What is an Editable Invoice Template?
An editable invoice is a template that freelancers and independent contractors can use to bill clients for work they have done. Editable invoice templates allow you to customize the information they contain based on the client and project being billed.
Invoices are sent to a client after a job is complete in order to tell them the total cost of the work, when payment is due, and which payment methods the freelancer accepts.
Note: Creating an invoice from scratch is tedious. Use Bonsai’s editable invoice template for free and have yours ready in just a few clicks.
Who Should Use an Invoice Template?
Any part-time, full-time, or casual freelancer or contractor should create and send professional invoices to their clients. Invoices are used in virtually every industry, including:
- Writing and editing
- Graphic design
- Web design
- Software development
- Digital marketing and advertising
- Influencer marketing
- Social media marketing
- And many more
Essentially, if you do any kind of freelance work for clients in exchange for money, you should use invoices to request payment at the end of a project or on a recurring basis.
When to Use an Invoice Template
You should use an invoice any time you need to bill a client for work that you have done. For ongoing projects, most freelancers bill clients on a recurring basis. Whereas one-off projects are typically billed once they are finished.
Ideally, recurring invoices are sent on a consistent billing cycle. For example, weekly, biweekly, or monthly.
One-off invoices are best sent within 24-48 hours after a project has officially been completed.
You should use an invoice when:
- You’re billing a client for freelance work you’ve done
- You have ongoing work that you want to be paid for on a monthly basis
- You did a one-off project for a client and want to request payment
- You want to document your small business income for tax purposes
- You want to improve your accounting records and process by using professional invoices
What to Include in an Invoice Template
A professional invoice is made up of a variety of information that helps your clients to pay you on time and in full. Each of your invoices needs to contain:
1. Client and contractor information
You need to include basic contact information for both you and the client you are billing, such as:
- Your business name (company name) and civic address
- Your email address and phone number
- Your website
2. An invoice number
To stay organized and make tracking clients and payments easier, each invoice needs to have a unique invoice number. Depending on the invoice system you use, this number could be made up of dates, names, numbers, or a combination of all three.
For example, if you were billing Clark Kent for the first time, your invoice number could be:
- ClarkKent - 001 - 2022
It doesn’t really matter which numbering method you use as long as it stays consistent and makes sense to you. That way, you can track which invoices have been paid, which haven’t, and easily retrieve them come tax time.
3. Line items and pricing
Each invoice that you write needs to describe the service you rendered during that billing period. Typically, each line item includes a description of the service, how it is being billed (hourly or per project), and its associated cost.
- Blog writing - 10 hours @ $50/hr - $500
Pro Tip: Use Bonsai’s time tracking software to ensure that the hours worked section of your invoices is accurate and that you’re billing for the correct amount.
4. The total amount due
The total amount due isn’t just made up of the pricing described in your line items. It can also be affected by:
- Late fees or interest charges
- Expenses, like software subscriptions
Make sure that you update your invoice template for each client and project so that the total amount due reflects relevant charges and discounts.
5. A sent date and a due date
Every invoice needs a sent date and due date. Most freelancers use either net-7, net-14, or net-30 due dates, which refer to how long after an invoice is sent a client has to pay.
For example, with a net-7 invoice, a client has 7 days from the date the invoice was sent to make payment. With net-14, they have 14 days.
These dates help clients to know exactly when payment is due. And, they help you to plan your own budget since you’ll know when to expect to be paid by.
6. Payment terms
Payment terms describe how you prefer to receive payment, such as through:
- Online payments, like Bonsai Payments, bank transfers, etc.
It’s best to choose one or two common billing methods to include in your professional invoice template instead of listing every way that you accept payments.
READ MORE: How to Make an Invoice
Why Should I Use Invoices?
Using invoices templates for your freelance business comes with a variety of benefits. When used properly, invoice templates can help you to:
1. Get paid faster
Because invoices highlight important payment details like how much is due, when to make a payment, and how to send you money, they increase the chances of your clients paying you in full and on time.
Invoices make it harder for clients to get confused about the amount due or the due date since it’s clearly outlined. The easier it is for them to pay you, the more likely they are to do it in a timely manner.
READ MORE: How to Write Invoice Emails That Get Paid Fast
2. Save time
Invoice templates save you a lot of valuable time. By using a free invoice template instead of making an invoice from scratch for each client and project, you’ll have more time to focus on billable work. Especially with recurring invoices where you’ll only need to update certain information each billing cycle.
This is especially true if you use an invoice generator like Bonsai to automate the information that’s included in each of your invoices. Not only can you customize invoice templates with Bonsai, but you can also track time, send bills to clients, track expenses, and request and receive payments — all in a single platform.
3. Boost professionalism
If you want to build a legitimate freelance business, you need to start using the paperwork that goes with it. Proper invoicing makes you look like an experienced contractor instead of an amateur, helping clients to trust your business and giving you a professional edge.
4. Keep your accounting organized
Invoicing helps you to keep track of important details like:
- When you sent an invoice to a client
- How much they owe you
- When they need to pay you by
Using this information, you can plan your plan by anticipating your cash flow and determining whether a client has paid you on time or if you need to send them a reminder. Professional invoice templates also enable you to track your freelance income — which is important for tax purposes — and act as a way to document client account information if a dispute arises down the road.
Creating an Editable Invoice is Simple With Bonsai
With Bonsai, you can easily customize, create, and send invoices using our professional invoice template. Unlike with Google Docs or Microsoft Word, you can request and receive payments straight from your invoices, making it easier for your clients to pay you and getting you the cash you need faster and with less hassle.
Plus, you can add your business branding to all our templates, such as your logo and colors.
Sign-up now to create your own free invoice template.
Editable Invoice FAQs
How should I send invoices?
You can send invoices to clients in a variety of ways, but the safest way is through email or text message. Paper invoices can get lost in the mail or misplaced, making it harder to prove whether one was received or not.
Since most people have mobile devices, sending digital invoices typically means they’re received right away and your sent folder will always include confirmation that you did send an invoice if a client tries to dispute whether they got one.
What format should I send invoices in?
Whether you create your invoice template using Bonsai, Google Docs, or Microsoft Word, the best file format to deliver an invoice in is a PDF. A PDF invoice template is uneditable and maintains its formatting. This means that a client can’t adjust the due date or amount due.
Bonsai’s invoice templates allow you to create your invoice inside the app, and then send it to your client as a PDF in minutes. From there, you can use smart invoicing to automatically create your next invoice, remind your client for payment, accrue an overdue late fee and send read-receipts. Sure, you can use a word invoice template, excel invoice template or even Google sheets for your invoice creation, but with an automated solution you can get paid faster (an average of 13 days faster). No brainer.
- Creative Proposal: Use this template to pitch a creative project to a potential client.
- Creative Brief: After a client accepts your creative proposal, use this template to outline and describe the project that you will bill for in a professional invoice.
- Invoice Templates: If this invoice isn’t what you’re looking for, take a look at our other invoice templates to find one that works for you.