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Proforma invoices aren't used for accounts receivable or accounts payable. Instead, they are preliminary records used as a stand-in document until the business transaction details are finalized. The word pro forma is a term used in business to indicate a planned transaction or statement. So, your proforma invoice template is similar to a confirmed purchase order, and it may be legally binding on your customer who receives it depending on the circumstances.

Proforma Invoice Template
Image Credits: vertex42.com

Proforma invoices are useful for estimates that can help with bookkeeping and customs processing. Hence, a proforma invoice template should be prepared in good faith with the caveat that some figures in it are subject to change. 

Creating a proforma invoice template 

Your invoice template is your first offer to sell goods and services. So, you must not undervalue its potential and must include relevant details about a business transaction. 

1. Header in the proforma invoice template

The first part of your invoice template should identify the document as a “Proforma Invoice.” Then, follow that with your business name and logo with a little emphasis on the name. You should also include contact information in your proforma invoice template to ensure clients can reach you when there is a need. At least, the information in the section should include your mailing address, email address, phone number, contact address, and website. 

2. Buyer’s contact information in the proforma invoice template

Include the client's contact information like name, email address, contact address, phone number, and website.

3. Invoice number & dates in the proforma invoice template

Generate a unique invoice number to reference the proforma invoice template and include the date you created the document. An invoice number could be #006001, while the next could read #006002. Just ensure it is a set of numbers with a unique sequence that you can work with when sending new invoices. 

4. Shipment information & details in the proforma invoice template

You need to mention the reason for shipping the items in the document. Say it if they are for sale, repair, sample. Also, they may be gift items or due for return after repair; ensure you capture the details and include the medium of shipment (air, train, car, etc).

Proforma Invoice Template Sample
Image Credits: opendocs.com

5. Itemize items plus charges in the proforma invoice template

You need to give a breakdown of items and their charges in this section of your proforma invoice template. It will help if you are specific as much as possible because the majority of rejected invoices have reasons associated wit buyers not getting full information about shipments. The following will help clarify the items in the invoice:

  • Enter each good as a line item
  • Add a brief description of each item
  • Included the smallest unit of products and include the total quantity
  • Put the unit price for each line item
  • Sum the fees and include the total amount due

6. Tax & shipping fees in your proforma invoice sample

Check tax laws before including the appropriate sales tax rates and include your shipping and handling charges. Ensure you do proper calculations to avoid covering hundreds of dollars in shipping and custom duties if exporting internationally. 

7. Footer in your proforma invoice example

Include other information such as guarantee and return policies, thank you note, among others, at the bottom of the proforma invoice template. 

Why use a proforma invoice template

Using a proforma invoice as a stand-in document for a business transaction is the correct method of providing buyers with a complete quote of goods, cost, and shipping information. See other benefits why you should use a proforma invoice template. 

  • It provides customers details of the transaction and leaves no room for surprise payments
  • It is useful for securing credits especially for international transactions
  • Proforma invoices can be used to secure custom paperwork.
  • It makes final invoice invoicing quick and easy to achieve
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