Are you a small business owner or a freelancer that has just started an entrepreneurship adventure and is trying to figure out how to write an invoice? Has the time arrived to collect your first client paycheck for the goods or services provided, but is writing an invoice stressing you out?
You are not the first; we’ve all been in your shoes at some point.
Writing an invoice can be overwhelming, especially if you have never written one before.
Tracking payments, collecting taxes, and managing customer accounts can only be easy with a proper invoicing process. Knowing how to write an invoice effectively is essential for any business owner.
This article will discuss how to write an invoice and provide tips on creating effective invoices for goods or services. If you keep reading, we will even share a free Google Doc invoice template with you so that you can get started immediately.
What is an Invoice?
An invoice is a professional document that is used to record details of services provided and collect payment. It is an essential part of the invoicing process, allowing businesses to track their income and expenses effectively.
Knowing how to create and manage an invoice properly can help businesses ensure they receive payment for services promptly.
In addition to recording sales transactions, it can also be used to record deposits or advance payments made by customers.
An invoice typically includes details such as the customer’s name, address, items or services purchased, quantity, prices, taxes, discounts, and total amount due for payment.
The invoice may also contain terms of payment and information on how customers can make their payments.
Providing clear information in an invoice helps customers understand what they owe and how they should pay it.
An accurate and timely invoicing process helps businesses collect payment quickly while maintaining good customer relationships.
In the following sections, we will dive deeper into creating the perfect invoice. But before we do we will share with you a free invoice template so you can follow along with our tips by working on your invoice at the same time.
Get Started with Free Invoice Templates
Invoice templates are pre-designed documents that provide an essential structure for creating an invoice. They typically include fields for the business name, contact information, client information, a list of goods or services provided, and the total amount due.
Invoice templates can save you time and effort, as you don’t have to start from scratch when creating your first invoice.
Fortunately, our product serves as a free invoice generator that can get you on the right foot in creating an invoice.
Download our free google sheets invoice template today, and based on your use case, you can add additional information to your invoice as suggested in the next section.
10 Steps on Writing an Invoice
1. Make Your Invoice Look Professional
Making your invoice look professional is one of the most crucial aspects of invoicing and should be taken more seriously.
A cluttered or disorganized invoice can be confusing and challenging to read, looking unprofessional and resulting in late or non-payment.
Professional invoices include a clear and organized layout to be easier for the payer to complete the payment.
Consider using headings, bullet points, and numbered lists to split up the information and make it appear more readable to your customer.
2. Marking Your Invoice Clearly
Marking your invoice makes a huge difference when issuing invoices. Including the word "invoice" at the top of your invoice with bold color and bigger font size increases your chances of getting paid faster.
You should include the word "invoice" because it will stand out as a document with an importance that needs to be taken action upon in comparison with other documents your clients receive.
3. Invoice Design Matters
Use a professional-looking font like Times New Roman, Verdana, or Arial that will give your invoice a more polished appearance.
Avoid using fancy or decorative fonts, as they can be challenging to read and may not look as professional.
Use a consistent color scheme. A consistent color scheme can make your invoice look more cohesive and professional. Choose colors that match your business branding or are easy on the eyes.
4. Include Your Business and Contact Details in Your Invoice
For your invoice to appear as professional as possible, then you necessarily have to add in your company details, such as:
- Business logo - Usually put at the corner of the left side or in the middle of the invoice.
- Company name - Added right under the "invoice" lettering with bigger font size,
- Business address - Usually included in line with the company name but also at the end on the left side of an invoice.
- Business Website - Not added frequently, but can be included under your business name.
- Contact number - Not necessarily, but occasionally added under your business address.
- Professional email - Not included at most times, but could be added at the bottom right after the business address or contact number.
Having company and contact details added to your invoice will help establish your brand and make it easy for the client to get in touch with you if they have any questions or concerns.
5. Add Your Customer Information to Your Invoice
Adding customer information into your invoice, such as the customer’s company, name, email, number, and business ID(if applicable), helps to establish a personal relationship with your customer, as they will feel recognized and valued when seeing that information added to the invoice.
Including customer information in the invoice helps to ensure that the invoice is directed to the right person and avoids confusion about who is responsible for paying the bill.
Having correct contact information added to the invoice makes it easy to communicate with your customer in case there are any issues or queries regarding the invoice or payment request.
6. Include Details on the Goods or Services
It is essential to include a clear description of the services or goods provided in your invoice.
Be specific when describing the services or goods provided.
This will help the client understand what they are being charged for, so everything will be clear.
Ensure that you have also listed your bank account details on the invoice.
7. Don't Forget About the Payment Terms
Another vital thing to include in your invoice is the payment terms.
Payment terms specify the expected date of payment and acceptable forms of payment. This helps ensure the invoice is paid promptly. It also helps to understand how the payment should be made.
One of the main benefits of including payment terms on an invoice is to prevent late payments.
According to research conducted by Freshbooks, more than 92% of paid invoices included the term "interest" on the invoice.
By clearly stating the payment due date and the consequences of late pay, businesses can encourage timely pay and avoid the need to chase after clients for payment.
In addition, payment terms allow businesses to specify their preferred payment options.
This can include credit card, check, or bank transfer methods. By clearly stating the accepted payment options, businesses can streamline the payment process and make it easier for clients to pay.
8. Offer a Convenient Payment Method
You can consistently offer them an additional payment solution to make it even easier for your client.
You could include a link in your invoice where the client will be redirected to pay online rather than entering your payment details. You can receive your payment directly and save your client’s time.
9. Include the Total Amount in Your Invoice
Every professional invoice should include the total amount due, including any vat rate or fees. It is also good to break down the charges so the client can see what they are paying for.
Remember to include the number of products sold or services offered in the quantity section. Also, check on the sales tax before finishing up your invoice.
10. Include Other Details in the Invoice
When a business owner wants to write an invoice for the first time, then it's vital for the invoice to be completed and include all of the details, so it can get processed quicker by the payee.
Let’s break down the information that needs to be included when preparing an invoice.
An invoice number is a unique identifier assigned to each invoice issued by a business.
Having a unique invoice number is essential for several reasons:
- Organization: An invoice number helps keep track of invoices and ensure they are properly organized. This is especially important for businesses that issue many invoices, as it can be easy to lose track of them without a system.
- Payment tracking: An invoice number can also be used to track payments and follow up on unpaid invoices. Businesses can easily reference specific invoices and track their payment status by using a unique invoice number.
- Professionalism: An invoice number adds a level of professionalism to the invoice. It shows that the business takes its invoicing seriously and is organized in its financial practices.
An invoice number helps to keep invoices organized and trackable, and adds a professional touch to the invoice. So, it is essential to include a unique invoice number on all issued invoices.
Invoice date & Supply date
The issue and supply date on an invoice are important elements of how to write an invoice.
The invoice issue date is the date on which the invoice was issued, while the supply date is the date on which the goods or services were provided. These dates are important for key reasons.
Including the invoice issue and supply date helps track payments and follow up on unpaid invoices.
By knowing when an invoice was issued and when the goods or services were provided, businesses can easily reference this information when following up on payments. This is especially important if the invoice has a specific payment due date.
Top Practices for Invoicing
Are you ready to write an invoice? Here are some bonus tips on getting your clients to pay you faster:
- Proofread and check for errors: Before sending the invoice, proofread it and check for any errors or typos. This will help ensure that the invoice is accurate and free of mistakes.
- Set up automatic payment reminders: These can help ensure that invoices are paid on time. This can save time and effort, as you don’t have to follow up on unpaid invoices manually.
- Offer discounts for early payment: Consider offering a discount for early payment as an incentive for clients to pay the invoice promptly. This can help improve cash flow and ensure invoices are paid on time.
- Use templates to streamline your workflow: An invoice template can save time and effort, as you don’t have to start from scratch when creating an invoice. It also helps to ensure that the invoice includes all necessary information and is organized clearly and professionally.
By following these practices, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your invoicing process and help ensure that you are paid on time.
Automate Your Invoicing Process with Portant
Automating your invoicing with Portant is a simple and efficient way to streamline your billing and payment process. Portant is an online invoicing software that allows you to create, send, and track invoices in one place.
With Portant, you can quickly generate professional-looking invoices and create recurring invoices for repeat clients without entering the same information all over again.
To get started with Portant, you’ll need to create an account and set up your business information. This includes your business name, contact information, and any logos or branding elements you want to include on your invoices.
Once your account is set-up, you can use the online invoice generator to create your first invoice. Simply enter your client’s information and the goods or services provided, and Portant will generate a professional-looking invoice for you.
Here is a video to give you a glimpse of how Portant acts as an online invoicing software, which will help you create a professional invoice in a matter of minutes.
One of the main benefits of using Portant is that it works seamlessly with Google Sheets and Docs . You can store all your data in Google Sheets and format how you would like the Invoice to look in Google Docs. Then Portant does all the heavy lifting and automates the process for you.
Overall, using Portant to automate your invoicing is a simple and efficient way to streamline your billing and payment process. With its online invoice generator that can create and email Invoice PDFs, Portant is a powerful invoicing software that can help your business grow by letting you focus on other important aspects of your company.
Q. What is an invoice example?
A. An invoice example is a sample invoice that demonstrates an invoice's typical structure and content.
Q. Can an invoice be handwritten?
A. Yes, an invoice can be handwritten. An invoice can be handwritten as long as it includes the necessary information and is legible.