How To Create A Professional Invoice – A Step-by-Step Guide.

Creating and sending your first invoice is a cause for celebration. If you are unsure of how to create an invoice or what information to include on an invoice, this guide is for you. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to create professional invoices quickly and easily.

In this guide, you’ll learn –

  • What is an invoice
  • The essential elements of an invoice
  • How to create an invoice with Microsoft Word
  • How to create an invoice with Microsoft Excel
  • How to create an invoice with Simplebks

What Is An Invoice?

An invoice is a professional document that includes a list and the total price of products purchased and services rendered to a customer. With an invoice, you can request payment from customers before or after selling a product or service.

For example, an online shop that sells gadgets, will send you an invoice for payment before shipping you the product. In contrast, if you offer professional service, you can send your invoice at the end of the project. If you are a professional service provider working with a new client, you can protect yourself by requesting a percentage of the total sum before the project.

Does this mean an invoice is a legally binding document? No. You will need a signed contract of service to serve as a legally binding document. But, an invoice serves as a financial record of goods purchased and services rendered. It increases your chances of fast payments, reduces your cash flow problems and ensures you pay your taxes on time.  It’s an essential document to have and can serve as proof of business in certain situations.

To protect you and your business, you must ensure that every invoice follows the standard invoice format and contains all essential information that makes it a professional document. Let’s get to that.

The Essential Elements Of An Invoice

The essential elements of an invoice refer to the information you must include in an invoice that makes it easier for your customer to process your payment request. By using an invoice format that includes all relevant information, you increase your chances of receiving payments fast and easily.

Here’s What You Should Always Include In An Invoice:

  • Your business name and contact information:

This includes details like your logo, company name, email, CAC registration number and address.

  • Your customer’s name and information:

This includes their names, email, address. and phone number.

  • Dates that mark the duration of service or when the goods were sold.
  • A clear list and description of products sold and services rendered.
  • Quantity and price of products and services rendered.
  • A unique invoice number:

No two invoices are the same even if the same goods and services were sold to different customers. You can use consecutive numbers to mark them i.e 001, 002, 003 or use alpha-numerics like INV-001. Whichever tracking system you use must be unique and easy to follow.

  • Tax information:

In Nigeria, a Value Added Tax (VAT) of 7.5% is paid on all goods and services you render. If you run a sole proprietorship or LLC, include the relevant tax being charged if necessary. Some companies include taxes in their prices.

  • Payment terms:

Your payment terms refer to the agreement between you and the customer on how you’ll be paid. Like we mentioned earlier, some service providers prefer to be paid a percentage before they begin. Your payment terms also include when the invoice is due and if you charge a penalty fee for late payment.

  • Payment medium:

The payment medium is the channel through which you receive payment Do you accept cheques, bank transfers or do you prefer to be paid via a payment link? Indicate which one works for you and include all the relevant details to get paid faster.

Does that seem like a lot to remember? Let’s go to how you can create an invoice that includes all the above-mentioned information in 5 minutes or less.

4 Easy Ways To Create An Invoice

Creating an invoice that includes all the above-mentioned information from scratch is time-consuming. In addition, you might place them on the wrong sides of the document. If you have a Simplebks account, you can use the invoice feature to create a beautiful and professional invoice in minutes. The secret to making an invoice fast is to use invoice templates. Invoice templates are formatted and ready to use. All you need to do is fill in your details, download and send them to your clients.

We’ll show you three ways to create quick and easy templates with Simplebks, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Option 1: Make An Invoice With Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is an easily accessible application that is available on laptops. They have different types of invoices that can meet your needs. Here’s how to make an invoice with Microsoft Word:

  • Open your Microsoft Word
  • Select the File Menu
  • Tap ‘New’ and enter Invoice in the search for template box
  • Choose an invoice that fits your needs.
  • Fill in the relevant information based on your selected template.
  • Give it a second look to makes sure the information is correct. Save your invoice as a PDF and send it to your customer.

Pros Of Using Microsoft Word

  • You can use Microsoft Word whether you have an internet connection or not.
  • You have a variety of invoice types to choose from
  • It’s free

Cons Of Using Microsoft Word

  • Limited customisation options
  • Sending invoices is a manual process
  • Manual calculation of the price of goods and services.
  • You have to duplicate documents every time you need an invoice and fill in afresh
  • Manual invoice tracking

Option 2: Make An Invoice With Microsoft Excel

  • Open your Microsoft Excel Worksheet
  • Select the File Menu
  • Tap ‘New’ and enter Invoice in the search for template box
  • Choose an invoice that fits your needs.
  • Using the custom entry fields, enter the relevant invoice information

Pros Of Creating An Invoice With Microsoft Excel

  • You can use Microsoft Excel whether you have an internet connection or not.
  • You have a variety of invoice types to choose from
  • It’s free

Cons Of Creating An Invoice With Microsoft Excel

  • Limited customisation options
  • Might require advanced Excel skills
  • Sending invoices is a manual process
  • Manual invoice tracking

Option 3: How To Create An Invoice With Simplebks

Simplebks is an easy-to-use accounting tool that helps small businesses record and keep track of every aspect of their business, on the go, in real-time and from anywhere in the world. Simplebks also provides detailed reports, analytics and insights to guide decision making. The invoice feature on. Simplebks allows you to save your business and customer’s contact information, automatically apply tax and generate a unique invoice number.

Invoices are financial documents and a representation of your brand. With Simplebks, you can create invoices that reflect your business and match your brand identity.

Steps To Create An Invoice With Simplebks

  • Visit on your device (laptop or smartphone)
  • Create your free Simplebks account or sign in with your existing Simplebks account.
  • Tap ‘E-invoicing’ on the drop down menu
  • Add your logo, Invoice description and due date
  • Type the first alphabet of your existing customer and select from the list or Tap ‘New Entity’ to enter your customer’s name and email address.
  • Enter ‘Item name’ to add an items from your inventory or add a custom amount.
  • Review and save.

Read: How to add Team members on Simplebks

Pros Of Using Simplebks To Create Invoices

  • It’s easy to save information
  • It automatically generates unique invoice numbers
  • You can track paid and unpaid invoices on your dashboard
  • Easily send your invoice through email and other social media platforms like WhatsApp

Cons Of Using Simplebks To Create Invoices

  • You need to create an account to access Simplebks invoice feature.

Creating an invoice with Simplebks does not only help you save time, but it also helps you collect payments easily. If cash comes in when it should, you can build a financially healthy business.

Accounting Made Easy! 💛

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

A more productive, efficient, and faster way to work with your finances.


© 2024 Simplebooks Inc. All Rights Reserved.