A bill o invoice (in English) is a commercial document where a transaction that has been carried out between a buyer and a seller is recorded and detailed. Next we show you how to make an invoice.
Invoices allow you to keep track of the income your business earns. By creating a professional invoice template to work from, you can streamline the billing process and spend more time on other activities.
- 1 How to Make an Invoice: A Step-by-Step Guide
- 2 How to make a free invoice
- 3 What is the proper format for an invoice?
- 4 How to make an invoice in Microsoft Word?
- 5 How to make a professional invoice?
How to Make an Invoice: A Step-by-Step Guide
To know how to make an invoice from scratch, you must follow the steps that we present below and make sure that the document includes all the important information.
1. Create an invoice header with your business information
On top of the bill you must add your business information. Include your business name (if you are self-employed it could be your full name), your business address, phone number, and email address. If your company has a logo, include it in the header too.
2. Include your client’s contact details
Next, add all your client’s contact details. Make sure to indicate the correct contact person to receive the invoice. Provide the company address, phone number, and email address.
3. Set the invoice number
Each invoice you send must include a unique number to help you correctly track your invoices and streamline your collection process. Choose an invoice numbering system that works and is consistent to avoid confusion.
The easiest way to number your invoices is to start your first invoice as Invoice 1 and count from there. You must also include the date the invoice was issued.
4. Specify your payment terms
It is important that your invoice clearly specify when and how do you expect customers to pay you. Include a due date for the invoice. It’s common for freelancers to use a 30-day billing cycle. That is, if you issue an invoice on April 1, the payment is due 30 days later, on May 1. You should also include information about the payment methods you accept, for example, credit card, check, PayPal, etc. If you charge late fees, clearly describe the conditions on the invoice.
It is advisable discuss all payment terms with the customer when they first sign up, this way you won’t be surprised when you send your first invoice.
5. Include a detailed list of services or products
To be as transparent as possible, it is important include a detailed list of services provided or products sold during the billing period. The easiest way to do this is by presenting this information in the form of a table with columns, including:
- Services provided
- Quantity / Hours
6. List the applicable taxes
The taxes you charge customers will vary based on your location and type of business. You should be well advised in this regard, the ideal is to request information from an accountant, administrator or tax specialist.
7. Consider adding notes
Although it is not necessary, you can add a note at the end of your invoice with a friendly message of thanks to your client. Not only is it good for the brand, courtesy and a simple thank you gesture can help you get paid faster.
How to make a free invoice
To invoice for free, create your own invoice using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel or Google Docs. You can use a pre-made invoice template offered by the program of your choice, or you can create your own invoice from scratch.
To create a unique, professional-looking free invoice, you can download free invoice templates online that you can then customize to suit your small business. There are several pages on the Internet that offer free professional invoice templates, they can be downloaded for both companies and freelancers.
What is the proper format for an invoice?
Below we explain the correct format of an invoice and we include an image for your guidance:
- Your business information appears at the top of the invoice as a header.
- Subsequently, the customer’s billing details appear clearly below your business information.
- In addition to the customer’s billing details, include an invoice number, the issue date, and the payment due date.
- Make sure the invoice total appears in bold at the top of the invoice, so customers can easily see what they are owing you.
- Includes a detailed list of the products or services provided, with a brief description, cost, quantity or hours, and a subtotal.
- Include the total amount due at the bottom of the bill, along with applicable taxes.
How to make an invoice in Microsoft Word?
Microsoft Word offers easy-to-use, professional-looking invoice templates with which you can create your first invoice. If you are familiar with the software, this can be a good starting point if you are not used to creating invoices. It is not as efficient and automated as online billing tools, but it is a good first step.
Here’s how to create invoices in Microsoft Word:
- In Word, click the File menu and select New Template.
- Use the search bar in the upper right corner and search for “Invoice.”
- Select the Invoice Template you would like to use from the options offered.
- Customize the header with your company information and logo.
- Include your client’s contact details.
- Clearly describe the invoice number, issue date, due date, and payment terms.
- Details all products or services offered to the customer, with descriptions, item charges, taxes, and subtotals.
- Include the total amount due for the invoice, in bold.
- Include a footer with any notes you want to add, such as a short thank you message.
How to make a professional invoice?
To make a professional invoice, you can buy a online billing software. Billing software gives you more options and more support to create and track your invoices.
Some of the benefits of online billing systems are:
1. More customization options
The billing software offers you more customization options that can help establish your brand identity. You can customize the fonts and color schemes, change the style of your invoice, and include logos.
2. Easier billing and faster payments
Your customer’s billing information is stored in the system and invoice numbers are automatically generated, so you can create invoices faster with online billing software. This tool also allows customers to pay the invoice directly; therefore, you can get paid faster.
3. Track your sales
The billing software saves all your invoices and offers a dashboard that helps you easily track your sales. You will be able to see your paid, pending and overdue invoices in one place.
4. Access from anywhere
Online billing systems allow you to access your invoices from anywhere, as they are not stored on a specific device. You can access your account to create an invoice or register a payment from your home, your mobile device or the office.
5. Greater security
Online billing offers the added protection of data encryption that keeps all the information of your business and your clients safe. Most online tools are more secure than storing billing information on your computer.
6. Simplified reports
Online accounting software offers the ability to quickly generate reports with which you will be able to obtain a clear and fast vision of the finances of your company. You can compare your sales over different periods and easily monitor your receivables.