What to Include on an Invoice to Ensure Prompt Payments

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Are you tired of waiting for weeks or even months to receive payments for your contracting services? If so, then it’s time to take a closer look at your invoicing process. 

Invoicing is a crucial aspect of any business, big or small. As per the reports, almost 61% of small businesses face cash flow issues in their businesses. Late payments and continuous overdue payments can be significant reasons for hampering growth and sustainability. But have you ever tried to know why it happens? What’s the reason behind it, or is there any solution to improvise? 

Creating and sending professional invoices can be one of them. Effective invoicing not only ensures prompt payments but also helps to establish a professional image and builds trust with your clients.

In this blog, we’ll cover the essential elements to answer your query on what to include on an invoice to streamline the payment process.

What Should You Include on an Invoice?

    1. Company’s basic details

    Companys basic details

    • Business name: The name of the business reflects your brand. This is the first thing your clients see when they receive your business invoices. Hence to get recognition and familiarity among your competitors in the market, it is advisable to clearly write and show the name of your business. 
    • Business address: The business address help builds trust among the clients. They get a sense of satisfaction and security as they can feel that they can approach the company at an exact location in case of any disputes or discrepancies in the future. Also, it’s essential for clients who need to send physical documents, checks, or other types of business documents to your business.
    • Company logo: The company logo is one of the great branding elements. It helps establish a professional image for your business, helping your invoice stand out from the rest. 
    • Contact information: Providing contact details on an invoice is important to ensure that clients can get in touch with you if they have any questions or concerns. 

    2. Invoice date and invoice number

    The other essential component to include on an invoice is the invoice date and invoice number. 

    Just as a person’s name is essential to identify them, similarly, an invoice number is essential to identify an invoice. It is a unique identifier helping businesses and clients keep track of their invoices and payment history or even for reconciling purposes.

    The invoice date indicates when the invoice was prepared and when the payment is due. Mentioning the invoice date as well as the payment due date help businesses avoid any delayed payments. Also, it helps clients understand how long they have until the payment becomes overdue.

    3. Name and address of the invoicing client 

    Entering the client’s name and address, as well as customer contact information is essential because it provides a clear reference of who the invoice is being sent to. This information is proof that the invoice is delivered to the correct person or organization, which can help resolve invoice disputes, discrepancies, or errors in the future.

    4. Add the description of the services rendered

    The description of the services performed is an essential part since it clarifies to clients what they are paying for. It’s crucial to include a precise, itemized list of the goods or services offered, along with the associated costs (rate per goods or service rendered) and the quantity. This can help develop confidence and transparency in the billing process 

    5. The amount charged for each line item

    The amount charged for each line item

    In order to accurately track the prices of the services rendered, it is essential to include the amount charged for each line item. Additionally, it enables clients to understand the invoice’s whole cost, including any applicable taxes or duties (if any). Also, when the rates of services sold are clearly mentioned, businesses will get paid faster.

    6. Invoice payment terms and payment methods

    It is crucial to include all the payment details, terms, and conditions as well as acceptable payment methods. Clearly define

    • The accepted payment methods (Cash, Online, Offline, Checks, Credit cards or Debit Cards)
    • Payment instructions to the client (to whom payment is made, where they can go and make an online payment, on whose name cheque is to be drawn, etc).
    • Late payment fees (if applicable).
    • Any money-back guarantee or service warranty disclaimers.
    • Payment due dates to avoid undue or unnecessary payment delays.
    • Any terms or conditions that are required to be included regarding the advance payment, immediate payment, or return/replacement policy.

    Clients can then better understand when and how to make payments for their invoices. Additionally, it establishes clear guidelines for the payment procedure, which may promote quick payment and minimize late fees or penalties.

    7. Thanking gesture

    Lastly, it’s a good practice to include a thanking gesture, such as a thank you note, to show appreciation to the client for their business. This can help build a positive relationship with the client and increase the chances of repeat business.

    Thanking gesture

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Do’s of Writing an Invoice

Here are some of the best practices that you get help at the time when you write invoices professionally:

  • Include all essential details: Ensure that your invoice includes all the necessary details from the buyer and seller’s viewpoint.
  • Be clear and concise: Use clear and concise language so that the reader of your invoice (mostly buyers ) finds it easy to understand and can avoid any confusion.
  • Be professional: First impression is always the last one. So use a professional and polite tone while creating your invoice to give a good impression and build trust with the buyer.
  • Provide multiple payment options: By offering multiple payment options, it gets easier for the buyer to pay the invoice quickly, which improves the chances of receiving timely payment.
  • Set clear payment deadlines: Specify the payment deadline clearly to avoid any delays in payment and ensure timely payment.
  • Keep accurate records: Keep accurate records of all invoices, including the date sent, the payment received, and any follow-up actions that are taken.

Don’ts of Writing an Invoicing

  • Never send incomplete or inaccurate invoices, as this can lead to delays in payment and disputes when you fail to deliver clear invoicing terms to your clients.
  • Don’t send invoices with unclear payment terms or deadlines, as this can cause confusion and payment delays.
  • Don’t be overly aggressive when following up on late payments, as this can damage the long-term relationship with the buyer.
  • Don’t forget to include terms and conditions in the invoices so, in case of any future disputes, you can be on the safer side. 
  • Don’t forget to keep copies of all invoices and payment records, as this can make it difficult to track payments and manage your finances.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is an Invoice?

    An invoice is a crucial document in business transactions that serves as a request for payment from a seller to a buyer. It outlines the details of the transaction, including the name and contact information of the seller and the buyer, the date of the transaction, and a detailed list of the goods or services provided, along with the payment terms and due date.


  2. What is the purpose of the invoice?

    The purpose of an invoice is to request payment from a buyer for goods or services provided by a seller. It also serves as a record of the transaction and can be used for accounting and tax purposes.


  3. What are the types of invoices?

    There are a few types of invoices which are listed here: Pro-forma invoices, Recurring Invoices, Interim invoices, Commercial invoices, and Self-billing invoices.

    These invoices are either manually created, or they are electronic invoices generated via leading estimating and invoicing software like InvoiceOwl.

  4. What is the difference between a sole trader invoice and a limited liability invoice?

    An invoice that is issued by an individual who operates as a self-employed person and is personally liable for the debts of their business is a sole trader invoice. On the contrary, a limited liability invoice is issued by a company that is a separate legal entity from its owners and limits the liability of the owners to the amount of their investment in the company.


  5. What’s the difference between an invoice and a bill?

    An invoice is a document issued by a seller to a buyer that requests payment for goods or services provided. A bill is a document issued by a service provider, such as a utility company, that requests payment for services rendered. In general, an invoice is used in a commercial transaction, while a bill is used for recurring services.

Conclusion

Delivering clear, concise, and crisp invoice information help you get prompt payments. You can actually start implementing this saying in your business as you are now well-trained enough after reading this blog post on what to include on an invoice. 

So, hurry up, revolutionize your invoicing process, create professional invoices in minutes, build some credibility, and get paid faster with well-crafted invoices.

“Invoicing may seem to be a smaller part of the business, but getting it the right way can actually make a huge difference.”

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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