Creating an invoice might seem one of the easiest things to create; however, it isn’t. An invoice is a document sent to a customer or client after a particular service is completed or your product is delivered. Before this time, when the competition in the marketplace was less keen, it was enough to create a simple invoice. However, the invoice must contain certain details necessary for you to fulfill all its functions in recent times. As a result, an invoicing chatter must contain the total amount owed, payment terms, and the service or products delivered to be considered a professional invoice.
However, many small business owners fail in this regard as their invoices are filled with all of the wrong information. In some instances, the contact information is wrong, and the terms in the invoice are confusing. As a result, several business owners do not get paid as at when due, thus disrupting cash flow. Therefore, this article intends to share the basic information that must be present on an invoicing charter. Some of that important information is:
1. The Company Name And Contact Information:
When an invoice, it is important to review the company name and address. Furthermore, contact information such as your phone number, email, and website must be written on the top of the invoice. Also, a company logo can be added to help display your brand.
2. Invoice Number:
Every invoice makes use of an invoice number to keep the bookkeeping organized. Invoice numbers can be generated to avoid duplication and generate unique numbers. Furthermore, it is also important to write the invoice number on the top of the invoice and the name “invoice” to be given the attention it deserves by customers and taken seriously.
3. Name Of The Client And Address:
While invoicing, you must write the name of the client and his or her address. If another person is involved or partners in the purchase, it is important that the person’s name and his or her address are also included. This is to ensure that the item of service gets to and is given to the right person. Furthermore, this information is quite handy in dealing with any legal issues.
4. Invoice Issue Date And Due Date:
Specific dates are a lot easier to remember and create a greater sense of urgency in clients when they are expected to pay. Furthermore, it is important to always add the date of creation of the invoice, and the date payment is due. This way, it is a lot easier to be able to track due dates and remind defaulting customers.
5. Date The Services The Goods Or Services Were Provided:
Having a supply date has been extremely helpful in dealing with property disputes. It also doesn’t hurt to back up supply dates with evidence such as GPS Waypoints to monitor your team’s location to show your clients in the event that a dispute arises.
6. A Clear Description Of Products And Services Provided:
Simplicity is key with invoices. Instead of summarizing descriptions, it is best to lay them out explicitly for the client to better understand what is being provided and what is being paid for. Have your descriptions give the where’s and the how’s if possible. When your client understands what is being provided, you get paid faster.
7. Amounts Charged For Each Line Item:
The quantity (hours for services and number of parts for products) and cost (hour for services and units for quantity) for each product or service delivered must be accounted for. This should be followed by a total charge for each line item.
8. Total Amount Due (Including Discounts And Taxes):
Always tally up the total cost of all services or products delivered. There are to be written below the listed services. Also, add taxes and discounts where applicable.
9. Payment Methods And Terms:
Payment terms should be clearly stated in a standard invoice. This should be done alongside or after having an in-person discussion with your client on the payment methods and terms, as they need to be agreeable before being added to your invoice. The payment terms that should be included are: accepted payment methods, explicit payment instructions, payment due dates, late payment fees if applicable, and service warranty disclaimers or refund guarantees.
10. A Thank-You Note:
Although an invoice is a legally binding document, there is room for a little bit of personality. This gives the invoice a positive feel despite its seriousness. A little gesture like that could well endear your client to you. In addition, this can be used to inform clients of referral programs, or it can be used to request a review.
Lastly, a few of the dos and don’ts regarding invoicing would be run through in this article.
The don’ts include writing invoices by hand, using confusing or uncommon payment terms, and limiting payment methods that might give your client some difficulty in paying for your products or services.
The dos include: politeness as requesting for payment could be uncomfortable at times, prompt sending, especially as soon as the job is done, sending an invoice in the PDF format which is more professional and cannot be edited by anyone else but you, and using an invoicing method that your workers, independent contractors or co-workers can understand.
Preparing an invoice isn’t hard, but it must be precise in your information, adequate and accurate. For both small business owners and big business owners, it is always important to get invoices right to maintain expected payments when they are due, keep clients happy and satisfied, and make a statement of professionalism.
A lot can be said of an organization from a glance at the organization’s invoice. Make yours standard and explicit and have little to no trouble with your clients.