How to Make an Invoice by Marymenti


									How to Make an Invoice
If you do any sort of freelance work — whether you are just getting started on your own
or simply doing a few jobs on the side — you will eventually need to ask clients for
money. Invoicing is essential for freelancers. If you don’t invoice, you don’t get paid! In
this how-to, we will discuss the key features of a good invoice, and provide a sample
template for you to download.
Key Features of an Invoice
There are a number of key features I suggest you include in your invoices. Getting paid as
quickly as possible means not leaving any room for confusion on the part of the client.
Your invoice should get straight to the point, and leave no room for interpretation.
Your very first order of business is to ensure the recipient knows exactly what kind of
document they are looking at. Most people do this by slapping the word “INVOICE” at
the top of the document in a font so large it simply cannot be overlooked.
Date & Invoice Number
Next, include the date and a unique invoice number. The date lets you and the client
know exactly when the invoice was sent — a handy reference if your payment is delayed.
A unique invoice number allows you to specifically reference the document in your
records, and in communications with your client.
Microsoft Word has an autotext feature that lets you place a date field in a document.
This date field is then updated with today’s date each time the document is opened. Make
sure you do not include this autotext field in any invoices that are digitally transfered (e-
mail, etc…) to a client. It doesn’t matter that your invoice is six weeks old if the
accounting department sees today’s date every time they look at the file.
The Sender
Include your (or your company’s) name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, and
fax number. Should problems arise, there should be no question about how to get in touch
with you.
The Recipient
Include the name and address of the person or organization who is being billed. You may
also include telephone and e-mail contact information here.
Job Description
I like to include a short job description in each invoice - a blanket statement describing
the assignment encompassed by the invoice’s line items. The accounting department may
not be familiar with “web development services”, “php programming”, and “graphic
design”, but a short description that reads “Design and develop web site for Acme
Company’s Annual Campaign” should answer any of their questions.
Line Items
Now for the meat and potatoes. List each separate item for which the client is being
billed. A typical invoice contains a quantity, description, unit price, and line total on each
line. The line total is the unit price multiplied by the quantity

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