Ninety-nine percent of all businesses in the US are considered to be small businesses. About eighty-five percent of small business invoice wrong and do not have invoice etiquette. These businesses range in type of industry and framework. Each business has this in common: the intention to trade services or products in return for a consumer’s money. Due to this fact, it is necessary for all businesses to create invoices – both for customers and to keep track of their own goods and services in an organized way. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what makes an invoice as clear and concise as possible, to avoid headaches in accounting, keep customers happy, and make your job easier.
If you need help creating invoices for the first time, take a look at our list of invoice suggestions below! We know that logistical things like this can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we wanted to provide a resource to help you set your invoices up as easily and efficiently as possible so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
First of all format your invoice. Use a software like Word, Google Docs, or another word processor of your choice. You can even use excel or the google version of exel. Many processors will have a pre-formatted invoice as an option, but if you want to create one of your own, start at the top of the page with your company’s name (and logo, if you have one).
You’ll need to include important info at the top of the invoice, including your company’s address and contact info (email and phone are generally included). This is often left-justified on the page.
Include the client name or the name of the company you’re billing at the top, as well. This should be very clear so that invoices have no possibility of getting mixed up – so clearly type out the full name of the client/company and billing address. This is often right-justified on the page.
Keeping your invoice clean and simple is best, but don’t be afraid to be creative with formatting and font, and definitely include some color, if you want! You want your invoice to be totally clear to your customer, but a plain, boring invoice can come across as unprofessional, and doesn’t make a statement for your company.
Assign each invoice a number/series of number that you can keep track of. Some companies might use the year at the beginning of their invoice number. For example, the first invoice of the year might read 180001, and the next might be 180002. You can choose your own system for invoice numbering, just make sure you’re consistent and that you can easily track these numbers. In formatting, it is helpful to have the invoice number near the top of the document.
Beneath the invoice number, make sure you list the date of the invoice. If you file invoices by date, this can help reduce the time you spend trying to find the correct invoice for the correct customer.
In the main body of the invoice, list out items by name, the price per item, number of items, and total cost for each line. If you sell a service rather than a product, list out the service provided as clearly as possible, with the total cost on the right.
Near the bottom of the document, following the line items, provide a very clear total cost for all listed items. Many companies will highlight the total cost or use a larger font so that customers can locate their total easily and quickly.
At the very bottom of the invoice, provide your expectations or payments. Do not forget to Include terms like late fees as well.
Remember, there’s no specific “right way” to do an invoice. Just make sure that your invoices are clear, have enough information, and are consistent. If you can manage this then your bookkeeping will be significantly easier. You and your customers will be happy. Plus you won’t have to worry about figuring issues out later if the foundation of your invoicing is secure!
Play around with the design of your invoices, and don’t forget to have a little fun with it!