Invoices. What is one, and why do you need it? In short, an invoice is like a bill and receipt for payment all in one. It’s important for both your account keeping and your client. And, it’s the best way to ensure you get paid on time! You can write a simple invoice on any computer system, and once you’ve done it a few times, it’ll become second nature. But, to help you get past that first hurdle, we’re going to look at a few invoice ins and outs you need to know.
What Should You Include?
What you include on your invoice is most important of all. While it’s good to keep layout professional, it can look however you want it to. If you’re worried, you can always check out invoice templates to give you an idea. Here, though, we’re going to focus on the content. Forgetting to include something simple could lead to major issues, so, it’s crucial you get this right.
For one, make sure that you’re providing your client with a way to contact you. Your company name, address, and phone numbers should be included. For the sake of your accounts, it’s also important to include your client’s details. Then, display a clear breakdown of costs, and a total amount. This is essential for helping your client understand the costs. Include things like labor, parts, and cost of service.
Last but not least, create an invoice number. This will become the reference for that payment. It can be whatever you want, as long as all invoices vary slightly. Something as simple as using a different letter of the alphabet, followed by the date sequence, is all it takes.
When Should You Send Them?
Another thing to get your head around is when to send invoices. This is a tricky one, and for the most part, you’ll decide through trial and error. Some companies send out invoices as jobs are completed, and this is a sure way to achieve fast payment. But, this will mean money comes in dribs and drabs. Hence, it could be harder to get a hold on finances. If you think that would be a problem, try sending them on the same day each week and see how that works.
What To Do If Clients Aren’t Paying
When a customer doesn’t pay, it can mean big trouble. One way around such an eventuality would be to turn to a factoring company. Factoring companies offer financial solutions by buying your invoices off you upfront. They then chase up the client to get that money back. This could save you a world of hassle.
If you don’t want to turn to an outside company, it can help to be clear with clients. If you give no set payment date, they could take a while to get around to paying. Be clear and upfront about when you would like to receive payment. And, find a polite way to chase the matter if they miss that date.
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