Do you want to know how to make an invoice? If you have a business and you’ve sold goods or services to your clients then you will need to send them invoices for what they’ve purchased. But you must know how to create one first. There are plenty of methods for creating invoices and today we’ll show you the top ways you can create online invoices fast and affordably.
But first, find out why invoices are important and why you should go digital with invoice makers. Continue reading to find out more.
Why Invoices Are Important
An invoice is an important document that lists the products and services you’ve sold to customers or clients. This document establishes an obligation for your clients or customers to pay the amount owed for the products and services provided on the invoice.
Invoicing is extremely important for a small business because it allows companies to get paid for their products and services rendered. The document serves as a legally enforced agreement between your business and your customers or clients. Additionally, invoices will help you track your sales and manage your finances.
Invoices will create useful financial statements for you, provided the information of the services and the amounts are accurate.
Why You Should Consider Using Digital Invoices
In the past, invoices were created to make hundreds if not thousands of hard copies to send to clients. This process takes plenty of time and will cost you a lot of money for printer machines, ink, and paper. The digital age has helped small businesses save a small fortune on physical copies.
What’s more, digital invoices will save small businesses on labor costs because you don’t have to package the documents in envelopes anymore to send them to clients.
Learning how to make an invoice online will also make your small business more sustainable. This is because you won’t be using paper to print your invoices on. Digital copies can be sent in real-time to multiple people to avoid using postal services which can take time.
Create a Professional Invoice
Your business invoice must look professional with the proper structure. Download an invoice template or create one using Excel. Furthermore, you should consider adding your company’s logo or branding to the invoice so your customers or clients know where the invoice came from.
How to Make an Invoice with These Easy Steps
There is certain information you must include on your invoice to make it legal and relevant. Take a look at how you can create an invoice below:
- Mark the document: Indicate clearly that the document is an invoice. Simply placing the word ‘invoice’ at the top of your document will help clarify what the document is so your clients don’t get confused. Your invoice must also have a clear identification number or reference number for your records. This will ensure you don’t create duplicated invoices.
- Add company information: Besides your company’s branding include your contact details, physical address, email address, and banking details. You must also address who the invoice is for. Therefore include your client’s company name and physical address. Include a contact’s name so the invoice reaches the correct person.
- Write your description: Write short detailed descriptions of the products or services you’ve provided so your customers or clients know what they’re paying for. Then add the number of items if it’s a product and the price for each description.
- Add the correct dates: You must add the dates of when you sent the products or when you provided a service. At the top of the invoice, you should indicate when you created and sent the invoice. Lastly, you must include the date the money owed must be paid.
- Add up the money owed: After you’ve put in the price for each product or service you must add up the amount so that your client or customer knows exactly how much to pay you. If you’ve agreed on any discounts you can subtract the amount and make a note of it in the description section of the invoice. If applicable you should include your VAT amount in the total.
- Payment terms: Before selling goods or services without immediate payment you must establish payment terms. This is so your clients know when to pay you and what the penalties are should they fail to make payment on time. Stipulate these payment terms in writing at the bottom of your invoice. You should also provide details of how payment should be made. Do you want a bank transfer or cash? If you want an EFT done then provide your banking details in this section.
- Invoice ID: An invoice ID is a unique number assigned to each invoice you create. The ID number allows you to refer back to invoices that were made if you need to check something. These invoice numbers can include letters or numbers. Most companies will use a numerical system that is numbered sequentially to make file retrievals easier.
How to Assign Invoice Numbers
Most cloud-based software uses a sequence pattern to assign invoice numbers. Start with any number to get the ball rolling. Most start-up businesses will start with #0001 and then assign #0002 to the next invoice. The numbers will carry on in this sequence for each invoice created.
Using the sequence method is easier and more consistent and it ensures you never make a duplicate number.
Another way to assign invoice numbers is by assigning a unique ID number to each client and using those numbers on invoices when sending them out. Add your client’s ID number to your system so that it can automatically place the number on the invoice when you create it.
Read on to learn how to make an invoice using the available online tools and templates.
4 Online Methods on How to Make an Invoice
Now that you know what information must be included on your invoice how do you make the actual document? Here are four methods on how to make an invoice from manual processes to invoice makers. No matter what method you use make sure all the information on your invoices is accurate.
1. Creating an Invoice in Excel
How to make an invoice in MS Excel? There are two methods. You can either use one of their invoicing templates or you can create your invoice from scratch. Using the Excel invoice template is an easier method and there are ways that you can customize your invoice.
Creating an invoice from scratch is a better approach for small businesses because you can make it look unique and professional depending on how you structure the invoice. Excel is designed for complex spreadsheets and algorithms so it can calculate your total invoice amount automatically.
Small businesses typically use Microsoft Excel to create invoices because it’s easier to access and it’s affordable.
The only drawback is if you’re new to making spreadsheets and you’re not familiar with Excel’s functionality you may spend more time trying to create your invoice. If you struggle to use the functions on Excel then consider using one of the platform’s templates.
Once you’ve created your invoice in Excel you must save it in PDF format so that it can’t be edited or tampered with.
2. Using Customizable Online Templates
Using online invoice templates is excellent for business executives who are always on the go. You can create and customize your invoice using any mobile device such as a tablet or SmartPhone. There are plenty of invoice templates for you to choose from that have different layouts. The advantage of templates is that you can edit them to your preferences.
You can add additional information to your templates such as company logos or important information about your payment terms.
The prices of each item created on the template will be added up automatically to give you an accurate total.
Add your banking details at the bottom of your templates so that payments can be done quicker. With some templates, invoice numbers are added automatically but you can also customize your invoice number.
3. Accounting Software
Automated account software can be expensive so it may not be suitable for small businesses. However, it does make the process of creating invoices a lot quicker. All you have to do is load your client’s details onto the system with the rate they’re charged.
When you want to create an invoice you can simply search for your client’s name, click on it and the software will automatically fill in key details for you. You may have to manually enter descriptions of items rendered but the prices for each description will be added to the invoices if you’ve loaded this information onto the software.
You may have to double-check that all information on the invoice is 100% accurate because accounting software is known to fill in incorrect details.
4. Specialized Invoice Makers
There are plenty of online tools you can use that make the process of creating an invoice quicker. An invoice maker is a perfect tool for small businesses and those who don’t have experience with templates or using Excel.
An invoice maker provides a screen with boxes where you’ll fill in all your standard information that must go onto the document. This includes physical addresses, dates, terms and conditions, and invoice numbers.
When you click on enter all the information will be added automatically with a structured layout of a professional invoice. Contact details of the client will be on the left-hand corner whereas the invoice number and date of issue will be located on the top right-hand corner.
The list of items as well as quantities and prices will be located in structured tables below contact details and invoice IDs.
Once saved, the invoice will be created in a format that can’t be edited. You can even put password protection on the invoice so that only authorized persons can access the document.
You can try one of the free invoice generators available or sign up for a professional invoice maker for small businesses, like Billdu, with add on features like reports, overviews, expense tracking, automation, communication etc.
Manually Creating an Invoice
Manually creating an invoice allows you to customize the layout and information you want to include on your invoice. Creating a manual invoice doesn’t mean drawing it out on a piece of paper and then printing copies. Drawing your own invoices would look unprofessional.
When you create a manual invoice it’s still done online but the difference is you’ll be creating the layout from scratch instead of using a template.
This method can take time because you’ll have to structure tables and add up the prices of the items on the invoice manually. Some invoice makers will have a screen with information that you simply need to fill out.
The benefit of creating a manual invoice is to have better control over data entry. What’s more, you can protect sensitive information with manual invoicing.
Automated accounting software completely controls what information is provided on the invoice which can be a quick solution. However, if the information is incorrect it can cause problems for your accounts department. For small businesses, it’s better to create manual invoices, especially for new clients to ensure all information is 100% accurate.
How do You Invoice Clients
Once you’ve learned how to make an invoice and you’ve chosen your preferred method to create the documents it’s time to send them through to your clients. Always create your invoice as soon as products have been sent or when a service is completed. The easiest and most cost-effective way to send invoices to your clients is by email because they will be sent in real-time. Make sure your invoices include all the details they need to pay you. Payment details are really one of the most crucial inclusions when you’re thinking of how to make an invoice.
Final Thoughts on How to Make an Invoice
Are you looking for an easy way on how to make an invoice? Billdu has an excellent invoice maker that you can use on your desktop or any mobile device. You can create professional invoices with your branding with a few clicks.
Additionally, with Billdu you can create reoccurring invoices to send regular documents every month. All your digital invoices created on Billdu will be saved so you can retrieve them for your financial statements.
Using the Billdu invoice generator eliminates the need for manual creations because it structures information perfectly so that your invoices are easy to understand. Head to the Billdu website now to find out more about creating online invoices through the platform.