You’ve made a sale; now it’s time to get paid. Here’s is the place invoice plays a major role in getting your money into your pocket. You must have some set of questions on invoicing. Let’s walk you through the answers to your questions.
Invoice is a kind of document you need to send to the client whose balance is due for products you have sold or services you have rendered. Basically, this is kind of a bill you send to the client when they owe you any payment. The most basic object of generating an invoice is to have a record of the sale when any kind of payment is due/undue. With invoices, a business person can audit the date a product was sold, how much payment was done at the time of sale and what is the remaining amount due. These solves a purpose for both the parties sending an invoice and the person receiving it. An invoice helps businesses speed up the payment process by notifying the client about the due payment. On the other hand, it also helps clients in getting clear information about the expenses and taxes for the products and services they have purchased.
There are various types of Invoices you can generate depending upon your requirements. Here are some of the most common types of invoices you can choose to generate.
- Sales Invoice: As a business owner when you send an invoice it is a sales invoice.
- Purchase Invoice: When you receive an invoice from the other salesperson it will be your purchase invoice.
- Past due Invoice: When an invoice is overdue and past the due date it becomes past due invoice and it’s time for you to send a payment reminder.
- Interim Invoice: When you take up a large project and the client wants to break the payment into multiple payments in agreement with paying the entire amount on completion of a certain part of the project. The interim invoice helps you get a certain amount of money to maintain the cash flow during the long-term projects.
- Final Invoice: This is the last invoice in a series of interim invoices, a final invoice indicates that the entire work is done and this will be the last invoice before the due date.
- Recurring Invoice: If you offer the same type of service or same quantity of the products to your customers on a regular basis, then you need to set up and/or schedule the recurring invoices.
- Commercial Invoice: This type of invoice is considered as a legal document issued by the seller and/or exporter to the buyer and/or importer for international transactions and functions as a legal contract and a proof of sale between the exporter and importer. It is important for both B2B and B2C companies when it comes to international trades.
- Pro forma Invoice: This invoice is considered as a document that provides information about the products and/or services yet to be delivered. It includes details of estimated prices of the products/service along with the estimation of applicable taxes, shipping cost, weight of the shipment, any commissions, etc. to help customers identify the estimated value of items in a shipment.
- Credit Memo or Credit Note: A credit memo or credit note is generated to reverse the charges or to adjust/rectify the errors from the previous invoices. Often business owners consider credit notes or credit memos as a “Negative Invoice”.
First of all, when you are requesting for the payment and an invoice you need to clearly highlight the word “INVOICE”. This will make it clear to the customer that this is a request for payment and not a receipt. Other than this you need to include:
- Business name and business logo
- Contact details of the business (Address, Phone number, Email ID, and Website)
- Customer details (Name, Address, Phone number, Email ID, and Website)
- Invoice number
- Product/Service details (Description, Quantity, Unit Price, Amount)
- Total amount (If any)
- Taxable amount/VAT
- Payment instructions
- Thank You note
An invoice number will be the unique number that you need to assign to each invoice. To identify transactions easily, your invoice must have a unique invoice number. There are various types of format for numbering your invoice, you can use any of them.
- Just numbers (123)
- Numbers and letters (abc123)
- Date of issue (01-01-2020)
- Name of project and number (IT-123)
- Customer Name and number (CN123)
The invoice date is calculated as per the payment terms agreed between both the parties (buyers and sellers). In many cases, it is also calculated as per the industry standard and norms. Generally, business takes a gap of 30-45 days between the invoice date and due date.
Sometimes the situation becomes troublesome for both the client and the businessman and they have to go through a poor experience. In such situations, clearly defined payment terms and conditions bring clarity in many ways for both of them. The payment terms and conditions mentioned in the invoice are inviolate when it comes to getting paid on time. The payment terms and conditions may include -
- Simple, polite, and to the point language
- Mention the full details of the firm and the client.
- Mention the terms of sales such as cost, quantity, unit cost, delivery date and/or time of service, payment method or a credit note if any.
- Mention the “responsibility” of international taxes, duties, or any other regulation during cross-border transactions or deals.
- Mention terms of advance payment as Net 7, Net 10, Net 30 when you offer credit or discounts to make a better branding impact
- Mention the warranty terms of product or service and specify when and which condition the warranty is not applicable.
- Must mention clearly written refund policy to safeguard yourself from fake claims and orders.
- Instruct the customer about overdue or late payment terms and their subsequent consequences.
Who doesn’t want to pay less on bills? Everyone loves to bargain so there is no exception when it comes to invoicing. You can offer any number of discounts at your convenience. You can choose any of these -
- Quantity discounts
- Special discounts
- Loyalty discounts
- Volume discounts
- Referral discounts
After checking all the relevant information included in the invoice you are ready to send an invoice. Just make sure you didn’t forget the Total Amount because you are going to pay based on the amount you have mentioned in an invoice.
There are various ways to send an invoice. The most important thing to remember before sending an invoice is to give clear instructions on when and how to pay. No matter how you send an invoice, make sure they have received it - Call the client after you have sent your invoice.
- Write an invoice email
- Post an invoice
- Send an invoice through a software/tool online
- Use third-party services
Getting paid faster depends on the terms and conditions you have mentioned in an invoice. It also depends on the client’s financial condition and their terms with you. Usually, it should not take more than 30-45 days to get paid after sending an invoice. It is always your duty to follow up through past due invoices in case the due date is missed.
An online invoice template generator helps you improve efficiency and reduce common human errors most businessperson does. It also saves lots of time to focus and helps invest that on other important things. It offers various types of formats to generate and customize invoices that make your work easier. The most important benefit of using an online invoice template generator is that it ensures all generated invoices are paid on time through constant follow-ups with your customer in a polite way. In short, it is the most disciplined and the most sincere way that any business can use for creating invoices.