Printing an Invoice: Step by Step Instruction
To print an invoice, first open the program containing the invoice so you can see it fully on your screen. Then select “File” from the upper menu bar, then “Print” from the drop- down menu. You will then be taken to the print screen, where you can choose how many copies you want. Then select “print”.
The printing process is the same whether you are using an Apple computer (also known as a Macintosh or “Mac”) or a PC.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
How Do You Email an Invoice?
To email your invoice, save it to your desktop (the “desktop” is the first screen you see when you log in to your computer, the one with all the program icons, files and wastebasket).
Here is the step by step on how to email that invoice:
- Double-click on your email program, to open it.
- Select “New Email” (or on a Macintosh, “New Message”). A blank email template will appear.
- In the “To” line, put in the email address of the person you wish to send the email to.
- In the subject line, write your name or company name, plus the invoice number. For instance, “Jack Mason, Invoice #4723”.
- In the body of the email, let your client know that you are attaching an invoice. It is also a good practice to include the invoice number here too. For instance, “Hi Tom, please find attached my invoice (Invoice #4723) for last week’s project. Have a good weekend.”
- To attach the email, look for “Attach File” in the email’s menu bar, it will be the one with the paperclip icon. Click on it.
- Click on “Browse this PC” and then “Desktop” (on a Macintosh, you might see the “Desktop” folder immediately).
- Double-click on your file.
- Your email box will now reappear:
– On your PC (in Outlook), you will see a new “Attached” section under “Subject”, with a little icon. That icon will show you the type of file you’ve attached (for instance, a PDF) and the name of the file.
– On a Macintosh, you will see the file at the bottom of your email.
- In the top menu, towards the left, select “Send”.
- You have now sent your invoice.
How Do You Create a PDF of an Invoice?
PDF stands for “Portable Document Format”. Converting your invoice to a PDF makes it very difficult for the recipient to adjust it. Typically, if changes are needed, the client will need you to adjust the original file, then resave as a PDF, and resend it again.
To create a PDF of an invoice on a PC:
- Select “File” from the upper menu bar.
- Select “Save” from the drop-down menu that will appear.
- Click on the “Save As” and select “This PC”
- A new screen will pop up. Under the “Save as type” drop-down menu, select “PDF”.
- Click on “Save”.
On a Macintosh computer, the process is a little different:
- Go to “File”.
- Select “Print” from the drop-down menu, as if you are going to print the invoice. A print box will come up.
- Select the little “PDF” icon and another drop-down menu will appear.
- Select “Save as PDF” and you will return to the print screen.
- Click on “Save”.
How Do You Create an Invoice?
There are a number of ways to create an invoice for your business. You can simply create one yourself in Word, or Excel. There are also a number of free templates online.
An invoice should include the following information:
- An invoice number
- Vendor contact name, company name, address, phone number, email
- Client contact name, company name, address, phone number, email
- Purchase order number (see below)
- Description of products or services being charged for, including prices and quantities
- Date products were delivered or services were provided
- Grand total
- Payment terms (when payment is due)
- Late fees warning
- Payment options
Not every sales or service a vendor provides will have a client purchase order assigned to it, but if yours did, it’s a best practice to include that number here. Including it will tell the client’s accounting department that the product or service you provided was already pre-approved by their management. For more on purchase orders, consult our article “How Purchase Orders Work”.
There are certain problems with manually creating and sending out invoices. Often a vendor will use an existing invoice and update the information to create a new one. Sometimes certain information is not updated, like the invoice number, or the description of the services provided. These are simple mistakes, but confusing for a client. It can delay payment until these details are sorted out.
You should never use the same invoice number twice. Some customers will not pay an invoice if it has the same number as a previous number, even if the description and date are different. Most accounting departments just don’t have the time to sort these types of problems out, so often the company policy is to cancel the most recent invoice.
Another option for creating an invoice is to use an accounting software solution, like FreshBooks. These online accounting programs provide some helpful features, such as:
- Providing an invoice template (so you do not need to create one).
- Generating a unique invoice number for every invoice.
- Calculating the tax for you.
- Providing printing or email functions directly through the software.
- Keeping track of your expenses and receipts.
- Providing a database to house your client information (this means you only have to enter contact and address information once).
These types of programs also come with app versions so you can reference your accounting information on your mobile device, at any time.