An invoice is a dated commercial document that is used to record transactions between a buyer and a seller of goods and services with an itemized list of all the works carried out. A filmmaking invoice template normally specifies the terms of the deal and gives information on the available methods of payment, especially when bought on credit. Invoices are a crucial part of internal controls and audits as well as accounting in all types of business.
Why does a filmmaker need an invoice template?
Although the video production business is a very creative and expressive industry, there is still a need to ensure all of the administrative procedures are in place.
Most video producers would rather spend their time on set than creating a boring video production invoice, however, there is a way to save time by creating a template that is replicable for most clients so all you have to do is print off the video production invoice template, fill it in then send it off. Below we will look at the different options for creating invoice templates:
Free invoice template
It is possible to create your own simple version of an invoice template using basic programs such as Google docs, Google sheets, or Microsoft excel. This is the most cost-effective way to do it, however, when creating this yourself without any expertise it can often turn out looking tacky and unprofessional for your business brand
Professional invoicing software
If you want your business to stand out it is worth investing in software that is designed to help create professional invoices. The tools you get while using this type of professional software will help create custom invoices to suit
Note: If you want your business to stand out from its competitors, Bonsai is the leading professional software in invoice creation and its tools can help anyone create and send professional invoices at ease. Try an invoice template for free here.
What should be in a filmmaking invoice template?
It is important to include all of the necessary details in the invoice you are sending out. As there is a lot going on in the film industry, it is important you capture all of the activity and enter it into your invoice template to ensure you get paid accurately for the works you have carried out. Here is a list of the things that should be included:
- A unique invoice number - Each invoice must have its own unique invoice number along with the date.
- Your company's details - (production company name, email, and mailing address, phone number, company logo).
- The client's information - contact details such as an address, email, and phone number.
- Service list provided - This is one of the most important parts as it captures all of the activity from the film crew, production assistant, video producers, camera operator, film production, and video editing.
- Total cost for completing the work carried out - Each activity must be charged appropriately and the hourly rate for all crew members added.
- Gross subtotal - (before adding service fees, discounts, and taxes)
- The total net amount owed - (total price with taxes)
- The due date for the requested payment
As a filmmaker, your work will vary a lot depending on if you are working for a small business doing a short film or working on large productions. It is worth keeping a note of the different film services you provide with different costs for film crews, camera operators, etc. Having this information stored in a document will help you access the prices for different services to simply enter quickly into your invoice, to help get paid faster.
Details to include
When writing out your invoice it is important to document everything in as much detail as possible, this is why having an invoice template is so important as it frees up the time you would have spent creating one to focus more on the details to input. Here are some of the details to include in your filmmaking invoice:
- Try to write in as much detail about the works carried out - As there is so much going on in the film production industry it is important you write down all of the services provided and all of works carried out by each member of the team and ensure the entire film crew and production staff are included.
- All works monetized - it is important you included the correct rates for each service provided and the hourly rate for each crew member. Having the wrong rates could lead to the client querying the invoice while the correct rates will help you get paid promptly.
- Other expenses - make sure to include all miscellaneous costs that may not be obvious at first such as transaction costs or sales tax.
- Payment terms - provide all the necessary payment terms and conditions as well as adding as many payment options as possible.
- Double-Check the Invoice - Handing an invoice in with mistakes will reflect very badly on your business. Give the document a second glance to check everything is as it should be.
- Making copies and submitting the invoice - having copies of every invoice will help keep a clear record of all the works carried out. This will help you analyze in the future and make your tax return a lot easier. When handing over the invoice find out from the client if they would prefer a digital/physical copy or both.
Choosing your Filmmaking invoice template
Creating an invoice template might not be on the top of the list for filmmakers, but it is a task that must be carried out in order to get paid for the work they do.
Using software like the one Bonsai offers can make this task very quick and easy, as well as making your company look professional in the process. all you need to do is fill in your specific information relative to your filmmaking business, enter your companies details and logos, design it to best suit you and save it for future use.
Bonsai also offers other services to help run your business smoothly such as its automated payment reminders, late fees, and view notifications.