People often ask when creating their first invoice what fields should the invoice have and how it should look. A blank invoice can serve as a template for creating future invoices.
The look and style of a blank invoice can also matter, however the fields are the most important aspect for most clients. In this post we go over the most important fields on a blank invoice and briefly look at invoice styling.
Blank Invoice Fields
Invoiced Lite provides a great blank invoice template to get started with. At a minimum it contains all the basic fields that are standard on most invoices and a option to change the look by adding a logo.
It is great to have a way to reference and keep track of all of your invoices. A invoice number is usually a alphanumeric field.
Here you input who this invoice is from. At a minimum you should input your name or your business name.
However, adding additional contact information like business address, phone and email, would be helpful if your customer needs to contact you.
Here you input who this invoice is issued to. It very important that you be detailed as possible and enter as much contact information about your client as possible.
Contact information like name or business name, address, phone, and email.
This is the date that you issued the invoice to your client. In other words the date you actually sent the invoice to your client.
It is very important that you enter this information as accurately as possible, because determining whether a client is late or not will be based on this date.
This date is the date by when you should receive payment for the invoice. A good rule of thumb is to make the due date shorter than when you actually need the payment money.
Clients can sometimes take time to make a payment and they will usually go over the due date.
The total balance or amount of money that the client owes you. This is the final amount of money that sums up all the individual line items, discounts, payments and taxes on the invoice.
Line items describe the products or services that you are billing the client for and the total amount for each distinct item. A single line item is composed of a Item, Quantity, Rate, and Amount.
This is the actual description of the product/service that the customer is being billed for. It is a best practice to describe the item in detail as much as you can.
We usually group together identical items. For example if we are billing for 3 x Gold iPhone 6S 64 GB, we would just enter it once and increase the quantity since the items are identical.
The amount of the identical items that you are billing for.
So if we are billing for _3 x Gold iPhone 6S 64 GB _than our quantity would be 3.
The individual unit cost of a identical item.
For our _Gold iPhone 6S 64 GB _the rate would be $749.
This is simply the total amount of the set of identical items that we are selling to the client.
The amount = quantity * rate. For our _3 x Gold iPhone 6S 64 GB, _the amount = 3 * $749 = 2247.
This is the total amount from adding all the line items together.
So if we had one line item => _3 x Gold iPhone 6S 64 GB ($2247), _and another line item => 1 x 15 inch Retina Macbook Pro ($1999), the subtotal would be $2247 + $1999 = $4246.
Usually many states require a sales tax for a product or service. It will mostly be percentage based.
For Texas in 2015 the sales tax would be 8.25%.
The total amount due for the product and service after tax. So total = subtotal + subtotal*tax .
If our client was from Texas the total would be $4246 + $4246*.0825 = $4596.30
If the client already has paid a portion of the total, has some credit with your business, or you have given them some discount; that amount would go here.
Therefor Balance Due = Total – Amount Paid.
Any directions as to how you want payment and what payments you accept might go here. If you want a wire transfer this is place to put wire transfer information.
If you have a PO box or a specific address you like payments to be mailed to, this would the best field for it. This is also a great place to put any miscellaneous information that pertains to invoice or the products and/or services being billed for.
Any type of legal terms, conditions, or warranties that the client should know about. It might be best to consult an lawyer and have standard terms that you can edit and simply copy and paste.
You often want the invoice to reflect the culture and style of your business. Creating the right look can help with your branding as well.
Having your logo on the invoice will help your client easily know that the invoice is from your business. It is the simplest thing you can do to improve the style and look of your invoice.