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Accurate billing is vital when running a business. Without it, things could go out of hand, especially with the financial aspects of the operation, and that never has anything good to offer to those involved. It is also important to create a trustworthy and reliable image that customers can experience for themselves. You may also see service invoice examples.
Having even the slightest detail omitted from your billing, or the smallest information misinterpreted, can destroy the public’s good perception about you.
On the other hand, if a business practices a credible and detailed billing statement, and communicate them effectively to their customers, creating trust between them and their patrons will be made easier. This is where invoices come in. Invoices come in the form of commercial documents. They are issued by businesses to show the specifics of the transaction, while also serving as a request for payment for the products purchased and the services rendered.
Businessmen call these commercial documents sales invoice since they show the history of the sales that occurred. Customers call these purchase invoice since they show the history of their purchases.
As simple as the purpose that invoices play, they are necessary to every businessman especially as a communication tool between them and their clients, ensuring that the latter will pay their dues, and that both parties will start developing a stronger professional relationship built on common trust. There are two simple ways to ensure that your formal invoices can help you build your customers’ trust:
Since this is the most basic role of every simple invoice, to lay out the details of the transaction, it is important that you play this aspect right. Your customers will trust you if they can see that you are not trying to hide anything from them. They should be able to know exactly where their money is going to avoid any questions, doubts, and speculations that you might be up to something crafty.
Be as specific as possible (don’t worry, you won’t run out of paper) and try to list down all items one by one instead of generalizing them or categorizing them in vague terms. For example, instead of listing school material in your general invoice, enumerate all of the school-related supplies that your customers have purchased, the quantity of the materials purchased, and their price.
By doing so, they won’t have to come to you asking for information about each item they have bought since it’ll be all there in your standard invoice. It would also help if you attach receipts to support your claims, or your customers might think that you are making the bill up. There will be no room for distrust if there is complete and utter transparency. This is the strict rule to which every businessman should adhere to.
In this fast-paced, technologically advanced world, computers and gadgets are no longer difficult to purchase. In fact, they have become so common that most businesses have one at their disposal.
Assuming that you do too, it would be best to utilize that to create your blank invoices. Although there is no rule about invoices being purely computer generated, doing so would assure professionalism in your output. Try putting a handwritten invoice and a printed one side by side so that you can see the big difference.
Aside from this, computer-generated invoices can show your patrons that you are keeping up-to-date to the latest improvements in technology, and that you are using the latest tools to serve them. Also, if your invoices are in digital format, you can easily send your customers a copy through their professional emails. The wonders of the Internet are boundless and perhaps it’s time to use it to your business’s advantage.
Since you will be the one who will make your own invoice for your business, you are also in charge of choosing what details to include in it. However, here are some of the important information a thorough invoice should never exclude:
The purpose of the commercial document or details about the transaction that took place. This should be written near the top of the page.
Your name should be written in bold format at the top center of the page. It is also highly suggested that you include your company’s logo to bring credibility to the document and to give it a look of authority. You may also see proforma invoice examples.
It is always important for a business that the public knows how to reach it. The same thing goes for an invoice. Your business’s contact information will make approaching you, should they have any questions about the transaction, easier. And if they liked your services, your contact information will make it easier to refer you to a friend or to communicate with you for another transaction. You may also like travel invoice examples.
This one is for your own personal use. By placing a unique, sequential serial number on every invoice, tracking and documenting each one, especially for when the tax season comes along, will be easier and more manageable.
Issuing the appropriate date for every invoice you release is just another important part of making sure that your printable invoices are complete with the necessary details, and that your customers will not have any question regarding the transaction.
The sample invoice should also include payment terms that you and your customer should both understand and agree on. A basic example of this is “Net 30” which means that payment is due 30 days after the invoice has been sent. However, these terms may vary depending on your relationship with your customer, and with your cash flow needs, since you need to make sure that your business’s cash flow has no gaps whatsoever.
If you add the date of the invoice and the number of days for payment, you will get the due date of the transaction. By expressly showing this detail on your invoice, you are making sure that your customer knows exactly when his payment is due. You may also check out contractor invoice examples.
The complete name and contact information of the person for whom the invoice is should be stated plainly on the document.
Everything your customer needs to know about the products or the services that he has purchased must be undisguised on the invoice so that they will not wonder why their bill has amounted to whatever amount.
The description of the items, the quantity of each one, the price, and the subtotal must be clear so that they will know exactly what they are paying for. You can actually benefit from this as well since, if your customer doesn’t have any question about the transaction, they can go ahead and pay the amount instead of asking questions, delaying the process, and lengthening your time away from your money. You might be interested in catering invoice examples.
Tax is an annoying addition to the subtotal of the customer’s bill, and this is also often the root of their questions and protests. Sometimes, taxes can be complicated, so make sure that you break the process down carefully in your invoice so that your customers can understand it. You may also see purchase invoice examples.
Customers love discounts as much as you hate calculating your annual tax, so if you are offering them a discount for the transaction or for the one after it (if they come back), make sure you state it in the invoice. Your patrons will love you for it.
Most businesses overlook this section of the invoice when it actually plays a huge role. You can utilize the notes section to explain warranty or payment information, or to just simply say, “Thank you for your business.” A nice personal note to send to your loyal customers can better their impression of you and your business, and can make them come right back, ready for another transaction. You may also like rent invoice examples.
Otherwise, you will also receive a delayed payment for the transaction. If you send out an invoice one week after the purchase was made, the payment for it will be late by a week. This can affect your business’s cash flow. Plus, providing prompt invoices will create the impression that you are professional when making business. You may also see payment invoice examples.
By doing so, you can quicken the process of sending out the invoice to your customer since you have already drafted it in advance.
If the customer clearly indicates that he wants the invoice to be sent through email, be careful enough to do so. However, if you don’t have an idea of the customer’s preference, you can never go wrong with traditional post. You may also like tax invoice examples.
This should be a habit that you develop before sending every invoice to make sure that all the details are correct. Should there be even the tiniest detail gotten wrong, the customer cannot be forced to pay for the transaction, especially since the mistake was on your part. You may also check out construction invoice examples.
It is the responsibility of every good business to keep a record of their accounting material should the need arise for them. For professional invoices, along with so many other financial statements you must keep a record of, you should keep a copy of each for at least seven years. Electronic archiving may also be utilized as long as you store at least three different places for each document.
A necessary trait to practice if you are in the world of trade is to be smart with your money. Whether that means that you must be frugal, or that you maximize your resources, or that you keep a complete billing record, it will all boil down to taking care of the money you are so working hard to earn. An invoice is just another smart way to do this.