What is an invoice?
There are some critical elements that we must include for an invoice to be effective. Before we dive deeper into the topic, let’s first understand what an invoice really is and what is it for.
Quite possibly, invoices are the most important document when running a business. It is a document sent from a seller to a buyer in order to receive payments. Though there are many types of invoices, the main aim of an invoice is to:
- Put together goods and services the buyer purchased or agreed to purchase
- Notify the buyer that their payment is due
- Get paid!
Invoicing well today gets you paid better tomorrow
Traditionally, invoices were made as a paper document, handwritten or typed, then sent in the post. Thankfully, email has replaced this old-fashioned system in many businesses as they’re increasingly issued electronically. Nowadays, you can even send invoices automatically through your mobile phone- this is if you have a system that allows it.
Critical Elements to Include When Sending Invoices to Customers
An invoice sent to your customer is called a Sales Invoice. Think of it as you are talking to a person, requesting for a sum of money:
“Hello, I am John from Singapore. Last week, you bought 3 items from me. Hence, the total would be SGD300 and the amount is due on Friday. You can make the payment via my bank account. Thank you”
Now let’s put that information into a document:
1. Company Logo, Name & Address:
“Hello, I am John from Singapore”
Always use a standardized template when sending invoices. Just as John will always look like John, a standardized template will help you differentiate your company from others, thus making you look professional and good-looking 😊
2. Invoice date:
The date of the invoice starts the clock ticking on the customer and gives them a sense of urgency. After all, making payments is probably the least favourite thing for a business to do.
Let your customer know that this invoice is for them. Simply add in the name and address of your customer and be sure to spell the names correctly!
4. Description of items purchased:
Either products or services, list down the items that your customer purchased or agreed to purchase. Your item names should be understandable and clear for your customers in order to avoid any confusion.
5. The Amount:
“The total would be SGD300”
This is the most important part of the invoice- the amount. This is the amount your customer will be paying you. Therefore, be sure to put in the right amount. If you’re using pen and paper or an excel sheet to put in the amount, you should consider switching to a system that minimizes human error when entering the amount.
6. The Tax Amount:
If you are registered for any sort of tax, then you can track how much you owe to the revenue.
7. Payment terms:
“the amount is due on Friday”
Inform your customers when this payment is due. If your payment term is 30 days, this means 30 days from the invoice date mentioned earlier.
8. How to pay?
“You can make the payment via bank account”
Let your customers know how they can pay you. These days, many businesses in Singapore have opted for PayNow Corporate– the easiest way to transfer funds. Take a look at how easy it is with UOB mCollect.
Critical Elements of an Effective Invoice:
After inserting all the elements mentioned above, you should have an invoice that looks like that:
Need help with invoicing?
An invoice is also a document that shows your company’s branding, by styling it in a way that follows your brand guideline. It also reflects on a business’ professionalism. Use Enterpryze to send your next invoice.