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Invoicing

Best Invoice Templates For Your Small Business

As a small business owner, you have to deal with multiple things all at once. Owning and managing a small business requires you to undertake a range of tasks. These include serving customers, managing business finances, hiring the right people, developing a customer base, etc.

Given this, if you are investing too much time in preparing invoices, that gives you less time for core activities which may result in a loss of business.

Thus, you need an invoicing system that allows you to create different invoices within no time. Utilizing an invoice template can help with that.

To get you started with the best invoice template for your business needs, in this article, you will learn:

What is an invoice?

An invoice is a commercial document that acts as proof of the sale of goods or services by a seller to a buyer. A simple invoice contains details about the quantity and price at which such goods or services are sold by the seller.

In addition, the invoice declares the terms of payment at which goods or services have been agreed to be supplied. Invoice payment terms define how you as a supplier expect to be paid by the buyer. This refers to some specific details such as the time period of payment, the manner in which you would like to be paid, the currency you deal in if you have supplied goods and services overseas, late payment charges, etc.

There are other details that are outlined in a simple invoice. These vary depending on the country in which the invoice is issued and the type of goods and services being sold.

What is the purpose of an invoice?

The biggest challenge for you as a small business owner is to know when and what amount of payment is going to come into your bank account. Thus, forecasting your business cash flows is crucial, and invoicing plays an important role in predicting your cash flow. When you send an invoice to a paying customer, you have a record of how much money you are planning to receive within a specified time frame thus allowing you to plan for the future when you know how much money you should have coming in.

By having a proper invoice system, you can create professional invoices in no time and ensure that your clients pay you on time.

How to choose the ideal invoice template for your small business

Ready-to-use blank invoice templates save you a lot of time and effort in creating professional invoices for your business. Understanding the time and effort you invest in creating invoices, will help you determine what solution would work best for you.

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the ideal invoicing template solution for your small business needs. These include:

  • Invoice template file format: Consider choosing an efficient template that is easy to send to your customers via email and that they can open and navigate easily such as Microsoft Word and Excel invoicing templates. These file formats easily convert into PDFs to protect the integrity of your data.
  • Built-in formulas: An invoice template with built-in formulas will automatically calculate your data and totals saving you time and reducing human error. Excel invoicing templates tend to include built-in formulas, and online invoicing tools like QuickBooks free invoice generator automatically calculate your totals. However, keep in mind that the calculations will be based on your input which still requires manual data entry.
  • Customizable designs: Editable templates allow you to customize your invoice with your logos and brand colors to match your brand identity and create professional templates.
  • Scalability: It is important to keep in mind that while invoicing templates are a great short-term solution for small businesses, you may need to invest in automated invoicing solutions such as online invoicing software to scale your invoicing as your business grows.

Which invoice template format should my small business use?

There are a number of options available when it comes to selecting a business invoice template format that you can use. Let’s have a look at each of them separately:

How to make an invoice template in Word

You can choose to create a business invoice template in Microsoft Word. Below are the steps that you can follow to create an invoice template in Word:

  1. Open Microsoft Word to have a blank document.
  2. Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Table’ from the selection below. Choose the number of rows and columns as per your needs. Say if you choose a 7 x 7 table, it will have 7 rows and 7 columns.
  3. Now, adjust the column size as per the details to be included in each of the columns. You can do this by clicking the ‘Layout’ tab and changing the size in the ‘Width’ section.
  4. Then, add all the details that go into an invoice template as mentioned above. These would include your company details, buyer details, invoice number, invoice date, invoice due date, PO number, bank details, etc.
  5. Finally, create a section for putting the signature of the authorized signatory.

Pros and cons of Microsoft Word invoicing templates

Pros

Cons

It is easy to customize with a wide range of styling options such as fonts, colors, or font sizes.

It is time-consuming to insert the line items and undertake calculations such as taxes, sum totals, etc.

You can create professional and visually appealing invoices that match your brand identity.

Requires manual data entry and calculations which are prone to error.

How to make invoice templates in Excel

Follow these steps to create an invoice template for your small business in Excel or in Google Sheets:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Click on the ‘File’ tab. Select ‘New’ from the drop-down and then select ‘Blank Workbook’ to have a fresh sheet.
  2. Since you do not want the gridlines to be visible on the invoice, you can remove them. This can be done by clicking on the ‘View’ tab and unchecking ‘Gridlines’ in the ‘Show/Hide’ section.
  3. Once you have the blank Excel sheet ready, you can now insert your company logo and put the heading as ‘Invoice’ or ‘Tax Invoice’ as the case may be.
  4. Once this is done, put all the details that go into an invoice book such as your company information, buyer details, Purchase Order number, Invoice Date, due date, etc.
  5. To make your work easy for future invoice books, you can use excel formulas in certain sections of the business invoice template. For instance, you can use:

=SUM() function wherever you need to total the amounts.

=TODAY() function that makes it easy for you to put the current day’s date in the ‘invoice date’ section.

=TODAY() + 15 function in the ‘invoice due date’ cell, say if your payment terms are net 15, that is, 15 days from the invoice date.

Pros and cons of Excel invoicing templates

Pros

Cons

Add formulas that can help you automate some of the calculations. For instance, you can use the SUM function to make your calculations easy.

Limited styling options compared to other platforms makes it difficult to create a professional look and make printable invoices visually appealing.

Easily insert tables containing multiple items and use formulas without putting in much effort.

Keeping the format of your invoice when you make changes to some of the columns can also be a challenge.

How to make invoice templates in PDF

Many small business owners do not use Microsoft Excel or Word to create simple invoice templates. Instead, they prefer creating invoice templates as PDF files that then can be printed and filled out manually. You can convert a Word file into a PDF file or use programs such as Adobe to create PDF invoice templates with editable fields.

An invoice template in PDF helps you as a small business owner create simple invoice templates that can be customized according to your business needs. These invoices are editable, that is, they allow you to edit or add new text, change fonts, add or replace images, etc.

Thus, instead of creating an invoice template PDF from scratch, you can simply use the editable invoice template PDF, customize it, and send it to your customer for faster payment.

But as a small business owner, you understand that invoicing is not just limited to creating tax invoice templates. Rather, invoicing should be a complete system that helps you keep track of what is going in and coming out of business and undertake cash flow projections.

Discover QuickBooks Free Invoicing Tools

How to design invoice templates

Invoices are records that help you in tracking your sales but they are also an opportunity to showcase your brand.

Here are some of the tips that can help you design an ideal invoice template.

  1. Remember to put all the necessary details on your invoice. These could include seller and buyer details, invoice number, invoice date, description of goods and services sold, their price, quantity, PO Number, etc.
  2. Design the invoice template that is consistent with your brand identity. Sending professional invoices matching your brand identity lend credibility to your business. Further, your customers have an enhanced perception of your brand. Thus, to create invoice templates matching your brand style guide, you need to add your company logo, use brand colors, fonts, etc.
  3. Choose an invoice template format as per your needs. You choose to create your own invoice templates in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Google Sheets, use free invoice templates, go for online invoice download using a free invoice generator or invoice maker, or use an Online Accounting Software like QuickBooks that allows you to choose from a gallery of invoice templates that can be customized to match your brand identity.

Watch the video below to learn just how easy it is to create custom invoice templates in QuickBooks Online.

How to download QuickBooks free invoice templates online

Creating printable invoices to be sent to your customers is simple and effortless now. We’ve got you covered. QuickBooks invoice template hub offers free invoice templates for small businesses and freelancers in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PDF file formats. You can easily download, customize and send professional invoices to your customers in different formats based on your business needs.

Simply choose the invoice template that you prefer, check the details, click download, make changes in the template as per your business needs, and get going to collect payments from your customers by sending them professional invoices. 

QuickBooks has done the heavy lifting for you with our free invoice generator that allows you to design and customize an invoice template in a few easy steps.

Take advantage of QuickBooks invoicing software

While creating and using tax invoice templates from Word or Excel can be a good start to take control of your invoicing process, as you gain more customers, you may find it overwhelming to keep manually creating invoices and tracking payments. 

When you are ready to grow your company, you can fully take advantage of QuickBooks Invoicing Software, which will make your invoicing a breeze by helping you with:

  • Tracking all your paid and overdue invoices
  • Sending reminders to your customers when it is payment time
  • Getting paid faster by automating certain aspects of invoicing like creating and sending recurring invoices to your clients
  • Managing your cash flows with easy-to-follow cash flow statements to know where you stand in terms of your business
  • Maintain records of all the invoices issued to date for future reference

Try QuickBooks 30-day free trial, and improve your invoicing today! 

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