is for mentioning the total amount for all the services or goods (subtotals). If necessary, add other charges, such as taxes, fees, discounts, etc. Make sure to write clearly for the client to see GRAND TOTAL or TOTAL.
At the very end of your invoice, you can provide some additional information, such as return policy if necessary. It would be great to thank your customers for using your services or purchasing your products. It would make a good impression of you. Something like, “Thank you for being our customer. We hope to see you again.”