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What Is an Invoice?

An invoice is a business document that lists down all the products or services purchased by an individual or entity from a seller. It also includes all the corresponding prices or fees for each item and their contracted mode of payment.

There are two main types of invoices. Paper invoices and electronic invoices. The first one is printed on paper and, hence, are called paper invoices or receipts. While electronic invoices are made online and processed through online payment channels.

How to Create an Invoice


1. Try Out E-Invoicing

Avoid the drudgery of paper invoicing and try out e-invoicing instead. The Billentis Report 20161 estimates that e-invoicing will achieve around 10-20% annual growth from a baseline of 30 billion. Today, there are numerous invoice management software tools like Quickbooks and Zoho that can help you streamline your small business’ invoicing process. 

These invoicing software tools eliminate the guesswork and manual tracking of services rendered and their corresponding rates for you and your team. They do this with the use of built-in invoice templates that end users (you) can edit and customize depending on the type of invoice you want to make.

2. Follow an Organized Layout

A blank invoice usually just consists of tables, rows, and columns. This makes it relatively easy to make. However, if you want a useful and policy-compliant invoice form, you should start by organizing these rows and columns. Provide ample space for each invoice entry. Use clear headers and subheaders.

3. Add Branding Design Elements

Nothing adds more credibility to a business document than a well-designed logo or letterhead. If you are a freelancer, you may create your own logo. Or, you can always hire a graphic artist to create one for you.

Remember, your chosen branding design should match your company’s image or the kind of impression you wish to create for your brand. The more memorable your branding design is, the more likely will a customer or client remembers your products and/or services.

4. Think About The Envelope

If you have to send out paper invoices, one way to ensure your invoice letters are read (and paid) is by making sure that these documents get the attention they deserve from their recipients. And you can do that by using matching envelope designs.

Think about it. An invoice letter will usually get mixed up with all the other bills and letters that a customer or client receives. Get it at the forefront of a client’s attention by enclosing it on a well-designed envelope. Those with striking paper colors often get noticed first.

5. Follow Tax Invoice Regulations

In most countries and states, invoices need to include a few more components before they are eligible as taxable sources of income. Consult your local internal revenue department to know what specific information you need to include.

6. Include Payment Options

Whether you are a business owner or a freelancer, it benefits you to include different payment options on your invoices. You can easily follow a template and include this in each of your invoice documents. 

By doing this, clients can just click on a payment channel link and the payment will be forwarded to you. This promotes a smooth business transaction without the need for follow-ups.

Reference:
1 - “E-Invoicing/E-Billing International Market Overview & Forecast.” n.d. Rep. E-Invoicing/E-Billing International Market Overview & Forecast. Billentis. Accessed July 1, 2019. https://www.billentis.com/einvoicing_ebilling_market_overview_2016.pdf.
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