What Should Your Invoice Include
You and your team have worked hard to build your business and getting paid on time is as important as every other aspect. Typically, projects or services are invoiced after the job has been completed. If you’ve ever seen an invoice, then you know what it should contain and how it benefits both you and the company. For those of you that haven’t seen an invoice, then this post is for you.
First, you invoice should clearly state your business name, logo, and the address. When sending an invoice, you want to ensure it isn’t thrown out as junk mail or deleted in an email. Having a business name makes the invoice appear professional and legit. Not only that, but it gives the recipient an address to remit payment too. Some of you may have a separate line for payment remittance and that is perfectly acceptable.
Next, populating the invoice with prudent information is a must. Items you will want to include are a unique invoice number both you and your client can reference when paying or inquiring. From there, you will need to identify the service or product being invoiced, providing clear details. Be sure to include dates such as when the service was provided as well as when the invoice was issued.
After you have populated your invoice with detail, you will want to ensure a due date is on the invoice. Typically, an invoice should be paid within 30 days of receipt, which allows the invoice to be received and processed by the client. If after 30 days you’ve failed to receive payment, send a notice stating there is an invoice past due. If you still fail to obtain payment, you can escalate the issue to a collection agency, but that is a measure of last resort in most cases.
Now that you have a well-presented invoice, you can begin looking at other things such as discounts, taxes, shipping, and other line items that will be of use. Taxes are something that can be tricky, especially if you are doing business across borders. If in doubt, seek out a tax professional to help you construct a correct invoice.
Always end the invoice with a thank you note or hope you come again. No one enjoys paying bills and your client is no different. By concluding the invoice with a warm statement, it can leave a simple but lasting impression that may aid in your client returning for another order.
Many software products utilized by businesses have invoice features that are easily accessible and customizable. Automation and centralized data can benefit your company by staying on top of outstanding invoices and knowing when you need to issue a new one. One more parting note, if you send an invoice to your client, include a return envelope because not only will it save your client a bit of money, you will give them the convenience of returning funds without utilization of their own resources. It may cost you a nominal amount, but it could make all the difference.