It is extremely important that each invoice has a different reference number. One of the main advantages of using invoice generator software is that the reference number is updated automatically on each new invoice, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to change it. This makes it much easier for you and your clients to keep your records in order.
5. The date
Your invoice must show the date when it was issued. This has a direct impact on your terms, as the client can only work out how many days they have to pay the invoice if they can clearly see when it was sent.
This is also useful when you have to send multiple invoices to the same client, as it helps you and the client to keep track of which invoices are due and when.
6. Description of what the invoice is for
You need to list the goods or services that you are invoicing the client for. Every item should be listed on a separate line, giving a description of the product or service, the quantity of these items ordered, and the unit price of the item.
If the invoice refers to services you have provided, the quantity will be the number of hours you have worked providing this service, and the unit price will be your hourly rate.
Your invoice may refer to several different goods and services. It is essential that each of these is listed on a separate line, so your client can easily see exactly what they are being billed for. A subtotal should be shown at the bottom of this section.
7. Taxes and additional fees
In a separate section below your description section, you need to list any taxes and additional fees, such as shipping costs, which apply to the invoice. It is essential to list each of these on a separate line, as your client may have different internal budgets which they use to pay different elements of invoices.
8. Balance due
The total amount the client owes for this invoice should be shown clearly to avoid any confusion.
9. Your terms and conditions
This section shows the client how to pay the invoice. It should state your preferred payment method, such as bank transfer, credit card or PayPal, as well as details of where to pay, such as your company bank account number or PayPal address.
You also need to state here what will happen if the client is late paying their invoice, such as whether you will charge them late fees if they do not pay within the number of days shown on the invoice.
1. The word “Invoice”
It may seem obvious to you that the document is an invoice. But is it so obvious to your client? Remember, you want your invoice paid quickly. The client needs to know at a glance that this document is something they need to take action on, not just another communication they can file away and forget about. For this reason, the word “Invoice” has to be shown in large, clear letters so that the client knows to act quickly. This will also help you when you are sorting through your documents to complete financial reports or tax returns.
The word “Invoice” is usually included in the header of the document. If you choose to, you can also include your company logo in the header on the other side. This makes your invoice and your business look more professional, and also makes it immediately obvious who the invoice is from.
2. Your business contact details
Right below the header, you should include the details of who the invoice is from. This should be:
- The name of your business
- Your business address
- Business phone number
- Business email address
These should be listed in a specific section marked “From” so the recipient can clearly see who has sent the invoice and how they can contact you with any queries.
3. Your client’s contact details
In a separate section marked “For” you need to include contact details for your client:
- Their name
- The name of their company, if relevant
- Their address
- Their phone number
- Their email address
Including these details makes it clear that the invoice has been sent to the right person. Having their contact details on the invoice can also be extremely useful if the invoice becomes overdue and you need to chase the payment.
4. Unique reference number
Every invoice should have its own unique reference number. This makes it easier for you and the client to know which invoice is being referred to if there are any queries or you are chasing a late payment. It is particularly useful if you need to send multiple invoices to the same client.
Most reference numbers include a reference to the client, such as initials representing their name, followed by a number, which is usually allotted sequentially. However, there are various numbering methods you can use – some also include the date.