The Pro Forma Invoice Template makes it easy to invoice clients in advance of starting a project or providing services. Download the customizable template, add the details, and send invoices in a matter of minutes.
What Is a Pro Forma Invoice?
A pro forma invoice is essentially a preliminary bill of sale that you, as a business owner, would send to your customers before delivering goods or services. It outlines the products or services you're going to provide and gives an estimate of the costs involved.
While a pro forma invoice looks similar to a standard invoice, it is most often used for customs purposes on international shipments. This is because the format serves to provide a buyer with a close estimate of the amounts they'll have to pay for an upcoming project or delivery.
However, it is important to note that a pro forma invoice is not a demand for payment. Basically, think of it as a heads-up or a good-faith estimate that helps you set clear expectations with your clients about the costs associated with a project or an order.
Uses of Pro Forma Invoices
Pro forma invoices serve several purposes in business transactions, particularly in international trade. Whether you’re doing busines in the United States or Australia, Thailand or Canada, it can be beneficial to send a pro forma invoice in advance of new projects.
Here are a few distinct uses for pro forma invoices:
- Estimates: Pro forma invoices act as a quotation or estimate, providing the buyer with details about the costs of goods or services before the final sale. This helps in making purchasing decisions or budget approvals.
- Customs Documentation: In international shipping, pro forma invoices are used to declare the value of goods for customs. It facilitates the clearance process by enabling customs authorities to assess duties and taxes.
- Intent of Sale Confirmation: They confirm the intent of sale and outline the details of a transaction before it is finalized, which can be helpful in arranging payment terms or securing financing.
- Record Keeping: Pro forma invoices serve as a provisional bill for the buyer and seller to record a pending transaction and help in bookkeeping before issuing a commercial invoice.
- Inventory Management: If you’re a manufacturer or supplier, you can use a pro forma invoice to initiate production or allocate inventory for a buyer, even before the transaction is finalized.
- Financial Planning: For you, as a business owner, they provide a basis for financial planning by offering a projection of income and helping manage cash flow when recognized as potential revenue.
- Export Transactions: Pro forma invoices are essential in export transactions, as they provide a general agreement between the exporter and the buyer, which is often required before shipment or production begins.
What Industry Uses Pro Forma Invoices?
There are quite a few industries that use pro forma invoices. Here are a few examples of businesses that might use pro forma templates for invoicing:
- Construction – to estimate labor costs, travel, and materials
- Contracting – to provide an Intent of Sale confirmation between the contractor and the client
- Freelancing – to clearly outline the work to be delivered, hourly rates or project costs, and total amount to be billed
- Consulting – to provide an estimate for project-based or ongoing consulting services, whether to individuals or commercial entities
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Benefits of Using Pro Forma Invoice Templates
Creating detailed pro forma invoice can feel like a bit of a chore, especially if you don’t have accounting experience. Afterall, there are many important factors to consider when it comes to international clients, exchange rates, taxes, and the like. The Pro Forma Invoice Template helps take the guesswork out of pro forma invoicing by providing a ready-to-use framework for all the important details.
Creating your own pro forma invoices from scratch takes time and can open the door to manual errors. With the Pro Forma Invoice Template, you can rest easy knowing that you have completed all of the fields that are most important for your invoicing, and that you’re using a forma that aligns with accounting best practices.
Save time (and money) on your invoicing with the Pro Forma Invoice Template. Our free, downloadable template:
- is designed for international trade
- serves as a preliminary document before a final bill
- outlines expected costs, labor, and/or materials
- does not serve as a demand for payment
- can be converted to a commercial invoice
- is often used for customs purposes
- provides a detailed breakdown of goods or services
- is available in various formats (e.g., PDF, Word, Excel)
- may include terms of sale and delivery details
- is subject to modifications based on negotiations with clients
- is often accompanied by terms and conditions
- can be digitally generated or manually filled out
- is typically sent before the final invoice
- requires simple customization before use
- acts as a commitment to goods or services at specified prices
- may be used for obtaining import licenses
- is distinct from a commercial invoice or estimate
Create a proforma invoice that leaves a positive impression on new clients or customers. The Proforma Invoice Template is professionally-designed with real businesses in mind, and contains all the fields you need for accurate invoicing. Simply update the fields, review the final draft, and send the invoice to your client.
Our invoice templates are completely customizable, making it easy to design an invoice that meets your business needs. You can add your company name, address, phone number, and other information to make it easy for buyers to contact you.
You can even add your own custom logo, fonts, and colors. Finally, there are a range of fields to include important details, like your customer information, estimated project completion date, product or service line items and quantities, job quotes, terms and conditions, accepted forms of payments, and more.
Ease of Conversion to Final Invoices
Sending a pro forma invoice is a good way to prepare your customers for the final invoice, clearly outlining the costs and when they need to pay. By providing this information in advance, there should be no surprises when it comes time to collect payment. You can replicate the details of the pro forma invoice to create the final invoice.
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Explore More Free Invoice Templates
If you need a different type of invoice template, you’re in luck! We have a robust library of free invoice templates you can choose from to create unique invoices for your business. You’ll find everything you need in our industry-specific templates or our fully customizable Blank Invoice Template.
Word Invoice Template
The Word Invoice Template allows businesses to easily edit and format billing details, with the familiar tools of Microsoft Word.
Google Docs Invoice Template
Love Google Docs? We do, too!! The Google Docs Invoice Template offers a collaborative and flexible way to create invoices, accessible from anywhere for businesses that rely on cloud-based solutions.
PDF Invoice Template
A PDF Invoice Template is perfect for businesses seeking a secure and professional format that ensures the invoice maintains its formatting when viewed on different platforms.
Excel Invoice Template
Utilize an Excel Invoice Template to leverage automatic calculations, data organization, and spreadsheets, streamlining your invoicing process for numerous transactions.
Freelance Invoice Template
Freelance Invoice Template caters to independent professionals, providing a customizable and straightforward format to bill your clients effectively.
Consulting Invoice Template
The Consulting Invoice Template is specifically designed for consultants, allowing you to detail your services and fees in a clear and professional manner.
Photography Invoice Template
Our Photography Invoice Template allows photographers to itemize shoots, prints, and other services, presenting the costs in a visually appealing format.
Graphic Design Invoice Template
As a graphic designer, you can showcase your creativity while billing clients using a Graphic Design Invoice Template that reflects your aesthetic and professionalism.
Construction Invoice Template
Construction Invoice Templates help provide a detailed billing solution for construction businesses, allowing you to account for materials, labor, and other project costs.
Contractor Invoice Template
The Contractor Invoice Template is tailored for contracting businesses, facilitating detailed descriptions of services and adjustable charges.
Rental Invoice Template
Rental Invoice Templates are ideal for property businesses, offering a clear breakdown of rental periods, costs, and tenant charges. They can also be used for event space rentals, equipment rentals, and more.
Itemized Bill Template
The Itemized Bill Template is crucial for businesses that require detailed billing, outlining each product or service charge for complete transparency.
Printable Invoice Template
The Printable Invoice Template is designed for businesses that prefer physical records, easily customized and ready to be printed for mailing or filing.
Professional Invoice Templates
Professional Invoice Templates are a staple for established businesses looking to maintain a consistent and reputable image through their invoicing.
Sample Invoice Template
The Sample Invoice Template provides a starting point for businesses developing their invoicing system, offering a guide for what to include and how to present invoices to clients.
How Does a Pro Forma Invoice Differ from A Standard Commercial Invoice?
A pro forma invoice is not a demand for payment, unlike the purpose of a standard commercial invoice. A pro forma invoice is essentially a “good faith” estimate of services or goods to be provided. A standard invoice serves to collect payment on services rendered, or collect a deposit in advance of the project.
Can I Customize the Pro Forma Invoice Templates to Match My Brand?
Yes! The free Pro Forma Invoice Template allows you to customize the template according to your business needs and branding. You can modify the sections, add your own text, attach relevant documents, add seller’s details and buyer’s details, include your business email address and contact information, and so much more. However, keep in mind that the templates are not 100% customizable, given that they rely on a pre-established format with recommended fields for critical details. If you want even more customization, check out the advanced invoicing features from Bonsai.
Is There an Automated Way to Convert My Pro Forma Invoice to a Final Invoice?
Yes. Many invoicing software solutions offer features to convert a pro forma invoice to a final invoice automatically. If you use software like Bonsai, you can usually generate a pro forma invoice and then convert it with a few clicks once you're ready to bill the client officially. Our tools allow you to maintain the details of the transaction, but will also allow you to modify them if the final terms have changed from the initial pro forma invoice. You can preview the new invoice, validate the final details, duplicate for future clients, and distribute your final invoice via your preferred invoicing method.