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How to Make a Simple Invoice and Get Paid Faster for Your Services

If you’ve just launched a new small business and you’re confused about how to start billing your clients, learning how to make a simple invoice can help you get paid for your work. Simple invoices save you time because they include just the basic accounting details you need to charge clients for your work. They’re streamlined documents that are easy to create and easy to understand.

These topics will show you how to make a simple invoice so you can get paid for your services:

How to Make a Simple Invoice

Simple Invoice Example

Free Simple Invoice Templates

Can an Invoice Be a Receipt?

How to Make a Simple Invoice

To make a simple invoice, small businesses should create a streamlined document that contains just the basic information needed to bill clients. Create your own simple invoice by following these easy steps:

Include Contact Information

The first step in creating a simple invoice is to list all the necessary contact information. Start with your company’s contact details. Add your logo if you have one and then include your name, address, phone number and email address. Then, do the same with your client’s contact information, listing the billing contact name, address, phone number and email address.

Add the Invoice Date

Every invoice you create should list the invoicing date. This will make it easier to file the invoices correctly, both for you and for your clients.

Establish a Simple Invoice Numbering System

Every invoice you send will need to have a unique invoice number assigned to it. Invoice numbers make it easier to track your invoices for bookkeeping purposes. They’re also helpful when you need to discuss a specific invoice with a client. The simplest method of assigning invoice numbers is to just number them sequentially. The first invoice you send can be Invoice #001, then Invoice #002, and so on from there.

List Your Services

A simple invoice should outline all the services you provided to the client. It’s easiest to start by creating a basic table with four columns. Each of the following pieces of information should go in a separate column:

  • A brief description of each service
  • The number of hours worked or the quantity
  • The rate of pay
  • The subtotal for each service

Include as many rows in the table as you need to list each specific service.

Add Your Payment Terms

Briefly explain your payment terms on each invoice. Outline the payment methods that you accept, which might include some combination of the following:

  • Cash
  • Checks
  • Credit card
  • Bank transfer
  • Online payments
  • Recurring payments
  • Mobile payments

Your payment terms should also explain your late fee policy, if you plan to charge clients for late payment.

Include the Amount Due and the Payment Due Date

At the bottom of the document, you should clearly state the total amount due, including any applicable taxes, along with the payment due date. Make sure the information sticks out by using a bold font or a different font color. Write out the payment deadline as a specific date, such as “Payment Due December 31, 2018” to avoid any confusion on the part of your client.

Simple Invoice Example

This sample invoice from FreshBooks shows all the basic information you should include when invoicing clients. It gives an itemized list of services provided and includes the total amount due in a bold font:

Example of a simple invoice

Free Simple Invoice Templates

If you’d rather use a premade template to help you create professional invoices, you can download one online. FreshBooks offers a free simple invoice template that includes the basic accounting information you’ll need to include on your invoices to get paid for your work. You can download the template in Word, Excel and PDF format.

Can an Invoice Be a Receipt?

An invoice serves a different purpose than a receipt. Invoices are accounting documents that request payment from a customer for goods sold or services provided. An invoice lists the good or services provided, includes the total payment due and gives the deadline for payment.

A receipt, on the other hand, is an accounting document that serves as proof of a business transaction. It acknowledges that the customer has paid for the goods or services sold. A receipt is a simple document issued by a vendor and given to the customer immediately after a sale. An invoice is sent after a vendor provides its goods or services, as a way to request payment.

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