If you run a small business, you still need to create and send invoices to customers as a way of requesting payment officially. But you don't want to spend so much time fussing with confusing or complicating invoicing software solutions. After all, your goal is to be able to provide quality service to clients and get paid for your services promptly.
So, a simple invoice template would help instead of thinking about expensive invoicing software or hiring an accountant to handle your invoicing. Luckily, there is a better and simple alternative, and that is creating your invoice template using online solutions like Bonsai. You can use these invoicing systems to create a simple invoice template and send it to your clients within a few minutes.
Using invoices to request payment from your clients has several obvious benefits. Some studies have shown that many businesses take at least 28 days to clear payment for goods or services received. You can always make use of your simple invoice template to discreetly get your payment from a client by drafting and sending the bill as soon as possible. Do you have issues drafting a professional template?or you are caught in the web of having lots of unpaid invoices?
See the next section of this article to create invoices that produce results.
1. Creating your simple invoice template - what you must know
Invoices document the details of a transaction- the quantity of goods or services provides plus the respective cost of the items. Invoices are unique, and they cover vital information to help a customer pay for service or goods receipt.
Consider including the flowing sections and information when creating your simple invoice template.
1.1. Header section
A professional header should carry your business name or full name. You may emphasize the letting by either boldening it or making the font bigger than other sections in the document. Follow it by your logo anywhere on the top of the form.
1.2. Contact information
Include your contact address and that of your client. It makes it easy for your client to identify and accept the bill as their responsibility and also to contact you when the need arises. At the very least, this section of your simple invoice template should include a mailing address, email address, phone number, and website. Besides, you may include your social media handles like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
1.3. Date & invoicing number
Create a field to add the date you created the bill and generate an invoicing number for your customer. The number should be unique and follow a particular sequence so you can always generate a series of them for other clients. An invoice number helps in tracking a specific bill to know its status and for following up with outstanding payments.
1.4. Service details
Highlight the services you provided the client or list the goods if that is what you supplied. Put each of them on a separate line and briefly describe the goods or services.
Include the fees for each good supplied or service rendered. Remember to add your billing policy, whether a fixed rate or hourly fees common with freelancers and designers. Sum the fees and put the total on a line.
1.6. Tax elements
Include taxes in your simple invoice template if applicable and add other fees like shipping that affects the total amount. Add your discount rate and subtract the value from the initial sum. Sum the fees now after tax and discount and put the total somewhere below the document
1.7. Payment terms & condition
You want to make your payment terms clear to the customer by clarifying your preferred payment method and currency if sending the bill to an international client. Also, add your payment due date - Due 30 days Net, 45, or 60.
2. How to create a simple invoice template
As a freelancer, you would have heard of the importance of invoicing your clients. Similar to businesses, freelancers also need to implement a system for invoicing by having a simple invoice template PDF. Every business understands how essential invoicing is to the smooth running of their business, and so should freelancers.
However, unlike businesses, freelancers do not have the advantage of an entire accounts department dedicated to managing their finances. Hence, freelancers need to design and implement an invoicing system themselves. An invoicing system is not complicated. You just need to follow a fixed routine and standard practices when it comes to invoicing.
You can significantly simplify your invoicing by having a simple invoice template PDF that you use to generate every invoice. You should use an invoicing template that is fast to use and professional, since the quality of your invoice will reflect on your freelancing career.
2.1. Crucial things to include in your simple invoice template PDF
The main advantage of having a simple invoice template PDF is that you do not have to make an entire invoice every time you need to bill a client. When you start making your simple invoice template PDF, you should ensure that you have included a few elements that are necessary to make your invoice useful, effective, and professional.
Your invoice should have a unique identification number, which is basically a number attached to your invoice that is unique to it. This number will help you keep track of each of your invoices. Apart from the number, your invoice should contain your name and address, contact details, a clear description of the services you have provided, the amount to be paid, and the identity of your client.
There are several reasons why invoicing your clients is crucial. Take a look at some of the main reasons.
2.1.1. A simple invoice template creates a record
Not every client will ask you for an invoice. However, you will find many clients who specifically request an invoice. This is because having an invoice helps them keep a record of their outgoing payments. The accounts department of your client can keep track of where their money is being spent thanks to your invoice.
In case your client is a company, especially a large company, they may not be able to process your payment without an invoice. A company will need an invoice as proof of service before they can justify an outgoing expenditure on paper.
You should always keep a copy of any invoice that you generate and send to your clients. This helps you keep a record of your business as well. You can find out how much money is due to you by checking your unpaid invoices. You can also keep track of how much business has been done, by checking the invoices that have been generated.
2.1.2. Simple invoice templates are required for tax purposes
People need to be aware of the income tax laws that are relevant for their jurisdiction if they have an income. This is true for freelancers who earn money through their freelancing business as well. You will need to declare your income to the income tax authorities when you are filing your income tax returns.
In the event you get audited, the income tax officials will need to ascertain your actual level of income. To do so, the income tax officials will ask for copies of the invoices that have been generated. Hence, you should always keep the copies of all your invoices at least for a few years, so that you can comply with the requirements under income tax law.
2.1.3. Simple invoice templates help you get paid
Freelancers, like any other service provider, need to get paid for their services. However, freelancers report having a hard time trying to get paid on time. Getting paid on time may not always be in your control, but you can try to speed up the process by invoicing your client as soon as the work you are doing for them is over.
Clients will find it easier to process your payment if they have an invoice they can rely on. You should be proactive in this regard and not wait for the client to ask you for an invoice.
3. How to create a simple invoice template Google Docs
An invoice is a document that records the goods or services a supplier provides to a customer. Invoicing is an important part of a business because it has to do with the finances. Hence, it would be best if you chose an effective invoice solution to bill your client and appear professional doing so.
Among the numerous billing solutions, the Google docs package is one of the few that operates as a cloud app. You can create a simple invoice template Google Docs to request payment from your clients effectively.
Invoices are important for keeping financial transaction records and providing quality customer service to a happy client. While business tycoons and big companies may adopt invoicing software packages, small businesses and independent consultants can make use of simple templates. In doing so, they save time and money while clearly communicating their service fees to clients.
Google Docs invoicing meet this need. You can start creating and using a simple invoice template Google Docs once you have a Google Drive account. Or start by creating a Gmail account; it incorporates Google Drive and other applications.
Google Docs is a web-based application. You don’t need to download any software to access it. Log in to your Google drive, select a sample, and start customizing.
You create, save, and share your simple invoice template Google Docs via cloud storage. The application also permits you to save the invoice file on your computer for local access and tax record keeping. You can also save the document in a different format and send it to your client at will.
3.1. How to customize a invoice template in Google Docs
- Log in to your Google Drive and choose the template you want. Select the blank document if you want to design from the scratch
- Create a field to add your personal information-business name, contact address, email address, and phone contact. Also, create a field to provide the same information for your client.
- Add a table with the appropriate number of rows and columns if you need to list your services. Briefly describe your service with just enough information to make the client understand you are billing for the service you rendered. One good thing with simple invoice template Google Docs is intuitiveness and ease of customization.
- Include in your table the rate for each service you’ve provided. There’s no need to outline fees against service if you charge a flat rate for your service. Create a space to sum fees if you have several of them and include the tax field if applicable to your service.
- Include a field to state your terms and conditions. Terms and conditions may include retainer fee rate, payment method and currency, and payment window. Some users may add discount fees for early response plus a penalty for late payment to prevent unwarranted delays.
- The bottom part of simple invoice template Google Docs may involve an optional note. Information in this section may include a call to action, and a thank you message, or any other information you've not captured in the above sections.
3.2. Benefits of using invoice templates for Google Docs
If you have chosen the Google Docs solution, you are sure of effective billing with simple invoice template Google Docs. See the perks of invoicing with Google docs:
- Invoice clients with ready-to-use templates
- Save time in invoicing
- Create a professional template
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Easy to customize with a well-designed layout
- Real-time storage and easy retrieval
- Versatile with business applications.
- Easy tracking and monitoring incoming cash
- Good for keeping clients record and details of work
4. How to create a simple invoice template Excel
When you’re freelancing, managing your business finances can be a job in itself unless you take action to simplify matters. Thankfully, if you have Microsoft Excel, you don’t need to spend much time or money to take control of matters. With a simple invoice template, Excel can do everything you need.
In this article, we'll show you how to create a simple invoice template in Excel so that you can bill your clients with ease.
4.1. Reasons to create a simple invoice template in Excel
Self-employed people, like freelance writers or marketing consultants, send invoices to their clients to notify them when payment is due. A typical invoice will comprise details about the services provided, the agreed costs, and the payment due date.
There are several benefits of making a simple invoice template in Excel, such as:
- It makes your business look more professional.
- You can personalize documents for each client.
- It improves your bookkeeping, as you can record sales transactions and organize client payments.
- You can keep track of payment due dates and manage outstanding debts.
- You will have more accurate records for future tax returns.
- Excel includes formula features, so it’s easy to calculate costs, especially where discounts and currency conversions are needed.
When you work as a freelancer, a simple invoice template in Excel is much cheaper than a premium product like Xero, and the ability to use formulae gives Excel an edge on Microsoft Word.
Let's dive into the 7 steps you can follow to create a simple invoice template in Excel. So, it’s time we showed you how to make Excel work for you. Follow the seven steps below to create a simple invoice template in Excel:
4.1.1. Choose your simple invoice template
Open Microsoft Excel, then make sure you are connected to the internet. Perform a search for “invoices” using the search bar at the top. Look through the invoice templates to find one closely aligned with your brand and style.
4.1.2. Add your business information to the simple invoice template
After picking a template, customize your invoice by adding your business name and contact information. Another good idea is to include your business logo, which adds some creative or visual flair to your invoices.
4.1.3. Add details for your freelance client to the simple invoice template
On each invoice, you must include the client's name, their business, and contact details. You can save some time with future invoices by saving multiple templates -- one with the details of each freelance client.
4.1.4. Include the date and a unique invoice number
Remember to include a unique invoice number every time. Doing this will keep your financial records organized. Furthermore, you should also include the invoice date and the date that payment is due.
4.1.5. List your deliverables and prices in the simple invoice template
Next is arguably the most critical part of your simple invoice template in Excel! Include a breakdown of all the services you provided, with the details of each, and the price. Calculate the total cost for the invoice, and make sure it is clearly stated at the bottom.
4.1.6. State your payment terms in the simple invoice template
Some freelance clients pay more often than others. Some pay via wire transfer, others prefer PayPal. Include your payment terms on the invoice to remind clients how you prefer to be paid.
4.1.7. Save and send the simple invoice template
After confirming all the details are correct, save the invoice as a .xlxs format document, which enables you to edit later if required. You can convert the Excel invoice to a PDF, and send it to your client via email or direct mail.
4.2. A simple invoice template in Excel helps you get paid
At some stage in their career, almost every freelancer will struggle to get paid on time. Rather than wasting time chasing clients for payment, you can put your best foot forward with professional invoices that command respect. Use Excel to make invoicing quick and easy, so you’ll always have a clear overview of your business finances.
5. How to create a simple invoice template Word
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to invoice clients, a simple invoice template in Word can serve your needs.
Freelancers need to invoice clients at the end of every project, or milestone, to ensure payment is issued quickly. Administrative tasks like invoicing can take up a lot of time, unless you find ways to expedite these tasks.
Luckily there are tools available to help you, like a simple invoice template for Word that will expedite the payment process.
You can look to a freelance service to provide you with invoices, or you can prepare your own. Let’s look at the 5 steps to consider in creating a simple invoice template in Word.
5.1. Why would you make a simple invoice template in Word?
Word offers a lot of different templates, including a variety of invoice templates. For instance, there are sales or service templates, statement of work templates, and standard templates.
The wide variety means you can get started with an invoice and then customize to suit your needs. You can add your logo, business information and more.
Then, save the invoice and populate it with the relevant information for each client when needed. Send those invoices by email as an attachment, or print the invoice and mail a physical copy.
This could be a better option than some free online invoice generators that don’t allow non-subscribers to save invoices for repeated use.
5.2. Making a simple invoice template in Word
You can make your own simple invoice in Word. Here’s how.
In Word, open a blank document and save it with a name you will remember, such as “invoice template.”
One of the easiest ways to populate the document into a format that’s effective for invoices is by inserting a table. You can then select the number of columns and rows, and use that as a way to document the work performed and the money owing for each task.
Think about how you charge for work performed before building the table. If you charge by the hour, you probably want 3 columns in each row. At the top, the columns can have the following headings: number of hours, cost per hour, and total.
Or perhaps you charge for each portion of work completed. Your heading could be: work performed, cost, and total.
At the bottom of the table will be cells for total, any taxes, grand total, and a line for late payment if you have to re-issue an invoice after the payment due date. You can manually adjust the size of cells to suit your needs.
5.3. Make an invoice using the simple invoice template feature
Building your own invoice from scratch allows you to customize the look. But you can also choose one of the existing templates in Word. To do that, download it to your computer and insert the information you want. You may have the ability to do it right from your computer, or you can get a subscription to use the online invoice maker.
Follow these steps to find an invoice:
- With Word open, click on FILE - NEW.
- Enter INVOICE into the search field, and templates will appear. Depending on whether you’re using the online service or the software on your computer, you will find basic ones or you can choose MORE TEMPLATES.
- Double click on the template you want to use. If you’re working online, you can either edit online or download the template.
Now that you have the invoice template you want, follow these steps to create your invoice:
- Add your business details.
- Insert a logo into the relevant section, where it says YOUR LOGO HERE. You can insert it from your hard drive.
- Insert customer information.
- Insert work performed and price for each section of work. Add the total, any relevant taxes, expenses or other fees, and the grand total.
- Include two dates: the invoice date and the payment due date.
- Delete any sections you won’t be using, such as the logo field or company slogan section.
5.4. Save your invoice template as a Word document
The final step before sending your invoice is to save it Word format, which accomplishes two things: it prevents any changes to the document, and it makes it easy to email, as it’s a small file size.
It also makes it easy for clients to open and view it or print it. This is a simple step. Simply go into SAVE AS and choose Word from the SAVE AS TYPE section.
You can then print it and mail it, or email it to the client.
5.5. Why you wouldn’t use Word to create a simple invoice template
Some freelancers opt to use a service to create invoices, for a few reasons. By using Word, you have to do the work of saving the document and either emailing or mailing the invoice.
Some services allow a freelancer to create an electronic invoice and send it immediately through the service. Some freelance services also connect the invoices with the original contract, with time tracking, and more.
And, there are those that provide payment options, making it easy for clients to make immediate payment. Some services alert you when an invoice has been viewed, and remind you when payment is overdue, so you can follow up with the client.
By making invoices yourself using Word, you’ll have to input the information manually, including any time tracking, for instance, and ensure it aligns with the original contract or proposal. You can’t use formulas in Word, so you’ll have to do the math on your own. And, clients will have to make payments manually.
However, it’s still a great option to use a simple invoice template in Word, particularly when you are just starting your business, if you have only a few clients and your invoices tend to be the same, or if you send only a few invoices every year.
You should make a simple invoice template PDF today so that you can start billing your clients properly and take your freelancing business to the next level. Having an invoice template makes invoicing your clients faster and easier.