Congratulations! If you need to create an invoice, it means you’ve sold something! That’s a great feeling. No matter if you sold a service or a product, you need to think about how you will document that transaction.
If the customer pays for the good or service at the time of order, you will provide them with a receipt. There is no need to create an invoice. However, if the customer is not charged for the product or service until it is delivered in the future, there is a need for you to create an invoice.
What is an invoice?
The invoice is a simple but important document that tells what the customer owes, what they bought, and where they remit payment. Important information like your payment terms and what types of payments are accepted should also be included on the invoice.
No correspondence related to the customer’s account should be included on the invoice – it is a standalone document. You can, however, include a cover letter with an invoice, which addresses account issues.
What software should you use?
If you are using an accounting system, it will normally have the option of creating charges, which you then lump into an invoice. This is a simple way to collect multiple charges over the course of a week or month, which are then assembled into one bill.
If you are not using accounting software, however, you should find a Word or Excel template you like to use for your invoice. This is how you will generate the document for your customer. You should also have a list of invoices that you keep somewhere, so you can see what receivables you have outstanding.
Here’s a template…
No matter what template you pick, you should be able to substitute your own company’s logo onto the invoice, enter your personal remittance address, and specify the terms of the customer’s account.
You should be able to type in the customer’s address and phone number, and the email address for invoice delivery. All of this should be saved in a file with a specific invoice number so you can easily find it again when you need it.