If you’re working as a freelancer or independent contractor, then sooner or later someone is going to ask you for an invoice.
When this happens your invoice must be easy to read and professional. This way the person receiving it will trust that you are professional in your business dealings with them. It can also allow your clients to include your payment as part of their tax returns at the end of the financial year. If they understand everything written on the invoice, then there will be no problems understanding how much has been paid and what for. The key element between a successful invoice and one which doesn’t quite hit the mark is clarity. Therefore, to help you write a professional invoice, this detailed guide will guide key elements to include in it.
It Should Have A Professional Structure
Your invoice should be divided into several headings which are simple to understand and include all relevant information. There are also three main categories that you must use when creating your invoice. These are the ‘Taxation’, ‘Details of Work’ and ‘Amounts Due’. Each one must be clearly labeled so that anybody looking at it will know what they’re taking a look at, without having to guess or just assume any details of what’s going on. It is also important that each of these sections is not only clear but concise as well, because nobody wants to have to read endless sentences about how much time someone spent on a project or what they’ve done.
If you are having trouble determining what to include in each section, feel free to ask your client what would be helpful for them to see on the invoice. This way you can include any additional information which they need without having to guess at what they might want you to include. If that sounds too time-consuming, you can always use the free invoice generators found online and save yourself the trouble. These free templates usually come with various sections already laid out for you, making it easier to fill them inaccurately. The only thing left up to you is including your contact details at the bottom of this free document.
You Should Always Include Your Details At The Bottom
You will want to include your details at the bottom of every invoice, as this is a key element of professionalism. This includes how you can be contacted and what kind of business you are. To make it easy for clients, include a ‘Taxation’ section which includes all information they need about your company or yourself as a freelancer, such as your full name, a location where people can reach you by phone, and an address where they can send anything via post. Having this kind of information on an invoice makes it easier for anyone to contact you if needed. This is especially helpful if the client has any questions about what they’ve received from you or would like something sent back to them in the future.
It’s also important to include your company name, location, and full name on the invoice. This may seem like common sense, but it’s surprising how many people leave out this kind of basic information when sending something in the post or via email. You may be able to get away with sending an invoice without much information about yourself, but it’s much more professional to include everything at the bottom of each document you send out.
Taxation Information Should Be Clear And Concise
The taxation section should always be included within your invoice due to legal requirements in most countries. This includes specific details about what country you are operating in and whether or not any taxes will need to be paid by the client receiving the invoice. When submitting an invoice for payment, you will want to include an ‘amounts due’ section at the bottom of your invoices which clearly states what is being charged for and how much. You do not need to go into too many details about these charges, but it’s always helpful to give a brief description about why they are paying this amount of money, followed by the total sum. This way you will avoid questions or misunderstandings during payment processing.
Make Sure That All Of Your Information Is Accurately Included
The most important part of any invoice is accuracy. You will need to make sure that all the information in your invoice includes relevant and accurate details which cannot be disputed or argued against. When including a ‘Details of Work’ section, you should include the project title and the date it starts and stops working on this particular assignment. This can be helpful when deciding how much money to charge for this task, as you can add up all the hours spent working on it if needed. After completing the task itself, you should add a ‘Completed By’ date on your invoice so that anyone processing payment knows when everything has been finished properly.
Including Payment Due Dates And Invoice Numbers
If there is a payment due date included on your invoice, it will be helpful to include this information in the invoice itself. This makes it easier for clients to know when they should make payment and how much time they have before incurring interest charges or other penalties associated with late payments. You can also add ‘Invoice No.’ at the top of your invoices if you want each one to have its unique identifier which cannot be duplicated. This can help anyone processing your invoice pay attention to certain details that might get lost otherwise.
You Can Include Payment Options On Your Invoice
If you are unsure about whether anyone paying you is going to use a check or card reader for their transactions, adding a ‘payment method’ section at the bottom of your invoice can help. When using an invoice template similar to this one, you can change this section to whatever you want it to say, such as ‘check or money order,’ or something similar. You don’t always need to include a section like this on invoices if you are not worried about when someone is going to pay you, but including details in this area will help when you are unsure of how they would prefer to process payment.
Invoicing can be tricky at first, but you will soon get the hang of it if you are serious about your business. It’s always beneficial to take a little time during each invoice process to come up with unique ways to describe certain pieces of information which may be difficult to communicate otherwise. Since invoices are often sent in batches over email or other messaging formats, including special formatting styles that make everything easier for recipients is also recommended. So next time you need to create an invoice, remember the tips from this guide and you should create one in no time.