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How to create a sample invoice

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It may be a long time since most people changed over from legacy systems, but many of us are still not confident enough to make a complete transition when it comes to basic business systems. Perhaps one of the most vital parts of running your own business is creating customer invoices. If we are unable to produce these in a professional way that reflects the quality of our services, it can create a major problem.

This short article will demonstrate what the key factors are to consider when producing an invoice, and how to turn this knowledge into a professional looking document.

There are 10 things that you must include when creating your invoice template:

 

1.Branding

If you have a company logo, make it a prominent part of your invoices so that your clients can quickly and easily recognise who it is from.

2.Contact details

It may sound obvious, but it is vital that your postal address is clearly displayed so that your payments can reach you. It is also advisable to provide a contact telephone number and/or email address. The more ways there are for clients to contact you easily, the more likely it is that you will get paid on time.

3.Date

Always date your invoices accurately at the top.

4.Invoice number

If you don't already use invoice numbers, it is advisable to start doing so as your business grows. This will make cross-referencing and accounting much easier.

5.Description of work

Provide a brief description of what the invoice is for. For example, if it is for a specific speaking event, provide the name, place and date of the event here.

6.Costs

If there is more than one cost associated with the invoice, provide a breakdown of the costs and a sub total, VAT (if relevant) and Grand Total at the bottom.

7.Payment methods

How you would like to receive payments. If you want your clients to be able to pay you by cheque, make sure you add who to make the cheque payable to. If you are also able to receive payments via BACS, make it easy for people to locate your bank details by including your sort-code and account number to the bottom of every invoice.

8.VAT details (EU Sales Tax)

If you are based in the European Union and are registered for the EU 'sales tax', known as VAT in the UK (and UID in Germany, for example), make sure that your invoices clearly show your VAT calculations and your VAT registration number

9.Company details

Registered companies MUST display their registration numbers on all invoices.

10.Remittance advice

Clearly display the terms and conditions of payment. For example, if you require payment on receipt, include this term so that it is clearly visable at the bottom of the invoice.

Once you have considered all of the above you are ready to make your template. There are hundreds of template options available from the Microsoft website, which is the simplest and quickest way to create your invoice. Click this link to take you to the Microsoft Template library for Invoices

From here you can choose the template that is most suitable to your needs and customise it however you like. The example we have provided has been customised to account for the above factors, but you may find that other templates contain more options that are relevant to your business. Simply type in your own company details, replace the logo and change any of the column headers if you would prefer different wording.

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