We will consider one of the most important documents related to doing business. This document is an invoice. They are extremely common: you receive them as a buyer and send them as a seller of goods or services. Therefore, it is important to know what kind of paper it is, what basic information it should and can contain, with what tools you can create this document. We will tell you about all this in the following article.
An invoice is one of the basic documents of a business, reflecting information about the products and services provided to the client and establishing the client’s obligations to pay for these products or services. Upon receipt of this form, the customer has a specific deadline for payment. All the information they need is contained in this paper.
This form can be compared to a restaurant bill, although, of course, there are significant differences. For instance, a bill needs to be paid immediately and does not include customer details. While the invoice usually provides a due date (depending on the company, but generally 2-4 weeks) and includes the details of the buyer.
All invoices issued by your company must be of the same type and have a general appearance. All information should be presented clearly and understandably so that the client can immediately see all the necessary details and pay for the products without any problems.
The appearance of these forms may differ from company to company, but almost always contains the following points:
Sometimes the document also includes information about the various payment methods available, but this is not a must.
The main purpose of this document is to show the client how much they should pay for the work performed or the goods provided, but it is also used for internal tracking.
Using the form, you can:
This is a unique number assigned by the provider to the document. There is no single rule on how these numbers should be generated. It can contain both digits and letters.
At the same time, it is best to have some kind of general system adopted in your company, so that it is more convenient for you to track documents and keep accounting records.
Let’s consider several approaches to maintaining numbers.
This method includes the date of creation of the document in its number. This makes it easier to find if, for instance, you know the date of the operation but do not know the whole number. With such a system, the document created on March 29, 2021, may look like this: 2021-03-29-001. Please note that a sequential form number is assigned after the date. The order of the numbers will start over with each new day.
If your company is working on several projects, you can separate documents according to this principle. In the beginning, put the project number and then the sequential document number. For instance, if your project is called LP120 and this is the fifth invoice, then the number will be LP120-005.
This approach is similar to the previous one. The difference is that instead of project numbers, the identifying number of the client or customer of services is taken as a basis. This is convenient when you work with your clients for a long time, and they often come back to you. Just like in the previous system, first enter the customer number (for instance, 333), and then the serial number of the document (for instance, the seventh), and you get 333-007.
The easiest way is that the documents are numbered in order: 001, 002, 003, 004, and so on. The good thing about the system is that it is less likely to accidentally repeat the number. But at the same time, the paper number does not give us any additional information, for instance, about the client, the product, or the date the form was created.
It is recommended to send this document to your customer as soon as you complete the work or ship the items. To generate a document, you can use our form-building software. So all your documents will have a single form, and all the details will be reflected clearly and understandably. Below we present you with our illustrated guide to creating this document.
Assign a Number
Each document must have its own unique number. Above, we told you how to assign it. You can use any of the four systems. Choose the one that is more convenient for you to use.
We advise you not to assign numbers at random, and this will complicate the searching for documents, keeping records, and increase the risk of duplicate numbers.
Set the Date
The date is very important for this document. You will be able to give a specific billing period to your customer, which will be counted from the date the form was created. It is also needed for bookkeeping.
Enter Your Contact Information
The document must contain:
Fill in Banking Information
Your client or buyer should know how they can pay. To do this, enter full banking information:
Enter the Details of the Buyer
You can also provide the buyer’s contact details. You can use this data for your own needs or send a document by mail.
Set the Terms of Payment
You can specify the terms of payment. For instance, that the client is obliged to transfer the payment within five working days. The term is set by your company, depending on your agreements and capabilities.
Fill in Additional Information
If you wish or according to the rules adopted in your company, you can also specify:
But this data may only be needed if you are sending goods.
Describe the Goods or Services
All provided products must be entered into the table. It is best to select its own line for each product and indicate for it:
Give Total Price
At the bottom of the document, the total amount that the client should transfer to you should be indicated.
Also, at the end of the form, you can indicate the various available payment methods, if any.