How to Create a Great Invoice - 7 Tips

Startup Guides > How to Create a Great Invoice - 7 Tips

If at least a third of your receivables are 60 or more days delinquent, you're not alone. In fact, you're one of 40 percent of small businesses in that predicament - and your invoices may be partially to blame.

Before you issue your next invoice, be sure all of these parts are complete...

1. Seller info:

The source of the invoice should be clear and include your company's name, address and telephone number. The latter is important so the customer can immediately call with questions about the bill. If there's a separate number for customer service, include that, too.

2. Customer info:

Be sure your invoice includes your customer's full company name and address. It's also a good idea to note the individual contact who placed the order or authorized the purchase with your firm in case there are any questions about the invoice.

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3. Invoice number:

Generate individual invoice numbers not only for your own accounting purposes, but also to help customers find the correct document and track it through their bookkeeping systems.

4. Date and terms:

The invoice should have a clear date of issue and note the terms of payment. For example, the invoice may be due in 30 days or may be paid at a 1 percent discount if remitted within 10 days.

5. Quantity, description and price:

Each invoice line should state the quantity of goods or services purchased, whether it's a case count of items or the number of hours billed; also include the per-unit price. Alternatively, state if the customer is being charged a flat rate for services or for a bundle of goods and services. If the invoice is related to a purchase order from the customer, include the number of that order.

6. Tax, handling charges and other add-ons:

Any taxes, fees, handling charges and other additions to the invoice should be clearly itemized. The invoice should also have a total of all line items at the bottom with a notation to indicate that number is the total sum owed.

7. Make it even better:

Consider adding a message box to your invoice template. There, you can thank customers for their business, note important account information, or include details regarding seasonal promotions.

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How to Create a Great Invoice - 7 Tips