In this article, you will learn:
- What is an Invoice?
- What Makes An Ideal Invoice Template?
- Which Invoice Template Format Should I Use?
- Types of Invoices for Small Business
- Other Types of Invoices
- How to create Quickbooks Invoices Online?
- QuickBooks Online Invoice Features
- Purpose of Online Invoice
- Benefits of Using Simple Invoice
- How To Design Invoice Templates?
- How to Download Invoice Templates Online?
- Sending an Invoice
- Receiving an Invoice
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 would mean less time for the core activities thereby resulting in loss of business.
Thus, you need an invoicing system that allows you to create invoices professionally within no time so that you get paid faster.
In this article, we will have a look at what is an invoice, what should be included in commercial Invoice Templates, types of invoices for your small business, and how can you create an invoice template, invoice template word, invoice template Google Sheets, invoice template PDF, invoice template Excel or use online invoice generator or invoice makerto create invoices.
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 to this, 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.
Hence, the invoice payment terms specify 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 upon 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 flows.
Having a proper invoice system, you can create professional invoices within no time and ensure that your clients pay you in time.
In other words, if you do not know when your invoices are due or what are the penalties for non-payment, it could seriously impact your cash flow projections. And incorrect cash flow projections may severely impact your business.
What Items Must Be Included in Invoice?
There are a number of items that go into a simple invoice. These are as follows:
- Header as invoice or tax invoice
- Company logo
- Invoice number
- Seller details including business name, address, business tax number and contact information
- Buyer details like the name and address of your customer and his tax number in case VAT/GST is applicable
- Basic invoice details like price per unit, quantity, total value, product/service description and other details like PO number, invoice date, due date, rate of tax, discount and signature or digital signature
- Invoice payment terms
- Payment method
What Makes An Ideal Invoice Template?
You can choose to create invoice formats using Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, an online accounting software, a free invoice maker or invoice generator, use free invoice templates or our invoice examples. 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 invoice books, we have put together free invoice templates or invoice examples that help you get your invoice format right.
All you need to do is simply download free invoice templates, customize them, send invoice books to your customers, and get paid in time. All the commercial invoice templates or invoice examples given here:
- are printable invoices
- Can be customized according to your business needs
- Contain all important invoice elements
- Can automatically calculate total amounts and
- Are put in a professional format
Which Invoice Template Format Should I Use?
There are a number of options available when it comes to selecting a business invoice template format that you can use. Each of these commercial invoice template choices has its pros and cons. Let’s have a look at each of them separately.
How to Make 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 Word:
- Open Microsoft Word to have a blank document.
- Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and select ‘Table’ from the selection below. Choose the number of rows and columns as per your need. Say if you choose 7 x 7 table, it will have 7 rows and 7 columns.
- Now, adjust the column size as per the details to be included in each of the columns. You can do this by clicking on the ‘Layout’ tab and changing the size in the ‘Width’ section.
- Then, add all the details that go into a commercial 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.
- Finally, create a section for putting the signature of the authorized signatory.
Invoice Template Word is good when it comes to making your invoices look professional and visually appealing. This is because of the wide range of styling options such as fonts, colors, font sizes, etc that Microsoft Word offers.
However, it is quite painful to insert the line items and undertake calculations such as taxes, sum totals, etc. Thus, creating your own invoice template in Word from start to finish may leave you exhausted.
Therefore, you can use existing blank invoice templates or invoice examples given here to make things easy initially. This is because these invoice examples or business invoice templates are pre-formatted and you do not have to invest much time in adding the line items, adjusting margins, etc.
You can simply download free invoice template, fill the details as per your need in various sections, and get going.
How to Make Invoice Templates in Excel?
Following are the steps to create commercial invoice template in Excel or invoice template Google Sheets:
- Open Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Click on the ‘File’ tab. Select ‘New’ from the drop-down and then select the ‘Blank Workbook’ to have a fresh excel sheet.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- To make your work easy for future invoice books, you can 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.
Making invoice template in excel or invoice template Google Sheets is suggested over invoice template Word. This is because Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets enables you to use formulas in various sections of the sample invoice template.
For instance, you can use the SUM function to make your calculations easy. Likewise, you can easily insert tables containing multiple items and use formulas without putting in much effort.
Thus, Microsoft Excel works beautifully when it comes to adding subtotals and making things automatic. However, it fails to shine when it comes to making printable invoices visually appealing.
One of the major shortcomings of creating an invoice template in excel or invoice template Google Sheets is that it is difficult to give a professional look to it. This is because Microsoft Excel or Google has limited styling options as compared to Microsoft Word.
Moreover, it is also challenging to change the column width in Microsoft Excel. Thus, the moment you try to adjust the column width according to the number of items, the whole document gets tampered.
How to Make Invoice Templates in PDF?
Many small business owners do not use Microsoft Excel or Word to create sample invoice templates. Instead, they prefer creating invoice template PDF from Adobe Acrobat Editable PDFs.
The invoice template PDF helps you as a small business owner to create sample 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 an essential part of your business. It is not just limited to creating tax invoice template. 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.
So, given this, creating or using tax invoice template word, invoice template Google Sheets, or invoice template PDF can be good initially when you start your business. But, these may not be the ideal ways of undertaking invoicing to run your business efficiently.
Thus, the invoicing system should be such that it helps you:
- Track which invoices are paid and which are overdue
- Send reminders to your customers who are yet to pay
- Get paid faster by automating certain aspects of invoicing. This could include creating and sending recurring invoices to permanent customers.
- Manage cash flows by generating 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.
Types of Invoices for Small Business
Pro Forma Invoices
Pro Forma Invoice is a preliminary invoice constituting an estimate or a quotation, product or service description, and their quantity to be delivered to your customers. Since its not an invoice, it is not requesting your customer for payment.
An Interim Invoice is a type of invoice that you can use as a small business in order to collect payment from your customers in milestones. That is, you can bill your customers based on the percentage of the project that has been completed to date.
Recurring invoices are the invoices that you send to the same customers, containing the same details at regular intervals of time.
Past Due Invoices
Past Due Invoices are the invoices that have not been paid by your customers on their due date. So, if you provide a credit period to your customers, then you would have to collect payments for a Past Due Invoice.
Final Invoice is the one that you send to your customer once the work is completed asking for a payment.
Other Types of Invoices
Following are the other types of invoices that you must know as a small business owner:
- Artist Invoice
- Billing Invoice
- Commercial Invoice
- Consultant Invoice
- Contractor Invoice
- Design Invoice
- Freelance Invoice
- Hourly Rate Invoice
- IT Invoice
- Medical Invoice
- Past Due Invoice
- # Days Due Invoice
- Pay-Type Invoice
- Photography Invoice
- Rental Invoice
- Repair Invoice
- Sales Invoice
- Service Invoice
- Teacher Invoice
- Work Orders
How to create Quickbooks Invoices Online? (Video)
QuickBooks Online Invoice Features
QuickBooks Online Accounting Software allows you to create customized, professional-looking online invoice within no time that enables you to get paid faster.
Here are some of the ways in which you can make invoicing a breeze with QuickBooks Online:
Create Customized Professional Online Invoices
You can use tax invoice templates that come in-built with QuickBooks to create and send online invoices to your customers. The tax invoice templates are pre-formatted and allow you to simply fill in the required details, make changes as per your business needs, and send it to your customers for payment.
You can also create custom online invoices using in-built styling options to match your brand identity.
Track Payments Anytime, Anywhere
With QuickBooks Online Accounting Software, you can easily check which customers have made payments and which customers are yet to pay.
Furthermore, you can track your payments wherever you go, at any time, and on any device including a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
You can even see overdue invoices and send automatic reminders for unpaid invoices.
Get Time On Your Side With Automated Invoicing
With QuickBooks Online Accounting Software, you can automate your invoicing process, save time, and ensure accuracy. Further, you can schedule and send invoices to your regular customers.
Also, you can choose to send online invoices individually or in batches, thus saving more time for your core activities. Here are some of the ways in which QuickBooks allows you to automate invoicing:
Set Automatic Invoice Reminders
A reminder email is automatically sent to the customer whose due date to make payment is fast approaching.
Send Recurring Invoices
QuickBooks enables you to set up recurring invoices for customers whom you bill regularly, thus saving you more time.
No Need For Manual Calculation
There is no need for you to manually calculate the amount of tax, discounts, and shipping costs as QuickBooks does it for you.
You just need to fill in the details like per-unit price, quantity, tax rates, discount rates, etc, and let QuickBooks do the rest of the work for you.
Send Invoices On The Go
QuickBooks allows you to create and send online invoices effortlessly within minutes. Further, you do not have to be bound to your office desk as you can access your QuickBooks account anytime, anywhere, and from any device.
You can even send the invoices to your customers via WhatsApp. Thus, QuickBooks gives you the power to run your business on the go.
Purpose of Online Invoice
Here are the important purposes that online invoices serve:
Creating printable invoices manually or using free sample invoice templates and making necessary changes is time-consuming.
However, creating and sending an online invoice is much quick and simple. As client and vendor information is already saved in cloud. You simply need to login to your account, select the customer, add necessary details and send the requisite invoice via email.
Further, you Fastrack payments by setting reminders for upcoming or past due invoices and recurring invoices for customers whom you invoice on regular basis.
Both you and the buyer can use online invoices to track payments. As a seller, you can know the amount that you are bound to receive in a specific month, check which customers have made the payments and the ones who are yet to make payments.
Likewise, your customers too can know the amount they owe to you, time at which they are bound to make such payments, and manage their cash flows accordingly.
Creating an online invoice is way more efficient compared to creating sample invoice templates manually as it automates the entire invoicing process.
Online invoicing allows you to schedule invoices for regular customers, send printable invoices in batches, and set automatic invoice reminders to get prompt payments.
With online invoice, you also do not have to worry about doing calculations manually as taxes, discounts, totals, and subtotals get calculated automatically.
Manage Invoices On The Go
You do not have to be bound to your desk for creating and sending printable invoices to your customers. Online invoicing helps you create and send professional invoices anytime, anywhere, and through any device, thus allowing you to manage your business on the go.
Ensure Safety and Security
Since all your invoices are on the cloud, there is no chance of losing any of your invoice documents for future reference.
Furthermore, online invoicing also helps you do away with manual data entry errors. This is because it allows to save customer and vendor information and also do all the calculations for you automatically thereby ensuring accuracy.
Gain Business Insights
Examining your online invoices can help you gain some important business insights. This could include the peak time of sale, most selling products or services, the buying pattern of your customers, etc.
These insights can certainly help you in coming up with business strategies to manage your business effectively.
Benefits of Using Simple Invoice
There are a number of advantages of sending simple invoices to your customers. These include:
Invoices help you in maintaining a record of the information such as the date on which goods were sold, the amount of payment made against such goods and services, outstanding payments, etc.
Furthermore, these records also help you at the time of filing taxes as invoices help in confirming information with regard to sales, taxes, etc. You can either create invoices in Word or Excel, download a free invoice template or use an online invoice generator or invoice maker to create invoices.
Invoices help both you and your customers to keep track of payments. You can easily know invoices that are paid already and ones that are outstanding.
Likewise, your customers too can keep a track of the due date on which they owe you payments, the amount they need to pay, the discounts that they would get, etc, thus helping them manage their business effectively.
Lending Brand Identity
Professional invoices lend credibility to your brand. They add to your brand identity as you can make professional invoices matching your brand style guide. To save time, you can go for an online invoice download using an online invoice generator or invoice maker or use free invoice templates to create professional invoices consistent with your brand.
Developing Marketing Strategies
By analyzing your invoices, you can gain a lot of helpful insights based on which you can develop your marketing strategies.
For instance, you get to know about the popular products or services, the price that you can command from your customers, the time at which your sales peak, etc.
Binding Both The Parties Legally
Invoices contain details of goods or services that you provide to your customers. Furthermore, invoices provide information in respect of payment terms, time of delivery, the price at which you agree to provide goods or services to your customers, etc.
Since invoices are the proof of sale, they are documents that legally bind both you and your customers to adhere to its terms. Thus, invoices help in protecting you as a small business owner against any invalid lawsuits.
How To Design Invoice Templates?
invoices are records that help you in tracking your sales. Issuing invoices to your customers ensures that you are paid on time. Thus, sending professional invoices to your customers is important.
Here are some of the tips that would help you in designing an ideal invoice template:
- 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.
- 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.
- Choose an invoice template format as per your need. You can go for creating your own invoice templates in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Google Sheets, use free invoice templates, go for online invoice download using free invoice generator or invoice maker, or use an Online Accounting Software like QuickBooks to generate simple invoices.
How to Download Invoice Templates Online?
As a small business owner, you have a range of tasks to deal with. It would be frustrating if it takes too much time and effort to create and send invoices to your customers.
Invoicing is an essential part of your business. Thus, you need an invoicing system that gets you paid promptly in the correct way.
Creating printable invoices to be sent to your customers is simple and effortless now. With free invoice templates from QuickBooks, you can now easily download, customize, and send professional invoices to your customers.
Simply choose the invoice template that you prefer, 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.
Sending an Invoice
As a small business owner, you might be sending a bunch of invoices each month to your customers. When it comes to invoicing, you are pretty much aware that invoicing process is just not limited to sending invoices to your clients.
You also need to make sure that you get paid in time by your clients. Thus, to avoid any delay on the part of your customers, it is important that you clearly discuss all the payment terms with them.
Furthermore, make sure that you are clearly defining your preferred mode of payment to avoid any hassles on the part of your customers while making payment.
Receiving an Invoice
Sending invoices to your customers and receiving invoices from your vendors periodically form part and parcel of your small business. While receiving an invoice from your supplier, it is important to focus your attention on the payment options preferred by your supplier.
In case you become too complacent with it and overlook the same, chances are that you might end up losing your vendor. This is because some vendors are quite firm in setting the payment guidelines, that is, they are inflexible when it comes to receiving payments on terms other than ones set by them.
For instance, some vendors may demand cash on delivery. On the other hand, there might be vendors who would offer discounts if you make early payments to them.
Now, in this case, making early payments might save you a good chunk of money over a period of time. However, you must ensure that you are not running out of cash in the near future by agreeing to such a practice.
FAQs on Invoice Template
Who Should Use an Invoice Template?
Which invoice template should I use?
What are the benefits of using an invoice template?
What Are the Benefits of Using Invoice Software Instead of a Template?
Why is it Important to Create and Send Professional Invoices?
Professional invoices help you track payments and thereby know paid invoices and pending invoices. These act as proof of sale legally binding both buyer and seller.
Where I Can Use These Online Templates Invoices?
How to Download the Invoice Template?
How Does QuickBooks Online Make Online Invoicing Easy?
Are Word and Excel Best Choices for Creating Invoices?
Which is the Best Invoice Generating Software?
How To Write an Invoice Template?
How To Change Invoice Template In Quickbooks?
How To Download Invoice Template From Microsoft?
How To Layout An Invoice Template?
How To Set Invoice Template As Default In Quickbooks?
How To Import Invoice Template in Quickbooks?