15250 Ventura Boulevard Penthouse 1220, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Invoicing

In the U.S., we don’t like to talk about money directly, even in many business situations.

For example, when a customer owes money for a product or service, the debtor doesn’t normally say outright, “You owe me x-amount of money.” That could be perceived as being rude or forward.

Instead, we ask for money by sending an e-mail or letter that says, “Enclosed is the invoice for your recent order,” and include their invoice in a separate page or attachment. This way, the customer clearly sees what they are paying for and has an official record for their own bookkeeping.

Officially, an invoice is defined as an itemized statement of goods or services with the pricing and terms of the sale; unofficially, it is the polite way to ask for money.

Good invoicing is essential for businesses that want to be paid for their work.

In fact, most customers will only pay after they’ve received an invoice. It’s the way most Americans expect the process to work. A customer will usually expect an invoice even when they’ve already paid up.

Invoices vary by company and business type.

They can be as basic as a handwritten scrap of paper or as high-tech as a polished electronic document from specialized software.

All companies should setup a customized template to keep invoices consistent and professional.

Most accounting programs, including our beloved QuickBooks Online, make customizing invoices easy.

Sherman Oaks Accounting & Bookkeeping powered by One Source Services can help!

Typically, an invoice should include:

+ The word “Invoice” printed at the top so the receiver knows what it is.

 + A unique invoice number. The best method is to start with a number for the first invoice issued and then work up from there. Some businesses choose to include classifying information in invoice numbers to identify the date it was issued or the associated customer.

 + The date the invoice was sent.

+ Either the date the order was received or the date it was delivered.

 + The date the payment is due and details about term discounts or late payment fees to encourage prompt payment.

 + Seller contact information including name, address, phone number, and e-mail.

 + Buyer contact information including at least a business name, a contact person, and an address.

 + Details of the purchase such as the specific items or services bought, quantities, a description and price for each, and whether they were taxable or non-taxable. This is where you would list your hourly rate, if applicable, and how many hours the customer was charged for. Or, how much each delivered component cost to complete the project.

 + The total amount due should be prominently displayed, usually at the bottom.

 + Payment remittance details including what types of payments are acceptable (PayPal, credit card, check made out to…).

Creating professional looking invoices takes time and practice.

Accurately filling them out with all of the information, in a timely manner, is important if you want to be paid correctly and on time.

Sherman Oaks Accounting & Bookkeeping powered by One Source Services can help!

We can create a personalized invoice with all of the above information, additional custom fields, and more.

Want your company logo on top? We can do that.

Have a special message for your customers? We can do that, too.

Relieve the headache of tracking sent invoices and applying incoming payments.

Our specialists will keep a close eye on your Accounts Receivable Aging and respectfully remind customers when payments are overdue.

After all, your invoice represents your business’s brand.