An invoice is one of the most important documents you need for day-to-day transactions with your clients. It functions as a billing form typically given to customers to remind them about the payment they have to settle on or prior to the stated due date.
Moreover, an invoice is essential for your company’s bookkeeping procedures. It provides you with records that can be traced based on the details given, such as the client’s contact details and the date where invoices were released. And on top of that, an invoice may also serve as a legal document that prevents fraudulent activities as it clearly defines the agreement between the seller and buyer.
As such, your business should have a clear and easy-to-read invoice template. To help you get started, here are some essential tips to keep in mind to customize an invoice template effectively.
Make It Easy To Understand
When you customize your business’s free invoice template, it should be easy to read and understand. It’s important to remember that a vague invoice template can be confusing, thus, may affect the way consumers view your business. And more so, it may even lead to late settlements of dues, especially if they have a lot of questions.
That being said, it would be best to optimize the use of simple and readable font styles and sizes. So, when choosing a font style, make sure the font you’ll use is commonly used in legal documents, making it easy for your customers to judge the validity of your invoice. And on the other hand, choose a font size that is not too small or too large, just enough to make it easy for your clients to read the invoice without straining their eyes. A classic font size to use is around 12 to 14. Any number lower or higher than the stated range may not be ideal for an invoice.
Include The Essential Details
When customizing an invoice template, you want to ensure that all necessary details are present. The guide below can be a good starting point:
- Form Name: Place the term ‘invoice’ at the upper portion of the invoice using larger and bolder fonts for emphasis.
- Serial Number Or Reference Code: For recordkeeping and documentation, your business’s free invoice template should have a unique serial number or code, preferably starting at 00000.
- Business Information: Add your contact details, including your local phone number and email address.
- Customer Information: The invoice should also include your customer’s local business address and the complete name of your contact person.
- Important Date: Include the date when the invoice was released.
- Breakdown Of Items: List of purchased products or particulars with a complete and brief description of each. This should also include the products’ prices, quantity, and subtotal.
- Other Costs: Include possible additions and deductions to the total cost, such as sales tax and other taxes, discounts, coupons, gift cheques, etc.
- Terms and Conditions: Note the well-defined, and straightforward terms and conditions.
- Total Amount: Indicate the total amount to be settled.
- Signatories: Include a space for the signature of people involved, such as the purchasing officer, receiver, or the clients themselves.
As much as possible, these pieces of information should be clearly stated and defined in the invoice.
Incentivization is perhaps, one of the best ways to encourage and prompt your customers to pay as early as possible. It works by giving discounts and additional goods to customers who can settle their accounts before the stated due dates. Doing so may allow you to secure payments quickly, thus, helping improve your cash flow since you have access to funds right away.
So, you may want to include noting this promotion in your free invoice template so that all your customers will be informed about it.
In general, nobody likes to receive a penalty because they failed to settle their payments on or before the stated due date. For that reason, it would be best to include a statement saying that any late payers will be penalized, such as having to pay additional fees. This can serve as their reminder once they receive the invoice.
The Bottom Line
An invoice is one of the must-have documents in every business. It serves as a bill to collect pending payments from your clients and an important form for your bookkeeping processes.
That being said, when you customize a free invoice template, there are things you should never ignore. You’d want to make your invoice easy to read and understand by using the right font style and size. You’d also want your invoice to have all the essential information to avoid confusion between you and your clients. And lastly, you may add incentives and penalties to ensure your customers will settle their dues on time.
Following these tips can be a great way to have an effective and efficient invoicing system.