How to do an invoice
Getting paid is critical for the livelihood of your business. You need your customers to pay on time and be aware of the terms and conditions attached to the transaction.
So, sending out complete invoices with a professional look is important! Get rid of the good old Excel or Word invoices you used to send, it's time to step up.
If you’ve just started working as a sole trader or small business owner, you might have a few questions about how invoicing works. You’ve provided a service to your customer and now you need to get paid. But how do you make an invoice and what do you put in it?
In this guide:
- What is an invoice?
- Ways to create an invoice
- How to write an invoice
- How to send an invoice
- How to generate professional invoices
- Benefits of free invoicing software
What is an invoice?
An invoice is a document your business (the supplier) will send to a customer (the buyer), stating and requesting the payment you are due for providing a service or for the sale of a product.
The best way to create invoices
When you are creating an invoice, you have several options:
Word invoice template
Creating an invoice in Word has a lot of limitations, for example with the layout you can choose. If you do use a word template, make sure you save the invoice as a PDF file so your customer can’t edit it.
PDF invoice template
If you have graphic design experience, creating a PDF invoice template gives a professional look. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to make a PDF yourself, you can download our free invoice template below.
Download your free invoice template
Using an invoicing software to create invoices is the best way to make sure your invoices look professional, and are kept in the same place as your accounting.
Bokio is a free invoice software that lets you create, send, track and record branded invoices. Our invoice generator means you won’t miss out any important details. Simply input your details and get a professional, branded invoice you can send to your customers.
How to write an invoice and what to include
There are several details you should include in your invoice:
- Name and logo of your business
- Contact details of your business
- Customer name and contact details
- Date the invoice was created
- Due date of amount owed
- Description of the item or service
- Amount due (if you are offering more than one item, include single unit cost and number of units along with the total)
- Your preferred method of payment and payment details
- Invoice terms including the interest rate if your payment is overdue
When writing your invoice, it’s important that the details are clear and the invoice has a professional look. This is the information your customer will need to pay you, and ensure the payment is on time.
How to send an invoice
It’s quicker to send an invoice to your customer by email than by post, so you should get paid faster. When you email, including a personal message along with your PDF invoice is a great idea, like thanking your customer for working with you.
It’s even better to send your invoice using an accounting solution like Bokio where not only can you create an invoice for free and add a message when you send it, but also track your payment, see if it’s overdue, and record it with your other bookkeeping with just a few clicks.
Bokio is an invoicing and accounting solution that lets you keep everything in one place. You don’t have to be an expert in accounting to use Bokio, because you will have step-by-step guidance and friendly support.
Generate professional invoices
Bokio lets you generate customisable invoice templates. You will be able to record the invoice in your accounts quickly and easily so you don’t have to worry about accounting with spreadsheets anymore.
Our free invoicing software has been designed to help you as a small business owner to send efficient and professional invoices.
Benefits of using our free invoicing software
Easy to use
All you need to do is to make sure you have updated your company's details (logo, address, email, invoice number). Add your customer's contact in the system and articles or services sold to use them again later.
Many small businesses like yours have loyal customers they regularly send invoices to. Create customers and articles rows once and for all and they will be saved in the system so you can save time on your next invoice. Any information you may need will be available in one click.
Not being paid on time can lead to profit loss, troubles with cash flow, and down the line put your business in jeopardy. One secure way of avoiding this is to make sure that your customers receive correct invoices that contain relevant information like the due date. Check out some more tips on how to get paid on time.
Tip: The 'Things to do' section in Bokio's invoicing software helps you to keep track of overdue and up coming invoices.
Send invoices directly to your customers
Send invoices to your customers by email directly from Bokio or download the template in PDF format.
Create professional invoices with Bokio
Note: This article was updated November 2020