Running a business involves a huge amount of processes and tedious paperwork. This is especially true for small business owners who mostly do tasks themselves. It could be demanding on time, energy, and manpower. The language of business is in its paperwork and the daily calculations you perform. It is so much you learn about a business if you look into paperwork. You can see its health, the direction it is going to, its needs and problems, even its future performance. There are reports you have to do on a daily basis, every month, quarter or year. These tasks are indispensable because they are mandated by the law, government and company policy.
One of the most basic but important paperwork you have to do is making invoices. Generating your business’ invoices and sending or filing them can take up so much of your time but it is one of the most important foundations of any business transaction. It serves as legal protection and it is one of the documents you can use if ever your reported income gets audited by the Internal Revenue Service.
What is an invoice in the first place? It is an important piece of paper that documents the financial components of a business transaction between a vendor and a buyer. It includes the name of the vendor and buyer and their details, purchased goods or services, and the total amount due among other details. It is of utmost importance that these papers are dated and the method of payment to be made is indicated. This is essential so a company gets paid in full and on time. If you do not have a foolproof invoicing system then you can get in a lot of trouble. Questions may arise plus you’ll have tracking problems when certain numbers do not add up in your audit. It could also be a sign of corruption when sales are made without proper documentation of sales and other purchases. Not to mention that legal sanctions you could be facing from different government agencies and company policies.
The Basics of an Invoice
Everyone surely has seen an invoice. It is a part of the consumer world. It is proof of expenditure for a buyer and sale for a vendor. Make no mistake as the receipt commonly given to you by a cashier is not the same as an invoice. An invoice is a document done before an actual purchase which details the nature of the transaction and it is given after the items are given. Receipts are then issued as a sign that the transaction already took place and payments have been made. If you are making the invoicing document of your company, remember that it should contain the basic and most important elements both required by your company and mandated by the government.
First and foremost, the heading of your invoice should stand out as it contains your company name and other details such as address, logo, and contact number. It should look professional and well-put-together. It shouldn’t necessarily have to be colored but it must look regal as it is a representation of your company. This also serves as an access for your customers if ever they want to call you for anything. Another name you should include is the name of the customer or buyer. You can make a label that indicates to whom the goods are sold to by including their name, address, and contact details too. A receiving signature is often required when the invoice is issued.
One detail you shouldn’t miss is putting the word “INVOICE” for easy sorting and filing later on. The next thing you have to do is to create a system which will uniquely ID each of your invoices. This will become your invoice number or identifier which is composed of codes or numbers that will only be used once, ever. A tip you should consider is to make the number or code with an identifiable date or order for sorting purposes.
The next component is the date. This is to safeguard any business transactions that you incur. It is not just for cataloging purposes, it is also important for when you set up deadlines and pay dues. There are instances when there are mistakes in the invoice because of mistakes such as wrong or missing dates. This is also one of the details usually modified in forgery. There are usually two dates you have to put here, the date when the transaction is done and the date when the payment is due.
On the larger portion of your invoice includes many telling details. One is the itemization of the services or goods sold. It is usually arranged in a column. You do this by putting the item code and name, the price of each, and the quantity or many of the items are sold. You also include here the taxes or service charges associated with the item. Finally, you put the total amount due at the end. Additionally, you put other terms of the transaction including notes about the payment if they were done in partial or full and some unique messages for your customers including regards or thank you notes.
Knowing these basics of making an invoice will prepare for the actual invoice. You can now arrange these headings on a template and secure your company’s documentation. An invoice can be written on paper manually but it is now common that these are typed digitally and printed out on paper. If you do it on paper, the other details are already printed out leaving only a modifiable space for the different purchased items, amount due, date, and invoice number. This is also the same for digital invoices but since you can run programs that can automatically generate the date and other details, it is lesser and simpler work.
Making an Invoice Template for Your Business
For all the invoices that you make, it must include all the basics discussed. You can go ahead and make templates for your invoices.
One template for invoices is for making transactions with bank information for wire transfers. Aside from the basics, you add in the bank information which includes the name of the bank, the account number, the nature of the account and other relevant and required details. This template can also be used when transactions are closed by credit cards. Card information is also provided in the template. Both can have the same template but with additional heading for the mode of payment to be used. It would be difficult and utterly confusing to make a different template for different types of transactions. Invoices may also receive payment through checks and cash. Have options readily available in your template.
Making a Professional Invoice Template in a Word Document
Perhaps the first project you should ever make for your business is creating the template you will use for your invoices. These documents are a sign of business. It is something you should put so much effort into because you design a template essentially once, at least for a long period of time. It becomes a part of your branding and identity. It must be tantamount to the legitimacy of your company. The easiest and most accessible way to create a template is through a word document on your computer. Open a window and start putting in the basics we have enumerated prior. Gather all the information then type it in.
Three things you have to remember when putting the details are the correct information, professional appearance, and most importantly ensuring that it is free of errors. Choose a professional font and simple color schemes for your invoice. You have to remember that less is more for these types of documents. Make sure there are smart spaces in between headings and avoid cluttering details in one area. Highlight the places where important details must be placed such as the total amount due and the invoice number or code.
You can use the features of your word document to make the template. Aside from the fonts available, you can use other tools including columns, boxes, and tables which are useful in formatting your document. If you are not sure in designing your own then you can download readily made templates for invoices online. Choose a template you think would best fit your company’s style then download the file on your computer. You load these on your word document and you have an option to customize it by enabling the edit option. Replace all the generic information starting with the logo and replace all the headings of the template. Again, make sure all the details you input are correct. When you are done, you can make multiple copies of this template for you to use every time you have invoicing tasks.
Creating Professional Invoice Online
The world of fast internet can readily provide solutions and assistance to your business woes and this includes help in making your invoice templates. The advantage of this is you get more automatically generated information such as the date and invoice number or code. This task can be done in a few minutes which means you can focus on other tasks which include running your business. A table is provided where you input the basic invoice information needed then a downloadable invoice is made available when you create and invoice using this generator. There are options for other payment methods and reminders to be included are also optional. Aside from the invoice, you can process deposits, estimates, and proposals as well. The invoices can be created in various languages for global company users.
Online invoice generators work by making a profile on a reliable site then making the template customizations. The information is stored on the cloud and you can access your profile by logging into your account anywhere. The template that you set for your invoice can be used over and over again so you can save on time for every task. You just have to input the details that are changeable: the items and the other numerals. This software is advantageous for working remotely or off-based. This could be saving you storage as well.
As with making templates on other platforms, remember to correctly input your details and information correctly for professional final output. This is done only while designing the whole thing so before you finalize, check if all the basics are present in the template and everything is error-free.
How to Create a Template Through a Mobile
Mobile apps have easy solutions even to accounting woes. Usually, online software has equivalent mobile apps that you can use for handy access and for succeeding edits. The advantage of using a mobile app for making an invoice is that you can perform the task anywhere. You can also input the details which will reflect on the online software which you can update when you go online. This way, you just have to key in all the invoices you need to make and just log into the website version just for reviewing and printing purposes. You don’t have to pile up on paperwork if you can do the job right away as they come.
All you need to do is download the mobile app, log in and then load in the file you need to work on. Your template might look compressed using a mobile but you can always edit and customize this out when necessary. You could work on invoicing in your free time so this strategy is more hassle-free for any businessman or accountant.
With all the options available that can assist you in creating your own invoice template, you can save time and money by doing it yourself. You also get to be more organized with your filing and documentation which are all helpful in smoothing out your reports and audits. When you simplify a task, you get to do more tasks and focus on the other pressing areas of running a business. Fast invoice processing will also ensure faster transactions that will subsequently lead to more sales for your business.