144 Examples in Word and Excel
Free Invoice Templates
Definite Guide to Invoicing to give you a head start on creating your own invoice
Table of Contents [hide]
- 1 What is an invoice?
- 2 How to make an invoice
- 3 Tips for getting paid more quickly
- 4 Are invoices legal documents?
- 5 Can I revise an invoice?
- 6 Free Invoice Templates
What is an invoice?
invoice, n. — An itemized list of goods or services furnished by a seller to a buyer, usually specifying the price and terms of sale; a bill of costs.
invoice, n. — a list of goods sent or services provided, with a statement of the sum due for these; a bill.
How does an invoice differ from a bill?Both an invoice and a bill are demands for payment of goods or services but they carry slightly different connotations as you can see in these Merriam-Webster Dictionary definitions:
“The distinction between these two words is actually more a matter of custom and the business being transacted”, a professional editor with expertise in etymology, lexicography and dictionary construction explained. For example, an attorney charges for billable hours. Work that is commissioned often comes with an invoice. At a restaurant, you get a bill for items already delivered and for which payment is immediate. From a supplier, you get an invoice for goods ordered or received and for which payment is expected.
How does an invoice differ from a receipt?
How to make an invoice
- the word “Invoice” prominently
- The name of the person or company expected to pay
- Your name or the name of your company
- Your logo
- Your contact information
- A line-item list of goods or services provided and their costs
- An invoice number
- The date the invoice is issued
- Additional fees, if any (i.e. shipping costs, taxes)
- The total amount due
A helpful way to understand why to include any of those items on your invoice is to turn the tables: imagine you are the one receiving it.What information would you need before you could pay for goods or services? Here are the questions you would likely ask if you received an invoice – and tips on what you can do to keep your clients or customers from asking the same questions:
What is this?Put the word “invoice” at the top of the page so you customer knows immediately what they are looking at.
Who sent this invoice and how can I contact them if I have a question?Include your name or your company name, postal and email address, phone number, and any other information your customer might need to get in touch with you.
What am I being asked to pay for?Include a line-item list of the goods provided or services rendered and the cost for each as earlier agreed upon.
When was this invoice made?Include the date the invoice is issued.
If I have a question or problem, how will the seller know what invoice I am asking about?Give each invoice a unique number so it can be easily referenced. You can number your invoices any way that makes it easy for you to keep track of them.
What’s the bottom line? How much do I owe?Make sure the total cost is on your invoice and is clear to the buyer.
How and where can I pay this invoice?Include details and the necessary information on how you want to be paid. Keep in mind, the easier you are to work with – and pay – the more return customers you will get.
Is it for me?Make sure the name of the person or company expected to pay is on your invoice.
Is this invoice legitimate?Use a logo if you have one, as it makes you look more professional and it increases your chances of getting paid by up to 300 percent, according to due.com, an online invoicing and time-tracking company that studied 250,000 invoices and their results.
How long do I have to pay the invoice?Don’t leave the payment due date up to your client. It’s best to avoid wording like “payable on receipt” because people often misinterpret that to mean “pay whenever.” Be specific. Give them a number of days they have to make the payment. If you use the trading term Net 30– or 10 or 15 or 60 — (the numbers representing the number of days the client has to pay) or any of the many other payment terms, make sure you can afford to wait that many days to be paid.
What are these other charges on here?Be clear and concise in labeling shipping, handling or other fees as well as sales tax or value added tax (VAT) if applicable. Include a sales tax for taxable items sold to in-state buyers. It’s legally required but complicated because sales tax rates, as well as what is considered a taxable item, vary by state and even by cities within a state. The Marketplace Fairness Act, a bill that would change that ambiguity by requiring remote (online) sellers to collect and remit sales taxes based on where their customers live , has been languishing in the U.S. House after being passed overwhelmingly by the Senate in 2013.
Tips for getting paid more quicklyWhen Freshbooks looked at their data around invoice payment terms to learn which wording was best for getting paid on time, main takeaways were:
Simply saying things such as “please pay on time” and “thank you for your business” will increase your chances of getting paid.
Be specific about the due date
Using a term like “due on receipt” to many customers often translates to “pay when you can”. A more specific “due in 21 days” or “please pay by August 3rd, 2016” is clear and much more effective.
Charge interest for late payments
If you decide to charge interest for late payments, be polite there, too. Chose wording like, “Thank you for your business. Please process this invoice within 21 days. There will be a 1.5 percent interest charge per month on late invoices.”
Are invoices legal documents?
Can I revise an invoice?
- Change “Invoice” to “Revised Invoice”.
- Change the date of the revised invoice.
- Give it the same invoice number but add an “R” at the end. For instance, invoice 2928 becomes invoice 2928R.
- Highlight what charges have changed or have been added. You can do that by changing the color of the font, increasing the size of the font, boldfacing it or underlining it.
- Change the “total amount due” and extend the due date if necessary.
- Include a cover letter explaining what has changed.
Free Invoice TemplatesThere are many different invoicing solutions – invoicing software, online invoice makers, CRM… But if you are a small or a medium-sized company and don’t issue many invoices, a simple invoice template is much easier and quicker (not to mention it’s free).
What are the main benefits of using an invoice template?
Creating an invoice from scratch could take a lot of time. Making tables, aligning components, choosing proper fonts and colors, creating formulas to get your data automated… That’s a lot of work! Good news is, we’ve done all the donkey work. Our samples provide basic structure and layout, so all you have to do is fill out the blanks. Below you will find 144 free invoice templates:
|38||generic blank invoice templates: neutral and traditional, elegant and professional (19 designs in MS Word, and 19 in Excel)|
|106||invoice templates for specific uses|