Invoices are a key part of business correspondence, and it’s essential to make sure they are professional and accurate. The best way to send invoices that communicate your company values is to use an invoice template software or bookkeeping system that ensures all the crucial information is included.
There are some pieces of information that you must legally add to your invoices and others that are discretionary. Nevertheless, having a slick format, consistent branding, and easy-to-read invoices will improve customer confidence, reduce queries, and ultimately mean you get paid faster.
What Information Do Businesses Have to Include on Invoices?
Some of the vital information on an invoice is mandatory, which means your customers know what you are charging them, for which goods or services, and when they need to pay by. Invoices aren’t only about sending out bills, however, and are a communication that you need to be concise and on-brand with. Simple invoices that are well laid out in a user-friendly format ensure customers are confident that the charges are accurate and encourage speedier payment times.
If you’re wondering how to write a professional invoice, you should always include crucial information such as:
- Your company details such as name, address, contact information as well as the customer details.
- Description of the goods or service in question, itemized and broken down.
- The date of the invoice, plus the date you supplied the goods or services.
- A title indicating that the document is an invoice (easy to forget, but pretty essential!).
- Payment due date and details of how to make a remittance.
- Any company registration codes or license references.
- Breakdowns of additional charges included such as tax or delivery costs.
Using an invoice template means there is zero risk that any of these details are forgotten. Every bill you issue is consistent, with company branding and all the information your customer needs to pay their bill.
Can I Use Invoice Templates To Go Paperless?
Invoice templates or cloud-based bookkeeping systems are ideal for businesses looking to eliminate paper wastage and the costs of mailing invoices through the post. This is a great way to manage admin budgets and demonstrate a commitment to sustainable business practices.
Here’s an example of what that might look like:
- You create your invoice template, dropping in a logo, and deciding which fields you’d like to be displayed.
- Next, the template can be customized and will usually have pre-set formats and font sizes you can adjust to match your company branding.
- When you raise a new invoice, you enter the customer details and save their profile so it’s always to hand for future bills.
- Each time a new invoice has been raised and you’re happy it’s accurate, you send the invoice directly via email to the contact address saved on the customer profile.
Many customers prefer to receive invoices digitally since they can usually pay through a money transfer service with just a click. Alternatively, wire transfers are more straightforward as the banking information can be copied and pasted rather than manually entering the details. Emailed invoices are faster since they reach your customer in just a minute or two and can’t be lost or misdirected in the post, so an all-around more efficient option!
Why is it Important to Have a Professional Invoice Template?
There are multiple reasons an invoice template is more professional — and it’s unlikely a customer would be impressed with a scruffy invoice, which isn’t readable or doesn’t contain the information they need to check whether the total is correct.
Benefits of using an invoice template for your business include:
- Encourages faster payments, often with “Pay Now” one-click options to expedite the process and cut down on admin time.
- Avoids human error, which is always a factor when typing out invoices manually.
- Creates consistent company correspondence that reflects your branding and professional attitude.
- Makes it easier to keep track of unpaid invoices and reconcile payments received to send updated statements.
- Helps to communicate payment information clearly, which minimizes client disputes or queries.
- Reduces the admin time required to raise invoices, match up payments, print and post invoices and cover the mailing costs.
Whether you’re a small micro-enterprise or a large organization, your invoices are one of the critical communications a customer is likely to receive. Ensuring that interaction is positive will reinforce good customer relationships, which is worth its weight in old. Poorly written invoices with typing errors, mistakes, or missing details are unlikely to be paid and may mean a customer is reluctant to return to your business again.
How Can I Make Invoice Templates More Personal?
There is nothing more personal than a hand-written invoice posted through a letterbox. Unfortunately, this is out-dated and doesn’t tend to inspire confidence in customers who expect high professional standards.
However, it remains essential to put your stamp on any paperwork you send and ensure it’s instantly identifiable as being from your business. One of the best ways to personalize your invoice templates is to use all of the fields to add your company information:
- Drag and drop your brand logo.
- Include relevant contact information, including an email address and phone number.
- Ensure your customer’s name and contact details are spelled correctly.
- Send out invoices on time and add a note to the email thanking them for their custom.
- Always respond to any queries politely and quickly to demonstrate your commitment to fast resolutions and good customer communication.
It’s also a great idea to consider sending out periodic statements if your customers usually do repeat business with you. That shows exactly what invoices have been paid, which are outstanding, and the total balance owing.
You can also consider sending out receipts, depending on your industry, thanking your customer for their timely payment!
Finally, another great option to encourage faster payments and if your cash flow demands are tight is to think about implementing a customer rewards program or even a discount as recognition for those customers who always pay their invoices on time and in full.