If you are just starting out on your small business and about to send your first invoices – congratulations! It is exciting to be finally putting a value on your time and work and you deserve to be paid for it.
Sadly you may find not all your clients will pay quickly. However, you can make it as easy as possible for them to do so by ensuring you include all the important information on your invoice.
You can create your own invoice template or use the ones on Word or other packages or download them. You may want to use some simple accountancy software, some of which include invoices.
For a standard (non-VAT) invoice you must include:
- Your company name, address and contact details
- An invoice number (this should be unique)
- The date of the invoice
- The name and address of the client
- The date the goods or service were provided
- A clear description of the good or service
- The amount (s) being charged
- The total amount to be paid
You should also:
- Include the word ‘Invoice’ at the top of the page – you want it to go in the ‘to pay’ pile and not get lost among the client’s other correspondence
- Include the client’s customer/account number if you use them
- Quote the client’s order number if you have been given one
- Itemise your description if necessary
- Add expenses on as a separate item if appropriate
- Use sub-totals to make the calculations clear
- Make it obvious how you expect to be paid – bank details, who to make cheques payable to
- State your payment terms
- PDF your invoice before emailing
- Keep a simple spreadsheet, if not using accountancy software, and ensure you mark it when payment is received
- Send receipts
- Send reminders – you earned the money, do not be afraid of chasing payment
You may find invoicing is taking up too much of your time, or you are uncomfortable chasing payments. If so drop me a message and find out how I can help.