What is an invoice?
An invoice is required by all businesses. This is because an invoice lists out the services or products that business supplies the customer with. An invoice also signifies the responsibility of the customer to pay for the products or services they have purchased.
Thus, an invoice (sometimes also referred to as a sales invoice) serves as evidence of the agreement between the client and the business providing the goods or services.
An invoice may be structured in different types of formats, for example, a debit note, a receipt, or a bill of sale are all considered types of invoices.
Before the onset of the digital age, invoices were typically designed on paper. Furthermore, a single invoice could have multiple sets of copies. Generally, the seller or business kept one copy, and the buyer was provided with another (for their records).
However, paper invoices were made less prevalent as online invoices became more popular with the advent of computers and the internet. Many businesses (and clients) still prefer to keep paper copies of invoices as back-up, however, many people prefer to store their financial data online to reduce paper waste and promote eco-friendly business practices.
What do invoices generally include?
Customarily, the document serving as an invoice must state it is an invoice, on the face of it. Also, most invoices (whether paper or computer-accessible) have a unique number for reference.
The invoice must also include the following:
Names: An invoice must include the names of both the seller and the buyer.
Addresses: The invoice should typically include the address of the client and the business. If the invoice is generated online (or using an accounting software), the invoice can include the email address of both the client and the business instead of the physical address.
Date: The date on which the invoice is created or generated must be mentioned. This is perhaps one of the most important elements of the invoice because the date informs the customer of exactly when payment is due.
Descriptions: The invoice should contain descriptions (quantity, etc.) of the product/service purchased.
Other: Different types of invoices will include different information. For example, invoices generated by contractors should contain information as to pricing (whether the price is charged on an hourly or daily or monthly basis).
Why should businesses and professionals look into invoice templates?
As made plain by the information mentioned above, invoices serve an important function. Also, creating an invoice shouldn’t be taken lightly because of the importance invoices play in tax calculations.
Newly launched businesses, small businesses, and independent professionals are typically overwhelmed by many other responsibilities involved in commerce, and thus, find it troublesome to spend hours figuring out the intricacies involved in invoicing.
Consequently, using accounting softwares (or open-source platforms) that provide generic invoice templates makes life easier by providing users with ready-made invoices to suit their needs.
Most popular free invoice templates have become an integral part of corporate life. It is a known fact, that the sooner you send in your invoices, the sooner you are going to be paid.
The ease of operating invoice templates is undeniable. It is supported by programs such as Microsoft Word, Adobe, and many others.
Not to mention, integrating invoice templates into your business is so simple. All one needs to do is follow a few simple steps and your invoicing needs are streamlined within a matter of minutes.
Perhaps, the greatest advantage that invoice templates offer is that it is available free of cost. A system that reduces the time required for invoicing without costing an arm and a leg is a Godsend.
As mentioned earlier, the nuances of invoicing are many. Mostly, it requires a great load of time. This very time may be used by small companies in other venues to increase profitability.
Invoice templates not only cut down on costs incurred but also help utilize time. Along with this, computer-generated invoice templates reduce the chances of human error.
Mistakes that are made in a paper invoice take a fair amount of time to rectify. This dilemma is quite easily corrected by using invoice templates.
And, even if an error is made, the time required to correct the error is minimal.
In addition to saving costs, invoice templates save space. Small businesses very often have little storage space which was mostly taken up by invoices.
Since the conception of invoice templates, all client information is saved on the cloud. Thus, no physical space is necessary. That too results in saving businesses money.
As the client information is saved in the cloud, accessibility to all client data can be done from the office, home or while traveling.
The fact that information is readily available to employees 24/7 is quite beneficial to the company, especially to those businesses that deal across borders.
Invoicing templates, also take care of problems arising when businesses deal internationally. Language concerns and currency issues are easily dealt with through invoice templates.
Furthermore, invoice templates save valuable resources such as paper and water. These resources may not be important to many but organizations that care for the environment and want to reflect a positive image about themselves, go to great lengths to cut down on the usage of paper.
For the environment-conscious, invoice templates mean efficiency with zero-damage to nature.
Most online invoicing software must adhere to the PCI Security Standards, and that spells security for those using the invoice templates. So if security is a priority for your organization, then invoicing makes far more sense to use.
Recently, online invoice software also provides customization options which means that companies can make the invoice to fit their billing needs but also their ideology. For example, a simple ‘thank you’ on the invoice reflects the appreciation of the company.
To most people, this may seem like a simple gesture, however, such minute actions mirror the company’s positive attitude towards customers.
To any small start-up, the ability to economize on resources, costs, and space can literally mean the survival of the business. Looking into new ways of sending digital invoices is a smart move. And, it only goes to show the progressive thinking of the company.
So, don’t wait and get on to using online invoice templates. And, take a step towards success by visiting https//www.freshbooks.com.