A gig just dropped on your desk as an independent truck driver, and you are excited about it. A client of yours has requested that you prepare a trucking invoice to be delivered to their client. With the intent to deliver on the job, you are ready to check out for some trucking invoice templates online quickly.
You intend to study and modify any of them to suit your client’s prescription. However, just before you begin to prepare this invoice, let's take a stroll down to see vital information that will aid you in delivering a top-notched document.
For starters, you will need to bear in mind that with every successful transaction negotiation comes the issue of billing and payment. Services providers always seek means to communicate the actual cost of services provided to the client and subsequently receive payments. The story is not different for those in the transportation industry -which your present client operates. This means that trucking companies, tow truck operators, and truck drivers all face the headache of billing their clients.
To overcome this seeming challenge, two options are available to them: hire an accountant as a middleman or prepare a personalized trucking invoice. Obviously, your client chooses the latter option, and rather than do it personally, decided to outsource it to a freelancer -which explains why you are on this project.
So, you must understand that whether your client's transport services go across the city, the country, or even across borders, they have a desire to give their clients a clear and organized invoice that exactly communicates what they are being charged for. With this understanding, let's begin to look at actually getting a trucking invoice prepared.
Types of trucking invoices
A clear understanding of the relationship existing between your client(s) and their clients is needful in preparing a professional invoice. Preparing the right invoice type for a client makes a world of difference. So, ensure you select a trucking invoice type that fits the relationship between these two parties.
Below in no particular order are some types of trucking invoices:
- Standard Invoice: A straightforward invoice detailing how much the client is expected to pay the service provider.
- Recurring Invoice: It is used in accepting ongoing payments from clients. You could choose this type of invoice if your client wishes to collect payments for any weekly services.
- Prepayment Invoice: If a deposit is going to be made or down payment given before the actual service is rendered, then a prepayment Invoice should be prepared.
- Debit Invoice: This type of invoice is used to communicate an increase in the amount that a customer owes your client, stating the amount due.
What your trucking invoice should contain
Your clients will appreciate detailed and professional invoices as it helps them stay on track with their payments and gives them the reassurance of collaborating with a serious trucking company. By including the following essential elements to your trucking invoice template, you will save time while still providing professional invoices to make your billing process more efficient.
1. Company logo or letterhead in the trucking invoice template
Start by giving the invoice an official look. To make it a more personalized and professional invoice, you can include branding elements or a company logo that will help your trucking invoice stand out. Add the logo of your client or the company letterhead on the top page. Have the word "invoice" boldly written too.
2. Contact information in the trucking invoice template
Of course, the first thing you want to include in your trucking invoice template is your company's information. Dedicate a section at the top of the invoice for your trucking company name and contact information such as email, phone number as well as address.
The full name, phone number, address, and contact information of the company should be written next. Also include the name of the particular client the trucking invoice is for. The name and phone number of the client’s contact person—the person processing the payment, should be added too.
3. Invoice reference number in the trucking invoice template
It's important to include a unique invoice number to all of your trucking invoices as many accounts payable departments will not accept invoices without it. This is also good for your own accounting records. Equally, including the invoice date will help you keep track of payments, determine due dates and give your customer a sense of urgency to settle the bill.
Of course, use this section to clarify the invoice's due date, which is usually set to 30 days after the invoice is generated, however you can customize this if you have a different agreement with your customer.
Generate a reference number that will help your client track the invoice.
4. The trucking invoice sample date, and due date
The date that the customer is expected to have made the payment should be written on the invoice. This gives them a picture of the payment time frame.
5. Full description of service in the trucking invoice template
For added transparency, and to make it easier for your customers to know what they are paying you for, make sure to include all relevant details of the job that was completed. This means shipper information, consignee (shipment receiver), the name of the truck driver, truck and trip number, as well as what type of load that was transported. Especially if you are completing several trucking jobs for the same client, this will be a very appreciated addition.
This section will be an itemized list of the services provided and the cost for each. Make sure to break down the type of goods that were delivered, price per unit, quantity and the total cost. Also, include any extra charges such as hauling equipment costs, special packaging or overnight delivery fees, administrative tasks, and any custom fees you incur. Don't be afraid to add details where you need them. Your customer needs to easily understand exactly what went into the successful delivery of the goods.
Give a full description of the services provided, the exact delivery dates, and prices billed on an hourly rate, flat rate, or mileage.
6. Invoice total charge in the trucking invoice template
In the totals section of your trucking invoice template, you must always include the sub-total, taxes, and the total cost of the services provided. If you are offering a discount or applying a late fee, make the subtraction to the subtotal, and then factor in the taxes to specify the total amount due. It is important to make this section as specific as possible, as you don't want to waste time clearing out doubts that may lead to late payments.
Have the total charge for the service calculated and written clearly at a prominent place, preferably near the bottom of the invoice. Don't forget to include applicable tax, customs fees, and other special charges.
7. Payment terms and methods in the trucking invoice template
If you want to get paid on time, it's important to get the payment details section right. You want to let the customer know about all the available payment options (ACH transfer, PayPal, Checks, etc...) and all corresponding account numbers. If you are offering any incentives on your payment terms or implementing late fee penalties, make sure to include this on the invoice template as it can definitely prompt your customer to make the payment in a timely manner.
Write the company's terms regarding payment, and the methods through which these payments can be made.
8. Personalized sign off note in the trucking invoice template
Include a sign-off line at the end of the trucking invoice. It could be in the form of thanking them and hoping for a more excellent working relationship.
Use Bonsai's Free Trucking Invoice Template
If administrative tasks like invoicing are not your area of expertise, you can skip all the guesswork and use Bonsai's free trucking invoice template. We help you send professional invoices with minimum effort by providing customization options to make your trucking invoice unique.
Your trucking business deserves all your time and effort, so having an efficient invoicing process will keep the cash flow going as you focus on delivering those goods on time and in excellent conditions. Keep your clients happy, and get paid quickly.
Aside from trucking invoice templates, our all-in-one business hub offers accounting solutions, contract templates, checking accounts, and many more tools to help manage you and take your trucking business to the next level.
Stay on Top of Your Invoicing
Now that you know all the details you must include in your trucking company invoice template, let's quickly go over some final tips to make sure your invoicing process is flawless.
Once the cargo is delivered, it is essential that you invoice your client immediately. The longer you wait, the less time you'll have to clear out any doubts, making it less likely for you to receive payments on time. Additionally, try to confirm that your client has received the invoice and it's already on queue for payment.
All your clients will be happy to save some money if given the option. By having an incentive system offering discounts for early payments. This way you can also save time and money by avoiding the extra expenses of collecting an overdue payment. On the other hand, it's also a good idea to implement late payment penalties, charging a small percentage (say 5%) extra of the total bill per month.
It's very important that you follow up on late payments immediately. As soon as you identify a customer that's late, start by sending an email to notify them of the delay, and don't hesitate to give them a call if there is no answer in the next couple of days. This might be a tedious and time-consuming process if you are doing it manually, so it's always best to use an automated system.
Remember, a trucking company invoice template doesn't have to be a pain. You can use Bonsai's invoicing software to automatically create your next invoice, get read-receipts, send payment reminders and even apply late fees to overdue accounts.