When you send an invoice, you are doing more than requesting payment; you are communicating a powerful message about your business. An effective invoice, that provides all of the information your client needs in order to pay it in a timely manner, says that your business is organized and professional and provides good customer service. Nothing will delay payment more than a disorganized, incomplete invoice that creates extra work for your client. Follow the guidelines below to create an effective, professional invoice.
Give it a Title
Leave the guesswork out and make sure the document says “Invoice” at the top. Include a unique sequential invoice number and date for recordkeeping and organization.
List the name of your business in bold at the top of the invoice. For a more professional look, include your company logo. List your address and phone number(s) so the client knows where to send payment and how to reach you if they have any questions.
Identify the Client
Fill in the “Bill To” line with the client’s name and contact information.
Provide a Due Date
Remove any questions by providing the date when payment is due. This could be “30 days from the date of service” or an actual date, such as November 17, 2017. No matter how you phrase it – make it clear. If there are penalties for late payment, list them here.
Fill in the Details
Describe the product or service you provided in detail. The more details you give, the fewer questions your client will have. Depending on the product or service, list quantities, rates, number of hours (if applicable), amounts, and the subtotal.
Calculate Sales Tax
Don’t forget the taxes. Follow the instructions from your local tax bureau to charge the correct amount for sales tax, if applicable.
If you offer any kind of discount, coupon, or promotion, be sure to list it on the invoice.
Total it Up
Calculate subtotals, taxes, and discounts and provide an easy-to-read and easy-to-find total amount due.
Add a Note
A simple note that thanks your client, provides instructions, gives a helpful tip that relates to your business, or gives a reminder for their next service can add a personal and professional touch to your invoice.