When you read the title of this article about commercial invoice template you might think why does invoice matter at all?
Ever since the advent of modern technology, making money has become a whole new ball game. There has not only been a rise in e-commerce but a general trend towards the rise of technology in conventional businesses as well.
As a seller, you must beef up and revamp your services constantly. This includes not only the product you sell but how you sell it as well. You have to get down to brass tracks and reevaluate your business to corner the market.
A good invoice can matter more than one would think. It is one of those basic things like website audits that you will not find a lot of help with or advice on but something you need to know as a beginner. There are many ways to go about creating a commercial invoice template. One method is to create your own invoice.
Why to use commercial invoice?
Answering the most basic question of all, there are multiple reasons for why invoicing is necessary.
- Corporate Culture: If you went on sending messages to clients saying “I need my money” or “give me my $500”, it not only borders on rude but it sounds pathetic. Invoicing is a way to demand your money professionally. It has become the business norm, as many people view to talk about money as inappropriate.
- Let the client know: Even if your client does not mind talking money, they still need to know what they are being charged for. Invoicing just makes this simpler. A good invoice will give a comprehensive summary of all the services availed by a customer and rates they have been charged at.
- Professionalism: It gives your client the impression that you are serious about what you do. Hopefully, this will impress them enough to have them running back with more business. If you want your business to be a money spinner, you have to go the extra mile.
- Documentation: Any responsible entrepreneur will know that they need to file and record any work that they take upon. Invoicing makes remembering each client and their orders, the matter of a simple invoice number.
In Europe, which is the world’s biggest single market, there were 16 billion invoices last year. Imagine keeping track of that much business without an invoicing process to document it.
Making your own invoice is a more painstaking process as compared to others but also has its advantages. It is much more personalized to suit your needs. Not everybody requires the same fields on their invoice, so it is nice to have the ability to be able to add information at will.
Even when it comes to the layout, you can tailor it to yourself. Whether you need larger space for descriptions or need to compute multiple taxes, you are in control. However, you will understand that it is no small feat once you create an invoice.
Alright, so now that we know that they are important, how do you create a commercial invoice template?
Steps to create commercial invoice template
1. What information it will contain:
Now, this can vary a bit from firm to firm, there are a few absolute necessities that are expected from any bill. First of all, you need to tell people that what they are looking at is an invoice. To do that you need to put something on the page that makes this obvious. Whether it is simply the word “Invoice” or may be “Purchase Summary”, it should clarify the purpose of the document.
Secondly, every invoice should contain the company information for the seller and the buyer. This information would include a name and contact number at the minimum. It should also list down all available payment methods that can be used to clear the bill. Payment methods should likely be accompanied by a deadline or terms for payment (such as installments or late payment charges).
Most importantly, there needs to be a detailed portion about what services and products a customer has bought, how much they have bought and at what rate. This will lead to subtotals and their addition into a total cost, displayed on the document. Product names should preferably be accompanied by short descriptions to help the client understand better.
If there are any additional charges that the customer will incur such as taxes, they should be calculated and added to the initial total to bring about a net payable, this is the last amount on the bill.
Lastly, each commercial invoice template should have a unique invoice number, dates of purchases and a date for invoicing. This will be used for historical data storage. Using this, you can look up an invoice whenever you require it.
2. Design and Layout:
Now that you have all the information, it is time to learn where it all goes.
- First of all the heading needs to be at the very top, so the importance of the page design is noted as instantly as eyes are laid on it.
- Next, it is preferred to add company information for both parties below the header. This helps the recipient identify that you are in fact the person whom this receipt is intended for, and also which whom it is from.
- It looks more professional if a logo is added to the company details.
- The next part will be what the invoice lives for cost details. This should be the most central part of the invoice. Most of the times a table format is used to detail the charges, giving a clean outlook.
- When adding bought products, add a serial number to the leftmost column of the table, so there is a track of how many products were bought by a certain client.
- Next, add a column for the product. Optionally, dedicate a space to descriptions if you feel the need.
- After the name and description comes the rate (or hourly wage) for one unit of a certain product.
- This is followed by the quantity (or hours) consumed. Multiply the last two columns to create a “subtotal” column to act as the end of the table.
Repeat this process until everything has been listening down in the table. Now, leave some space on the table, and type out the “initial total”. The initial total should preferably be right under the subtotal column to maintain consistency. Below the initial total adds taxes or other costs such as freight. You may even add deductions like loyalties discounts.
Add all of these up, write the net payable below. Make sure that the last amount is in a larger text than the rest to add focus to it.
At the end of the page, add the invoice number and invoice date, along with some space for accreditation by signature or stamp if you require it.
Remember to use lively colors and readable fonts where ever you can. You do not need to make your invoice boring, it should be a representation of how your company functions and what it values. Try to personalize the commercial invoice template for each client by using local their currencies and date formats, to make it easier for them to understand.
There are several software you can choose from when you want to create an invoice. The most commonly used are Microsoft Excel and Word. Word allows for better design elements while excel is more powerful in calculations. The method mentioned above to create an invoice adapts well to both software. But I would like to suggest this beautiful yet professional looking free HTML invoice template with auto-calculation. It is customizable and works with any language and currency.
All you need to know is the basic know-how of either.
Interestingly, a new study has found that a paper invoice costs over 50% more to process to a supplier.
Many software, especially online will offer to create an invoice for you but that is not quite the same as when you create a commercial invoice template yourself. It is much easier, however.
For best practice and consistency across your invoice, you should create a blank invoice and save it as a starting point for each invoice. This would include information that is constant across all invoices such as the header, seller information, payment methods, an empty cost table, blank spaces for buyer information and purchase totals.
It is also advisable to save invoices as their invoice number, so it can be used as a search key later on.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to create invoices in no time and also maintain them easily. Even though invoices do not directly help you make a killing, they definitely help get you paid for it. It should be a staple for any business looking for a place in the sun.
If you want to explore more awesome commercial invoice template designs, here is a collection of 30+ premium invoice template bundle with auto-calculation. Every template in this bundle has different design and crafted with lots of efforts.
So, start using this commercial invoice template now and let your customers pay you in style and on time!