Correct Invoicing

The importance of submitting a correct invoice cannot be underestimated when looking to receive payment for goods or services provided. An invoice serves as a powerful communication tool to ensure proper payment is made in a timely manner.

If you’re regularly invoicing clients you try using an accounting software to assist you and you will be able to easily create invoices using a professional invoice template, automatically add billable hours and set-up automated reminders to let clients know that payment is due.

Information found on an Invoice

Your details

Your invoices should always include your name and/or your company name. Include your business address, and preferably your business email and phone number. Make it easy for the recipient of the invoice to get in touch with you should they have questions or need clarification. Any difficulty in contacting you will most likely result in a delay of payment. Also, some clients may need your contact information on invoices for legal or record keeping purposes.

It’s good to have your company/brand logo on your invoices to make it look more professional.

Recipient’s information

You should include all the same details of the recipient. Don’t forget to include the name of the client’s contact person who handles your account. Aside from making communication easier, it can be important for legal purposes if you have issues with receiving payment.

Itemised list of services and costs

People always want to know what they are paying for. So being vague and using general descriptions such as “Design is not ideal. Be as specific as possible. Include a breakdown of the goods or services that you provided and what you charged. Below is a generic list to help you:

  • A detailed description of the work or products provided
  • Date the service was performed or when the product was ordered
  • Number of products purchased or the number of hours you worked
  • Product cost or your hourly rate/service charge
  • The total price including any delivery fees, taxes, etc.

Payment methods

You will need to very clear on how your customers should pay you. Specify if they can pay by check or credit card or through other methods like PayPal. It is best to discuss with the client beforehand of your preferred method or to come to an agreement about the means of payment you both like. Then provide all the necessary information. For foreign transfers agree upfront who will shoulder the transfer charges if ever there’ll be any.

Terms

It is also critical to include the payment due date and the terms for late payments. A solid paper trail helps you in sending follow-ups or overdue notices and charge interest if the client has not paid on time. It will also serve as a reminder to your client of when they will need to process the payment.

Reference number

Devise a unique numbering system for every customer and invoice. This will help both you and the customer to track the transactions. Being able to reference an invoice number will make it much more time effective when discussing individual invoices. 

Notes section

It’s a good idea to add a message box to your invoice template. You can note important account information, mention discounted promotion details or just thank them for their business.

Be polite

When writing your invoice payment terms, always be polite. Saying “please pay your invoice within” or “thank you for your business” may not only help you get paid faster, but it’ll be good for your brand and image. It is recommended that you mention that they can contact you if they have any questions and that you appreciate their present (and future) business.

Invoice punctually

Sending the invoice early will allow your client to make the necessary arrangements in order to settle the payment on time. The best time to bill a client is right after the purchase. The longer you wait after providing goods or services to send the invoice, the longer it will take you to get paid.

Discussing payment terms

Before preparing and sending out invoices, speak with your clients to ensure they agree to your terms. A good way to do this is to send an estimate or contract to the client that includes payment terms and other important details. Then request a signature to indicate agreement.