Invoicing is a fundamental aspect of every business. It is also the last impression a company gives to a client or customers once a sale is complete. Ensuring that your invoice is clear and professional is worth the little bit of effort it takes to do it right. If you are not sure what a good invoice should look like, take a discerning look at your current bills from reputable businesses.
What do they all have in common?
In most cases, the first thing you will notice is that it is easy to follow and well-organized. All the charges are usually lined up on the left side, with the corresponding charges on the right side. The total owing is usually highlighted in some manner with a due date either directly above or below it. This is what your customers are expecting to see when they receive an invoice from you.
Here are a few essential components that should be a part of every invoice:
1. Use an invoice number – You can start with 000001 and work your way up to 999999. You may not end up needing close to a million invoices, but it will make it easier to reference each one as your business grows. It will also be rewarding when you hit milestone likes your hundredth or thousandth invoice.
2. Breakdown all charges – It will be overwhelming for a client if you just have one big total for all services rendered. Make sure your invoice is broken down with the same figures as the initial estimate.
3. Use clear and concise descriptions – Don’t just put the name of the product or project and a price. Your clients will need details for future reference, so they know exactly what they have purchased.
4. Always date the invoice – This will be helpful for tracking your invoice and running weekly or monthly reports. If you are using an online billing program, the date should be automatically generated for you.
5. Include terms and due date – The agreed upon terms and due date should be located someone close to the final total. This will make it easier for your client to reference it when it comes time to write the check.
6. Email the invoice to the client – Save an envelope, save a stamp, and save the time by emailing it directly to your client. Most modern invoicing software has the ability to send the invoice straight to your client’s inbox the moment it is finished.
Creating a complete and professional invoice is as simple as these six steps and if you use an invoicing billing application, all of this won’t take much effort at all. That is the right way to invoice and the best last impression you can leave on a client.