What Needs to Be on an Invoice?
An invoice refers to the itemized list of goods sold or services rendered prepared by the individual or company to formally request payment from the customer. This document records the transaction and helps the vendor or service provider to obtain the payment and keep track of the business records. Every invoice needs to include these details:
- Name, contact details, and logo of the seller.
- Shipping and billing details sent by the purchaser.
- Identification number of the invoice and the date it was issued.
- Terms of payment - the price of the items, the payment method, and the due date.
- Description of the goods and services.
How to Make an Invoice?
- Quickbooks. Many small businesses opt for easy-to-use accounting software to create various documentation, so making an invoice in Quickbooks may be the best option for you especially if you do the books yourself or your accountant does not have vast professional experience. You can create invoices on the basis of sales orders and estimates or fill out an empty template;
- Excel. If you prefer to store your data on your computer, perform complicated calculations, and visualize data with charts, consider preparing an invoice in Excel. You may search for the appropriate template in the program, select a sales invoice or shipping invoice, customize the spreadsheet, and save it to share with the customer right away or amend the particulars later;
- Google Docs. One of the easiest ways to make an Invoice is to use Google Docs - you will be able to download a ready-made template or draft a document from scratch. Besides, it is easy to access the invoice from any device which gives an opportunity to share the data with multiple users. Choose a template you like, modify the fields to include the necessary details, and send the invoice to the client by copying the direct link to the file.
- eBay. Once the purchaser contacted you and confirmed their wish to buy the items, you can send them an invoice via a Seller Hub. You can indicate the payment method, collect taxes, and specify the particulars of the postage and packaging. Additionally, you can change the details in the invoice if the order was modified to include more items;
- PayPal. If you and the customer have determined the easiest way to pay for the goods or services is via PayPal, you can create an invoice to request the payment from the client - open your Business Account on the PayPal website, click "Tools" and "Invoicing", customize the invoice adding the shipping information, and send it to the addressee's e-mail.
- Freelancer. Whether you rely on professional software or draft every invoice manually after receiving an assignment from an individual or entity, a correctly filled out invoice will ensure the payment is sent on time. To obtain the payment and promote your freelance services, you should include your personal logo, draw a table listing the services you have provided and indicate their price, and specify the terms of payment;
- Self-Employed. In case you earn your income running the business on your own and you want to show the customer you are just as reliable as a large corporation, you need to send them a proper invoice - state the invoice number, list the available payment methods, and describe the insurance details if it is wise to safeguard the interests of both parties.
How to Create an Invoice With Partial Payment Request?
In case you and the customer have agreed you will only charge them a portion of the total amount owed for the goods or services initially and request the rest of the money later, you need to reflect this in the invoice. To do it properly, indicate the price of the products or services in the appropriate field and add a field "Notes", "Remarks", or "Payment Terms" to customize the document - in the latter field, you need to clarify the client is paying a certain sum of money upon receiving the invoice, when the goods are delivered, or on a particular date.
How to Fill Out an Invoice?
Learning how to make an invoice will save you time and money - moreover, you will keep the internal records of your business in order. Here are some tips you can follow when filling out an invoice:
- Indicate the appropriate payment period - depending on your negotiations with the customer, you can give them an opportunity to pay within a month after receiving the invoice.
- Offer the client flexibility by letting them choose a payment method - they can opt for a bank transfer, send you money online, or visit your office or store and pay in cash.
- Reach out to every customer to confirm the billing details - often, one person receives the goods while someone else pays for them.
- Charge late payment fees to encourage the customer to pay on time - discuss this penalty before the invoice is finalized.
- Do not ignore the line or field "Remarks" - the additional information you want to share with the client should go there.
How to Print an Invoice?
Whether you are using accounting software, monitoring your orders and revenue on popular e-commerce platforms, or maintaining physical copies of the invoices you send to your customers, it is possible to keep both the electronic and printed copy of the invoice. Usually, to print an invoice, you need to open the document using the applicable program (Excel, Google Docs, Quickbooks) or access your account online or offline, click on "File" to see the drop-down menu, select an option "Print", and choose a printer you will use to get an invoice. Note that you can change the settings depending on how many copies you need at the moment, the page layout, or the size of the document in accordance with your preferences.