Download your free invoice template
Tap the button to download your invoice template in standard Word format. We strongly recommend that you read the information (below) and our other guides before you start billing your clients, if you need additional guidance.
Setting a Policy for Sending Invoices
One of the responsibilities that a business owner has is to make sure the finances of the company are being adequately attended to. Included in this is the handling of the invoices.
What is an Invoice?
It is the documentation of the sale of an item or service. It should contain all of the information about the transaction which includes:
- Identifying the company as the seller
- Identifying the buyer of the product or service
- Indicating what the product is
- Noting the number of products the invoice pertains to
- The date of the transaction
- The prices
- The terms of payment
What are the Terms of the Invoice?
The invoice for the seller is the accounts receivable. For the buyer, the invoice is an account payable.
Invoices should not be confused with receipts or purchase orders.
The right timing and delivering
The timing of sending your invoices is something that has to be determined. Some companies have set dates for invoicing. Others have the policy of invoice submitting as soon as the product or service is completed. The appropriate time to send the invoice also depends on how it is delivered. Businesses have a variety of options that they can use for delivering invoices.
With the delivery of the product or service: Some companies include the invoice when the customer physically receives the product or service.
Via email: There is an option to send formal invoices via email as an attachment. This is a way of getting the invoice to the client in a faster method.
By mail: The traditional way of delivering invoices has been through the mail system. This is now considered to be the slowest method of disseminating invoices.
Using invoicing software: For many, they believe this to be the most efficient method of delivering invoices. There are different types of invoicing software. Many will allow for the generating of the document it self, its delivery through the software program and follow its conclusion.
What Information is Required on Invoices?
An invoice is a document that is not set in stone when it comes to its design and layout. However, as an official document that can be produced in a court of law, there is some information that all invoices must contain for them to be valid. Therefore you should make sure the following information is captured clearly, and most importantly, correctly.
As an official document, an invoice must have a date. Firstly, you should add the date when the invoice was issued, so that the payment window can start running. Also, include the date when the goods were delivered.
2. Address of Both Parties
You should indicate your business address, as well as that of the customer you are billing. It is imperative that you charge the business owner themselves or the registered business name. You don’t want your customers to get away with not paying your invoices because of the wrong billing address.
3. Goods and Services Supplied
The most important information is the goods or services supplied. Here, don’t just list the products or services, also add the quantity, unit price and total amount to be paid. Remember, your customers are liable to pay what is on the invoice only. That said, the information should be conclusive and accurate.
As you have seen, there is a lot of information that is required in an invoice. While you may want to have a cool layout, make sure the template allows you to fill in all the necessary information. Above all, make sure that whatever information you are completing is accurate and sufficient. It is up you to ensure debtors won’t require further information after receiving the invoice.