Woman creating an invoice for her small business in Excel

How to Create An Invoice Template in Excel

Invoices offer a way for your small or medium-sized business to collect money from customers after providing a product or service. Two of the main computer programs for creating invoices are Excel, and dedicated accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, which includes all the features of an invoicing software.

Each Excel invoice template should include some basic information: your business’s name, the customer’s name, all services provided, how much the customer owes, any Canadian sales tax, an invoice number, and the payment due date. Once you gather all of that information, the rest is simple, as you fill in the data to the corresponding parts of the Excel spreadsheet template. With this in mind, here is how to create an Excel invoice template.

How to Customize the Basic Invoice Template in Excel

Microsoft Office has basic free invoice templates that you can download for Excel from the Office website. The design of this free invoice template is straightforward, and you can alter various elements as you see fit by bolding them, changing colours to match your company’s design scheme, or altering font size to call attention to items you want to highlight. Overall, having an Excel template for small business invoicing ready, will make the billing process that much easier. 

You can also remove elements from the Excel template that don’t fit your business needs. For example, if you don’t use the “Ship To” section on the template, you can create more space for your company’s logo or another identifying design. If your business logo is too big or too small, you may have to resize it manually or it could end up looking misshapen or out of whack.

You can also alter the formulas in the cells to suit each situation, like sending service invoices or sales invoices. For example, you can set hourly rates for labour with a multiplication formula, then add cells on the right column to derive a subtotal. Don’t forget to add a formula for Canadian sales tax on certain items for invoices over $30. Once you create your invoice template, save the basic format for future use.

Unfortunately, an Excel invoice spreadsheet can be a little confusing, especially when utilizing formulas. If the GST or HST rate changes, for example, Excel doesn’t update it automatically. In addition, if you need to add several lines of text, you may have to repeatedly copy cells over and over until you find the right amount you need.

How to Create an Invoice Template in Excel

When it comes to creating Excel small business templates for invoicing, these are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Call up Microsoft Excel on your desktop, and click Blank Workbook on the menu bar to open a new spreadsheet opens on your desktop. Now is the time to start personalizing this new invoice. 
  2. Create an invoice header along the top of the spreadsheet, along with cells such as your company name, the type of invoice, the invoice date, and a unique invoice number. For example, “Acme Brick Sales Invoice Sept. 9, 2010, No. 1000981.”
  3. Below your header, input the addresses of the sender and receiver. Your business contact information includes the company name, physical address, phone number, and email. The client’s contact details includes all of the same information, with the exception of the name of the person paying the invoice. For instance, “Joe Smith, Accounts Receivable” would go below the company name in the recipient’s section.
  4. Next, enter columns and rows that identify the product or service, quantity, and price or unit price of each line, and the hours worked, whether it's an hourly rate or flare rate. On the right-most column, create a subtotal for those services. When creating this itemized list, you can save time and effort by using the following formula for these cells. As an example, you have a row labelled “Labour” and then the number 3 for hours at $50 per hour. Multiplying the number 3 by the hourly labour rate produces a subtotal of $150.
  5. At the very bottom of the invoice spreadsheet, goes the total amount owed by the customer. Use Excel’s SUM function to total up all the subtotals in the right-hand columns, then add in any sales tax for a grand total. 
  6. Include invoice payment terms by the total, such as “Due in 30 days” or “Due date on Oct. 9, 2019.” Be sure to also include the billing information for your company, and the acceptable payment methods clients can use to settle their bill. Be sure to save your payment terms as you go along, click File and then click Save throughout the creation process.

With a completed invoice in hand, you can now send these billing statements to clients. Excel lets you attach a file to your email messaging system. You can send your custom invoice as an Excel file if the customer you’re sending it to uses Microsoft Office, or you can convert it to a PDF file. Excel also syncs with QuickBooks to provide an easy way to update your contacts.

Does Excel Do What You Need?

Excel is great in a pinch, but it may not be the best option for you. While the computing power is outstanding, programs such as QuickBooks can create and send invoices quicker with better functionality.

Here are three ways Excel falters in practical use:

  1. Extra clicks – You must follow several extra steps to make and send custom invoices. When you add a different good or service, you have to update each template individually. Sending an invoice through email also takes a few extra clicks. These clicks add up over time to become lost productivity and fewer profits.
  2. Lost data – You might have to search extensively for the correct customer entry in Excel just to find out who should get the invoice. If someone accidentally deletes the Excel spreadsheet template or your computer crashes, you might lose the file for good.
  3. Lack of mobility – When you create a template for an invoice, you want to access it any time and anywhere. This works especially well if you’re in the field working at a job site. Microsoft Excel templates don’t automatically have the ability to tap into your mobile device. A lack of mobility translates into even more lost time.

Fortunately, there’s a computer program that solves Excel’s template problems.

Free Microsoft Excel Invoice Templates

Anyone can use this Excel template for small business invoicing to help them bill clients and track revenue accounts. Looking for other Excel small business templates? No matter what industry your small business fits within, access numerous industry-related invoicing documents with our Invoice Template Hub.

Having Excel invoice templates handy will make it easier for your business to conduct the invoicing and billing process for customers. The quicker you can tailor each document to the account and send the invoice to clients, the quicker you can get paid! 

That being said, to save even more time and effort, consider using other software to create invoices and automatically add invoice details with a click of a button.

How to Make an Invoice Template with QuickBooks

QuickBooks Online has a free online invoice template generator that’s quick and simple to use. You can choose between four contemporary styles of invoices and change the colours within those styles. Everything in QuickBooks is intuitive to use, and you can save the template to your computer for later use.

Start with contact information for your business. When you upload your logo, the program sizes it for you automatically, and each data point appears on the right as a preview before you save it. Next, input the customer’s contact information in one blank square, add information about goods and services rendered, and note required taxes. Rather than altering cells with different formulas to make sure they’re correct as you would for an invoice spreadsheet, all you do is type in the information and you're set.

All customization happens in three easy steps. You don’t have to resize anything, change fonts, or make sure the cells were formatted correctly. You can also sync your QuickBooks invoice with your Excel spreadsheets if needed.

QuickBooks Online Makes Invoicing Even Easier

Not only is making a professional invoice template easier with QuickBooks, but you can take that function on the road. Unlike using an Excel spreadsheet template, you can simply sync your mobile device with the cloud-based program to let you and your staff make and send sales invoices when you’re not at HQ.

If you get a customer call when you’re on your lunch break, you can open up your customer file in a few swipes on your phone and send an invoice within moments.

After you jazz up your QuickBooks invoice with a great-looking logo, add an online payment option that gets your money to your faster and more securely. That means there’s no more waiting for cheques in the mail, because QuickBooks offers credit or debit card functionality without requiring extra software.

QuickBooks gives you choices to send invoices to clients from a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone to get paid faster. And it's compatible for both a Windows and Mac computer or laptop. Learn more about all the features QuickBooks offers to make invoicing simple.

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