Top 13 items to include on your invoice

/ Posted By - Bradleys Accountants / Categories - How to articles

Invoicing is an important part of any business. Without an invoice you can’t get paid, so it is best to get it right the first time. Here are 13 important items to include in your invoice:

1. Branding

Since every document you create for your business needs to reflect your brand, make sure to include logos, colours and fonts that are consistent with the way your clients perceive your business.

2. The word ‘invoice’

To make it obvious to the recipient that the document is a request for payment, mention the word ‘Invoice’ on the document. Be sure to include it toward the top of the template.

3. Your business name, address and contact information

These details should definitely go up on your invoice as invoices can pass through several departments before you get paid. If available, also include email and web addresses. Limited companies must include the full company name as it appears on the certificate of incorporation. And if you decide to put names of your company directors, don’t forget to include the names of all directors. For sole-traders, the invoice should include:

4. Your client’s business name, address and contact information

Include your client’s name, contacts details and the name of the person who placed the order. It’s a common mistake to address invoices to the wrong person as this is known to delay payments.

5. A unique identification number

Also known as invoice number, bill number or reference number this is a running serial number that you must maintain for the work you’ve carried out. You can only have one number per invoice – 2 invoices should never have the same number. Using unique invoice numbers for payments will also make it easy to reconcile your accounts later.

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    6. Invoice due date

    Make sure the date you need the payment by is very clear on the invoice.

    7. Clear description of what you’re charging for

    Make sure to include thorough descriptions of the items/services your clients bought and the date the order was placed.

    8. Customer Purchase Order Number

    If your client uses a Purchase Order Management system and issues you a PO number, include that in your invoice so that they know which Purchase Order the invoice relates to.

    9. Discounts

    If you’ve agreed to any discounts with your client, these should clearly be stated on your invoice.

    10. Details of cost

    Include a column in your invoice which shows details of cost like:

    11. Total amount for each product/service with an overall total at the bottom

    Stating your invoice payment terms (T&C’s) consistently on your invoices ensure the client is aware of the key requirements. Be clear about timeframes, acceptable payment methods, what you are going to charge up-front, and costs associated with late payments. Penalties for late payment can range from a small fine to interest for all late payments. If you want more information on this subject you’ll probably like to read our tips on how to deal with the pain of late payments.

    12. Accepted methods of payments

    To make it easy for your clients to pay you, mention your payment methods. If you want to receive direct payments from online baking or BACS, including your bank account details. This should include bank, account name, account number and sort code.

    13. VAT registration number

    For VAT registered businesses HMRC has created specific rules for invoicing, so make sure to include the following on your invoice:

    For each different type of item listed on the invoice include the following:

    For VAT invoices that include zero-rated or exempt goods and services you must:

    For more information please have a look at Gov.uk’s guide on VAT invoicing.

    Being a small or medium business owner or a freelancer means you are always short of time. But creating a proper template from the start ensures that other commitments and disruptions don’t come in your way when it is time for you to get paid.

    "By using both functional and expressive voices, we'll create more space for brand relevance, connection and joy."

    The guideline adds, “When we have the space, we tell a passionate coffee story. But even with just a few words, our copy can make you smile.”

    Similarly, Starbucks recently rebranded its logo to the simple Siren logo without the “Starbucks Coffee” wordmark wrapped around it. The company notes, “The preferred approach is to use the Siren logo by itself, unlocked from the wordmark. This allows flexibility to present the Siren with greater prominence while maintaining a considered, open and modern presentation.”

    Ultimately, this most recent Starbucks rebrand is simple and effective. Rather than moving too far in the opposite direction of the brand’s roots, the company sticks to its fundamental company vision while making slight alterations to continue serving the needs and preferences of its consumers.

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