A business invoice, being a document that outlines a transaction between commercial parties is pretty important, and businesses send them in many different ways. Whether you’re sending via email, fax or post (still the most popular way of invoicing) your business invoices needs to be prepared in a way to ensure that you get payment as early as possible from the buyer. It is essential that the document is prepared perfectly and that all the necessary information according to the set requirements is included. Every invoice should be clearly marked at the top with the word “invoice” so that the recipient can recognise that it is a request for payment. This is to limit confusion with a receipt or other documents and make it clear that you need to be paid.
Details That Should Be Included On an Invoice
Name and Address
The registered name of the company sending the business invoice and the address should be indicated. It is also helpful to add other contact details such as the phone number and emails. This will ease the speed of communication if there is a query. A registered business address and number should be included especially on limited company invoices. The name and address of business that will receive the invoice are also included. The details should be detailed to ensure that the right person receives and can process the invoice quickly. If purchasing business stationary, make sure you can fit the details you want to. Some invoices can be downloaded for you to customise which will allow you to change any information you like.
Like other important document, a unique reference number is necessary. This helps in keeping track of payments and making certain that the records are clear. Different techniques are used in creating good sequences so as to avoid inadvertent duplication. Use of both numbers and letters is the best way to reference business invoices especially if the number of transactions your business processes is high.
This includes the date of transaction on which the goods or services were delivered. It may be indicated as the supply date for clarity especially on VAT invoices. The date on which the invoice is raised is also necessary. You must also include the date the invoice is due, to avoid any kind of misinterpretation.
Details of the Transaction:
There must be a clear description of the goods or services that your business is charging for. The list should be unambiguous with each item outlined and the quantity indicated as relevant for products or services. If the document is not precise in this respect, the client is likely to contact you for clarification, which will lead to a delay in the delivery of payments.
Beside the list of the goods or services, the cost of each item should be given. The cumulative amount for the whole transaction should be indicated as well as the discount that may have been agreed upon before delivery of the goods.
These are terms that are included usually in relation to the period within which the payment must be made. This is an obligation that must be honoured by the buyer. It is wise, as previously mentioned to put the terms and due date on the invoice so as to avoid any misinterpretation, especially where terms such as 30 days or 60 days are used. Many companies assume this is 30 days from the end of the month the invoice is issued in, and this can cause problems.
How to Pay
The method of payment is added in order to complete the transaction. The business may accept different methods according to the set policy such as cheques or direct payments. The particulars pertaining to each method, including account details or payee name should also be outlined.
If the seller and buyer are VAT registered businesses, VAT invoices must be used.
Ensure that all these details are presented in a clear format so that they will be understood easily and you’ll be sure to have fewer problems obtaining payments from your clients, which is something every business appreciates.