Five Elements to A Killer Invoice by @WhaleyBookkeep

Getting paid is a pretty important part of owning your a business, so you want to make sure that it is as easy as possible for your clients to pay your invoice.
 Five Elements To

If you are service based, or invoice for products, then these tips will get your invoices into tip top shape!

1.  Branding – Make sure your client knows exactly who this bill is from, and how to contact you if they have questions. This includes the basics of name, location, and contact info. But this also includes Logo and color coding to match your overall brand. The look and feel of your invoices does not have to be boring!

2.  Clear Definition of Charges – Make sure that your list of charges are clear so your client knows what they are paying for. This means itemizing stuff, if there are multiple elements to your charges. If you use more flat rate billing make sure you have good descriptions for what the product or service is so clients are not having to ask questions about their invoice and delaying payment while you go back and forth.

3. Terms/ Due Date – You want an invoice that clearly states when you expect payment. You’ll often hear terms like Net 10 or 30 thrown around describing terms, and those can be listed or you can simply put the date payment is due. Part of a good working relationship with anyone includes clear expectations and timeliness of payment should be a big part of that. There are accounting systems now that can send automatic reminders if payment is late. Use these tools to your advantage so payments aren’t delayed.

4. Payment Button – Make it easy to get paid! If you use a system like Wave, Freshbooks, or PayPal they are able to integrate credit card payments right onto the invoice. Features like this allow you to get paid much faster than waiting for a check in the mail.  If you aren’t using this type of system yet, then at minimum list out how clients can pay (Credit card, check, bank transfer, etc.) and if they need to go to some other place to do it, then make that as easy as possible.

5. Send It – This may sound silly, but you won’t get paid if your invoice isn’t sent. Most invoicing softwares let you send invoices via email so they get to your customer fast. However not all situations are right for emailing invoices.  Make sure you know how your client processes and pays their bills. Some services like FreshBooks will even send invoices via snail mail for you for a small fee.

Still not sure if your invoice is up to par?

Here is a sample from my own invoicing software, Wave Accounting:

WaveInvoice
When I send an invoice through my software this is what my clients see when they click the link.
I have my logo at the top left, a clear due date, A description to my item, and integrated payment. And of course if a client is looking at this, that means I hit sent.

What are you using to send invoices? Comment Below or Tweet Me!

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Melissa WhaelyHello there, I’m Melissa Whaley, owner of Whaley Bookkeeping.  I specialize in virtual bookkeeping and tax preparation for entrepreneurs. It excites me to help people understand and take control of their finances, especially in their businesses. I believe that anyone is capable of success if their passions are accompanied with the right tools. I love working with new business owners to help them set-up systems that will take the stress out their finances.

I am a licensed tax preparer in the state of California and have been helping small business owners since 2009. I am a Wave Accounting Pro, Quickbooks Online ProAdvisor, and Freshbooks Bookkeeper.

You will often find me drinking a cup of coffee while hanging out in  Facebook Groups, or on my YouTube channel making videos to help Etsy sellers with their bookkeeping. In my personal life I am married to a wonderful husband, have a 6 year old daughter and a 1 year old son.

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2 Replies to “Five Elements to A Killer Invoice by @WhaleyBookkeep”

  1. Tom Watts

    Hi Melissa,

    Great tips!

    I’ve been an accountant for the last 7 years and can testify to the importance of proper invoicing. There are just a couple of things I would add to your suggestions;

    1. Correct dates – it’s all well and good defining terms, but you should also make sure the date of the invoice is correct. It should either by the day of writing, or the delivery date of goods or services. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I’ve had from people asking why their invoice hasn’t been paid, and it’s because they’ve dated it incorrectly.

    Invoicing software like the ones you mentioned will date your invoices automatically, so it’s important to set them up properly.

    2. Invoice numbers – make it easier for your client and yourself by using simple, sequential invoice numbers. Make sure the numbers are sequential company-wide and not just per customer, you don’t want to end up with 100 invoice #12234’s across your whole customer base when you need to find one.

    Again, software will do this for you providing it’s set up right.

    3. Statements – statements are great for reminding your clients that they owe you money, but also are a tool for them or their accountants to check they have all the invoices. With most software these are generated automatically (as you mentioned) but make sure they’re set up for the right terms. It’s pretty embarrassing when you call up someone begging for money 2 weeks before they actually owe it because your statement didn’t print right – trust me.

    That’s all for now, thanks for the post 🙂

    Tom

    1. Melissa Whaley[ Post Author ]

      Thanks Tom! Those are excellent additions to the list 🙂

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